Scientometrics

, Volume 103, Issue 2, pp 615–630 | Cite as

The happiness turn? Mapping the emergence of “happiness studies” using cited references

Article

Abstract

This article analyzes “happiness studies” as an emerging field of inquiry throughout various scientific disciplines and research areas. Utilizing four operationalized search terms in the Web of Science; “happiness”, “subjective well-being”, “life satisfaction” and “positive affect”, a dataset was created for empirical citation analysis. Combined with qualitative interpretations of the publications, our results show how happiness studies has developed over time, in what journals the citing papers have been published, and which authors and researchers are the most productive within this set. We also trace various trends in happiness studies, such as the social indicators movement, the introduction of positive psychology and various medical and clinical applications of happiness studies. We conclude that “happiness studies” has emerged in many different disciplinary contexts and progressively been integrated and standardized. Moreover, beginning at the turn of the millennium, happiness studies has even begun to shape an autonomous field of inquiry, in which happiness becomes a key research problem for itself. Thus, rather than speaking of a distinct “happiness turn”, our study shows that there have been many heterogeneous turns to happiness, departing in a number of different disciplines.

Keywords

Happiness studies Cited references Bibliographic coupling Multidisciplinary Citation analysis 

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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of ScienceUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  2. 2.Swedish School of Library and Information Science (SSLIS)University of BoråsBoråsSweden

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