Measuring Wellbeing: How and Why?

  • Louise LambertEmail author
  • Lauren Hotchkiss
  • Holli-Anne Passmore


A focus on wellbeing and happiness in social discourse has necessarily raised questions about how to appropriately measure and manage wellbeing, and about the validity of reported subjective experiences. Historically, objective measures have monopolized the arena of wellbeing, as it was believed that a single measure, like GDP, income, education, or crime rates accurately reflected a state of psychosocial prosperity in nations. More recently, a sole reliance on such indicators is increasingly being discouraged. Governments are urged to consider wellbeing and happiness a public good and not a private individual matter. In this chapter we discuss why it is important to measure the subjective aspects of wellbeing and how a theoretical orientation can help in this regard. We propose tools to develop a dashboard and present a number of best practise recommendations gleaned from the empirical literature. While we target recommendations at government bodies, we encourage corporations, organizations, educational institutions, and health care providers to follow suit and include the collection of wellbeing data in their efforts.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louise Lambert
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lauren Hotchkiss
    • 2
  • Holli-Anne Passmore
    • 2
  1. 1.United Arab Emirates UniversityAl AinUAE
  2. 2.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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