Culture and Subjective Well-Being

William Tov, Ed Diener
2013 Social Science Research Network  
Subjective well-being (SWB) is composed of people's evaluations of their lives, including pleasant affect, infrequent unpleasant affect, life satisfaction (LS). We review the research literature concerning the influence of culture on SWB. We argue that some types of well-being, as well as their causes, are consistent across cultures, whereas there are also unique patterns of well-being in societies that are not comparable across cultures. Thus, well-being can be understood to some degree in
more » ... ersal terms, but must also be understood within the framework of each culture. We review the methodological challenges to assessing SWB in different cultures. One important question for future research is the degree to which feelings of well-being lead to the same outcomes in different cultures. The overarching theme of the paper is that there are pancultural experiences of SWB that can be compared across cultures, but that there are also culture-specific patterns that make cultures unique in their experience of wellbeing. SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING
doi:10.2139/ssrn.2199219 fatcat:5e3hpfcvanfjrcx74yvwe2f6k4