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The Analysis and Measurement of Happiness as a Sense of Well-Being

  • † Richard Kammann
  • Marcelle Farry
  • Peter Herb
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 26)

Abstract

General happiness is philosophically construed as a sense of well-being which in turn has been defined either as a complete and lasting satisfaction with life-as-a-whole or as a preponderance of positive over negative feelings. A factor analysis of thirteen well-being scales shows that these two definitions coalesce into a single general well-being factor which is distinguishable only from an independent stress/worries factor. Further evidence shows that familiar scales of neuroticism, depression and trait anxiety measure the same well-being dimension if only in the negative half-range. So does a list of somatic complaints. Various two-factor models of well-being that treat positive and negative affect as independent processes, or that distinguish between affective and cognitive components, are challenged on the grounds that they depend on the properties of Bradburn’s affect scales which are found to be highly dependent on methodological parameters. Attention is drawn here to the role of test method effects and curvilinearities as factors influencing inter-scale correlations and structural models. It is concluded that well-being is a robust, primary dimension of human experience and that happiness research is alive and well in psychology.

Keywords

Negative Affect Positive Affect Trait Anxiety Somatic Complaint Social Indicator Research 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • † Richard Kammann
    • 1
  • Marcelle Farry
  • Peter Herb
  1. 1.University of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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