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Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 783–800 | Cite as

What Makes for a Good Life? A Four-Nation Study

  • Romin W. TafarodiEmail author
  • Greg Bonn
  • Hanyu Liang
  • Jiro Takai
  • Satoshi Moriizumi
  • Vivek Belhekar
  • Amruta Padhye
Research Paper

Abstract

How do we assess the value of our lives? What makes the life we live a good or worthy one in our own eyes? What are its aims? The answers to these questions are implicit in the often unarticulated commitments by which people define their selves, purposes, and actions. These commitments structure the moral framework that guides our everyday qualitative distinctions and positions us within a unified narrative of continuity and change. The substantive conception of a good life, we argue, presupposes but is not reducible to a set of basic values. As an initial exploration of cultural variation, Canadian, Chinese, Indian, and Japanese university students were compared on what they held to be most important for assessing the worth of their lives. The results revealed considerable commonality of content with notable differences consistent with the cultural ethos of each group.

Keywords

Good Life Indicator Category Healthy Family Miscellaneous Category Relative Importance Score 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by a Standard Research Grant (410-2006-1127) from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to the first author. We thank Mayumi Tsukamoto for her assistance with translation and Yas Nishikawa for his assistance with coding.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Romin W. Tafarodi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Greg Bonn
    • 1
  • Hanyu Liang
    • 1
  • Jiro Takai
    • 2
  • Satoshi Moriizumi
    • 2
  • Vivek Belhekar
    • 3
  • Amruta Padhye
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Nagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  3. 3.University of MumbaiMumbaiIndia

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