Subjective Well-being: The Science of Happiness and Life Satisfaction


Oishi, S., Diener, E., & Lucas, R. E. (2020). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and life satisfaction. In C.R.Snyder, S. J. Lopez, L. M. Edwards, & S. C. Marques (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology (3rd Ed., pp. 255-264). New York: Oxford University Press


The current chapter describes the thriving literature on subjective well-being, or a person’s cognitive and affective evaluations of his or her life as a whole. Researchers have developed reliable and valid self-report measures of subjective well-being in the 1980s and the 1990s. They have then shown that various personality traits are associated with subjective well-being. Significant life events such as marriage and unemployment do affect one’s subjective well-being. There are however large individual variations in the speed with which people adapt to life events. Furthermore, cross-cultural research has shown that predictors of subjective well-being vary across nations. Several interventions studies were conducted. Although there are many effective interventions on subjective well-being, it is not yet know whether these interventions last for an extended period of time, and work well for most people. Important future directions include the development of reliable and valid non-self-report measures, the effects of life events and societal conditions, and the development of interventions that last for an extended period of time.

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