Residents of poor nations have a greater sense of meaning in life than residents of wealthy nations
Oishi, S., & Diener, E. (2014). Residents of poor nations have a greater sense of meaning in life than residents of wealthy nations. Psychological Science, 25(2), 422-430.
Using Gallup World Poll data, we examined the role of societal wealth for meaning in life across 132 nations. Although life satisfaction was substantially higher in wealthy nations than in poor nations, meaning in life was higher in poor nations than in wealthy nations. In part, meaning in life was higher in poor nations because people in those nations were more religious. The mediating role of religiosity remained significant after we controlled for potential third variables, such as education, fertility rate, and individualism. As Frankl (1963) stated in Man’s Search for Meaning, it appears that meaning can be attained even under objectively dire living conditions, and religiosity plays an important role in this search.
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