The degree to which happiness tends to remain at the same level over time.
Presumed Stability of Happiness
One of the ideological foundations of the modern welfare states is the belief that people can be made happier by providing them with better living conditions. This belief is challenged by the idea that happiness tends to remain at the same level and will therefore hardly change when living conditions improve. This counter intuitive thought draws to two theories of happiness.
One theory holds that happinessis a fixed “trait,” rather than a variable “state.” This theory figures both at the individual level and at the societal level. The individual level variant depicts happiness as an aspect of personal character, rooted in inborn temperament or acquired disposition and is commonly referred to as the “set point” theory of happiness. The societal variant sees happiness as a matter of national character,...
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Veenhoven, R. (2014). Happiness Levels Stability. In: Michalos, A.C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_2844
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