Social Indicators Research

, Volume 127, Issue 2, pp 777–792 | Cite as

Domain Importance in Subjective Well-Being Measures

  • Chang-ming HsiehEmail author


In subjective well-being (SWB) studies, domain importance typically refers to the relative importance of various life domains. Although there appears to be a consensus that domain importance is an important topic, whether or not domain importance should be incorporated into measures of SWB remains contentious. Even though recent studies that examined the claims against incorporating domain importance, also known as domain importance weighting, into SWB measures found that both conceptual and empirical arguments have been far from sufficient, insufficient evidence against importance weighting does not mean there is evidence to support importance weighting. Conducting a secondary analysis, the current study investigates the role of domain importance in SWB measures without making any arbitrary assumptions regarding how domain importance weighting should function. Results of the study show that the relationship between global life satisfaction and the sum of domain satisfaction scores did not remain constant across groups of different domain importance rating patterns. The findings suggest that, when the research objective is to study variability of responses at the level of homogeneous subgroups, it is important to consider domain importance when using domain satisfaction to construct global SWB measures.


Importance weighting Domain weighting Latent class analysis Cluster analysis Relative domain importance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jane Addams College of Social WorkUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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