What matters to the rich and the poor? Subjective well-being, financial satisfaction, and post-materialistic needs across the world
Ng, W., & Diener, E. (2014). What matters to the rich and the poor? Subjective well-being, financial satisfaction, and post-materialistic needs across the world. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 107(2), 326-338.
This study explored the importance of financial satisfaction versus postmaterialist needs for subjective well-being (SWB). Using the Gallup World Poll, we examined whether financial satisfaction and postmaterialist needs (pertaining to autonomy, social support, and respect) were universal predictors of the different components of SWB across the world, and whether their effects were moderated by national affluence. Results showed that financial satisfaction was the strongest predictor of life evaluation, whereas respect was the strongest predictor of positive feelings. Both measures predicted negative feelings to some extent. Multilevel analyses also revealed moderating effects of societal wealth. The association between financial satisfaction and SWB and that between postmaterialist needs and SWB were stronger in richer nations compared with poorer ones. This suggests that developed economies should continue to focus on both material and psychological aspects, and not disregard economic gains, as both measures are essential to well-being.
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