Social Indicators Research

, Volume 127, Issue 3, pp 1391–1416 | Cite as

Shifting Values and Life Satisfaction: A Sequential Cross-Sectional Study of the Influence of Values on Subjective Wellbeing in Singapore

  • Soo Jiuan Tan
  • Siok Kuan TambyahEmail author


This paper compares the findings of two sequential cross-sectional studies of Singaporeans conducted in 2001 and 2011 with regard to the stability of values and their influence on life satisfaction. Using supporting literature, we propose several hypotheses on the relationships between values and Singaporeans’ life satisfaction. We first report the means, importance ranks and changes in percentages for the values in the List of Values and the movements over the years. While values like security and sense of belonging have become more important, being well-respected has become less important over the decade. We then discuss the levels of life satisfaction, satisfaction with specific life domains and overall life satisfaction for Singaporeans, and the changes over 10 years. Using regression analyses and ANOVA, we examine the impact of shifting values and certain demographic variables on the life satisfaction of Singaporeans over the decade. Excitement and warm relationships with others were found to have a significant and positive influence on life satisfaction for both 2001 and 2011. The positive impact of self respect on life satisfaction was only significant in 2001, while security and sense of belonging had a significant negative and positive impact respectively on life satisfaction only in 2011. The effects of these values on life satisfaction were felt differently across age, gender, marital status, education, and income levels in 2001 and 2011. We conclude the paper with limitations and implications for policy making and future research.


Values Life satisfaction Singapore List of Values Subjective wellbeing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NUS Business SchoolNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.NUS Business SchoolNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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