Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Psychometric Evaluation of the Tagalog and German Subjective Happiness Scales and a Cross-Cultural Comparison

  • 759 Accesses

  • 35 Citations

Abstract

The Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS) has recently been developed as a more complete measure for the assessment of molar subjective happiness. In the present study, we report on the translation and validation of German and Tagalog versions of the SHS and conduct an initial cross-cultural examination of subjective happiness. In Study 1, 960 participants in Austria completed a German version of the SHS, which showed a unidimensional structure, good internal consistency, and good convergent validity with other measures of subjective well-being. In Study 2, 182 participants in the Philippines completed a Tagalog version of the scale, which likewise had a unidimensional structure, high internal consistency, and good convergent validity. Finally, the results of Study 3 indicate that there were significant cross-cultural differences in subjective happiness. Specifically, participants in individualist Austria and Britain had higher SHS scores than their counterparts in collectivist Malaysia and the Philippines. Limitations of these studies are discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Al-Issa, I., & Oudji, S. (1998). Culture and anxiety disorders. In S. Karazian & D. Evans (Eds.), Cultural clinical psychology: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 127–151). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  2. Andrews, F. M., & Robinson, J. P. (1991). Measures of subjective well being. In J. P. Robinson, P. R. Shaver, & L. S. Wrightsman (Eds.), Measures of personality and social psychological attitudes (Vol. 1, pp. 61–114). London: Academic Press.

  3. Andrews, F. M., & Withey, S. B. (1976). Social indicators of well-being: America’s perception of life quality. New York, NY: Plenum Press.

  4. Behling, O., & Law, K. S. (2000). Translating questionnaires and other research instruments: Problems and solutions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  5. Benson, C. (2000). The cultural psychology of self: Place, morality and art in human worlds. Philadelphia, PA: Routledge.

  6. Bowling, R. (1997). Measuring health: A review of quality of life measurement scales (2nd ed.). Buckingham: Open University Press.

  7. Bradburn, N. M. (1969). The structure of psychological well-being. Chicago, IL: Alpine.

  8. Brislin, R. W. (1970). Back-translation for cross-cultural research. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 1, 185–216.

  9. Cattell, R. B. (1966). The scree test for the number of factors. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 1, 245–276.

  10. Cherlin, A., & Reeder, L. G. (1975). The dimensions of psychological well being: A critical review. Sociological Methods Research, 4, 189–214.

  11. Church, A. T., & Katigbak, M. S. (2002). Indigenization of psychology in the Philippines. International Journal of Psychology, 37, 129–148.

  12. Diener, E. (1998). Subjective well-being and personality. In D. Barone, M. Hesen & V. van Hasselt (Eds.), Advanced personality (pp. 311–334). New York, NY: Plenum Press.

  13. Diener, E. (2000). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and a proposal of a national index. American Psychologist, 55, 34–43.

  14. Diener, E., Diener, M., & Diener, C. (1995a). Factors predicting the subjective well-being of nations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 851–864.

  15. Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The Satisfaction With Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–75.

  16. Diener, E., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Very happy people. Psychological Science, 13, 81–84.

  17. Diener, E., & Suh, E. M. (Eds.). (2000). Cultural and subjective well-being. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  18. Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 276–302.

  19. Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Smith, H., & Shao, L. (1995b). National differences in reported subjective well-being: Why do they occur? Social Indicators Research, 34, 7–32.

  20. Furnham, A., & Baguma, P. (1999). Cross-cultural differences in explanations for health and illness: A British and Ugandan comparison. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 2, 121–134.

  21. Furnham, A., & Murao, M. (2000). A cross-cultural comparison of British and Japanese lay theories of schizophrenia. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 46, 4–20.

  22. Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture’s consequences: International differences in work-related values. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

  23. Jorm, A. F., Nakane, Y., Christensen, H., Yoshioka, K., Griffiths, K. M., & Wata, Y. (2005). Public beliefs about treatment and outcome of mental disorders: A comparison of Australia and Japan. BMC Medicine, 3, 12.

  24. Kitayama, S. (2002). Culture and basic psychological processes. Toward a system view of culture: Comment on Oyserman et al. (2002). Psychological Bulletin, 128, 89–96.

  25. Kitayama, S., & Markus, H. R. (2000). The pursuit of happiness and the realization of empathy: Cultural patterns of self, social relations, and well-being. In E. Diener & E. M. Suh (Eds.), Cultural and subjective well-being (pp. 113–161). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  26. Kitayama, S., Markus, H. R., & Kurokawa, M. (2000). Culture, emotion, and well-being: Good feelings in Japan and the United States. Cognition and Emotion, 14, 93–124.

  27. Lyubomirsky, S. (2001). Why are some people happier than others? The role of cognitive and motivational processes in well-being. American Psychologist, 56, 239–249.

  28. Lyubomirsky, S., & Lepper, H. S. (1999). A measure of subjective happiness: Preliminary reliability and construct validation. Social Indicators Research, 46, 37–155.

  29. Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation. Psychological Review, 98, 224–253.

  30. Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (2004). Models of agency: Sociocultural diversity in the construction of action. In V. Murphy-Berman & J. J. Berman (Eds.), Nebraska Symposium on motivation: Volume 49. Cross-cultural differences in perspectives on the self (pp. 1–57). Lincoln, NB: University of Nebraska Press.

  31. Martín-Albo, J., Núñez, J. L., Navarro, J. G., & Grijalvo, F. (2007). The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale: Translation and validation in university students. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 10, 458–467.

  32. Mattei, D., & Schaefer, C. E. (2004). An investigation of validity of the Subjective Happiness Scale. Psychological Reports, 94, 288–290.

  33. Michalos, A. C. (1991). Global report on student well-being (Vols. 1–4). New York, NY: Springer-Verlag.

  34. Oishi, S. (2002). The experiencing and remembering of well-being: A cross-cultural analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 1398–1406.

  35. Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (1993). Review of the Satisfaction with Life Scale. Psychological Assessment, 5, 164–172.

  36. Pedhazur, E. J., & Schmelkin, L. P. (1991). Measurement, design and analysis: An integrated approach. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

  37. Rogelia, P.-P., & Protacio-Marcelino, E. A. (2000). Sikolohiyang Pilipino (Filipino psychology): A legacy of Virgilio G. Enriquez. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 3, 49–71.

  38. Rohner, R. (1984). Toward a conception of culture for cross-cultural psychology. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 15, 111–138.

  39. Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  40. Ryan, R. M., Sheldon, K. M., Kasser, T., & Deci, E. L. (1996). All goals are not created equal: An organismic perspective on the nature of goals and their regulation. In P. M. Gollwitzer & J. A. Bargh (Eds.), The psychology of action: Linking cognition and motivation to behavior (pp. 7–26). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

  41. Ryff, C. D., & Keyes, C. L. M. (1995). The structure of psychological well-being revisited. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 719–727.

  42. Seligman, M. E. P. (2003). Positive psychology: Fundamental assumptions. Psychologist, 16, 126–127.

  43. Shimai, S., Otake, K., Utsuki, N., Ikemi, A., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2004). Development of a Japanese version of the subjective happiness scale (SHS), and examination of its validity and reliability. Japanese Journal of Public Health, 51, 1–9.

  44. Shweder, R. A., & Sullivan, M. A. (1993). Cultural psychology: Who needs it? Annual Review of Psychology, 44, 497–523.

  45. Silber, E., & Tippett, J. (1965). Self-esteem: Clinical assessment and measurement validation. Psychological Reports, 16, 1017–1071.

  46. Smith, P. B., & Bond, M. H. (1998). Social psychology across cultures (2nd ed.). London: Prentice-Hall.

  47. Strack, E., Argyle, M., & Schwarts, N. (1991). Subjective well-being. Oxford: Pergamon.

  48. Suh, E., Diener, E., Oishi, S., & Triandis, H. C. (1998). The shifting basis of life satisfaction judgments across cultures: Emotions versus norms. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 482–493.

  49. Swami, V. (2008). Translation and validation of the Malay Subjective Happiness Scale. Social Indicators Research 88(2), 347–353.

  50. Swami, V., & Chamorro-Premuzic, T. Psychometric evaluation of the Malay Satisfaction With Life Scale. Social Indicators Research (in press).

  51. Swami, V., Furnham, A., Kannan, K., & Sinniah, D. (2008a). Lay beliefs about schizophrenia and its treatment in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 54, 164–179.

  52. Swami, V., Sinniah, D., Subramaniam, P., Pillai, S. K., Kannan, K., & Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2008b). An exploration of the Indecisiveness Scale in multi-ethnic Malaysia. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 39, 309–316.

  53. SyCip, L., Asis, M. M. B., & Luna, E. (2000). The measurement of Filipino well-being. Quezon City: University of the Philippines, Center for Integrative Development Studies.

  54. Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2007). Using multivariate statistics (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

  55. Uchida, Y., Kitayama, S., Mesquita, B., & Rayes, J. A. (2001). Interpersonal sources of happiness: The relative significance in three cultures. Paper presented at 13th annual convention of the American Psychological Society, Toronto, Canada.

  56. Uchida, Y., Norasakkunkit, V., & Kitayama, S. (2004). Cultural constructions of happiness: Theory and empirical evidence. Journal of Happiness Studies, 5, 223–239.

  57. Veenhoven, R. (1991). Is happiness relative? Social Indicators Research, 24, 1–34.

  58. Warr, P. (1978). A study of psychological well-being. British Journal of Psychology, 69, 111–121.

  59. Wells, L. E., & Marwell, G. (1976). Self-esteem: Its conceptualization and measurement. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Download references

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Tanja Haubner for her assistance with the translation of the German version of the Subjective Happiness Scale.

Author information

Correspondence to Viren Swami.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Swami, V., Stieger, S., Voracek, M. et al. Psychometric Evaluation of the Tagalog and German Subjective Happiness Scales and a Cross-Cultural Comparison. Soc Indic Res 93, 393–406 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-008-9331-7

Download citation

Keywords

  • Subjective Happiness Scale
  • Well-being
  • Translation
  • Validation
  • Cross-cultural