Social Indicators Research

, Volume 70, Issue 1, pp 53–77 | Cite as

Subjective Well-Being: The Constructionist Point of View. A Longitudinal Study to Verify The Predictive Power of Top-Down Effects and Bottom-Up Processes

  • Fabio LeonardiEmail author
  • Liana Spazzafumo
  • Fiorella Marcellini


Based on the constructionist point of view applied to Subjective Well-Being (SWB), five hypotheses were advanced about the predictive power of the top-down effects and bottom-up processes over a five years period. The sample consisted of 297 respondents, which represent the Italian sample of a European longitudinal survey; the first phase was conducted in 1995 and the follow-up in 2000. Satisfaction judgments were collected on Overall Life Satisfaction (OLS) and on seven Life Facet Satisfaction (LFS) domains. The top-down effects were measured using a method derived from the constructionist point of view. Life conditions, which represent the bottom-up processes, were gathered by structured questionnaire and were optimized by a factor analyses. A stepwise regression was performed in each satisfaction judgment to test the five hypotheses, which were confirmedwith only few exceptions. The results revealed that the top-down effects were a significant predictor in all satisfaction judgments, especially in OLS, where it was the strongest predictor. Life conditions (bottom-up factors) were less strong predictors than the top-down effects, but they became strong predictors if they were gathered at the same time as satisfaction judgments.


constructionist point of view life facet satisfaction overall life satisfaction predictive power of the bottom-up processes predictive power of the top-down effects satisfaction judgments 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabio Leonardi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Liana Spazzafumo
    • 1
  • Fiorella Marcellini
    • 2
  1. 1.Department Via Santa MargheritaI.N.R.C.A. - Italian National Research Centre on Ageing ResearchAnconaItaly
  2. 2.NE AtlantaUSA

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