Chapter

The Structure of Well-Being in Two Cities: Life Satisfaction and Experienced Happiness in Columbus, Ohio; and Rennes, France

Daniel Kahneman, David A. Schkade, Claude Fischler, Alan B. Krueger and Amy Krilla

in International Differences in Well-Being

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199732739
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199776887 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732739.003.0002
The Structure of Well-Being in Two Cities: Life Satisfaction and Experienced Happiness in Columbus, Ohio; and Rennes, France

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A study using the Day Reconstruction Method (DRM) was carried out to examine the determinants of two aspects of well-being: experienced happiness and life satisfaction. Participants were 770 women in Columbus, Ohio and 700 women in Rennes, France. Results are generally similar in the two cities. Life satisfaction reflects the global circumstances of the individual’s life (marital status, income), but happiness reflects the hedonic value of the activities and social interactions to which she allocates her time. The circumstances of a satisfying life have hedonic costs as well as benefits and are associated more consistently with activation/arousal than with happiness. The complex hedonic effects of life circumstances suggest an alternative interpretation of the hedonic treadmill.

Keywords: well-being; happiness; life satisfaction; hedonic treadmill; day reconstruction method; DRM; international

Chapter.  6210 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Psychology

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