This book draws together the latest work from scholars around the world using subjective well-being data to understand and compare well-being across countries and cultures. Starting from many different vantage points, the authors reached a consensus that many measures of subjective well-being, ranging from life evaluations through emotional states, based on memories and current evaluations, merit broader collection and analysis. Using data from the Gallup World Poll, the World Values Survey, and other internationally comparable surveys, the authors document wide divergences among countries in all measures of subjective well-being, The international differences are greater for life evaluations than for emotions. Despite the well-documented differences in the ways in which subjective evaluations change through time and across cultures, the bulk of the very large international differences in life evaluations are due to differences in life circumstances rather than differences in the way these differences are evaluated.
Ed Diener is Joseph R. Smiley Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, and currently the president of IPPA, the International Positive Psychology Association (2008 and 2009). Daniel Kathneman is Nobel Prize winner (2002, Economic Science), and Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is also Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs Emeritus at the Woodrow Wilson School, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton University, and a fellow of the Center for Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. John F. Helliwell is Child Foundation Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of British Columbia