We use two waves of a population based survey the RAND American Life Panel to investigate the relations between various evaluative and experienced well-being measures based on the English Longitudinal Study of Aging, the Gallup Wellbeing Index, and a item hedonic well-being module of the Health and Retirement Study. In a randomized set-up we administered several versions of the survey with different response scales. Using factor analysis, we find that all evaluative measures load on the same factor, but the positive and negative experienced affect measures load on different factors. We find evidence of an effect of response scales on both the estimated number of underlying factors and their relations with demographics. We conclude that finer response scales allowing more nuanced answers offer more reliability.

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On March 25, Gallup, a worldwide statistical research organization, revealed their global survey results on wellbeing taken in nations between The survey was conducted with interviews, in person and on the phone, and ranked participants as 'thriving, struggling or suffering' based on the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale. Struggling wellbeing : moderate or inconsistent views of present life situation OR moderate OR negative views of their future; struggling in the present, or expect to struggle in the future, plus more comments of daily stress and worry about money than those "thriving", with more than double the amount of sick days, more likely to smoke, and less likely to eat healthy.

Suffering wellbeing : high risk and have poor ratings of their current life situation 4 or less AND negative views of the next five years 4 or less , plus more likely to comment on the lack of basic food and shelter, more likely to have physical pain, a lot of stress, worry, sadness, and anger with less access to health insurance and care, and more than double the disease burden, in comparison to those "thriving".

The top results were likened to those from the Happy Planet Index HPI , an index that measured nations by happiness analyzing life expectancy, life satisfaction and ecological footprint, with Denmark taking the top spot in both well-being and HPI.

Other results showed poverty diminished the ability for individuals to be satisfied with their life. In contrast, the HPI finding most African nations' happiness was similar to the United States; however the life satisfaction data correlated and was used in both indices.

In several of the largest European economies, like France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, wellbeing falls roughly in the middle. Similar disparities are evident in Asia. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists?

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Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale

Hadley Cantril, consists of the following:. The Cantril Scale, which has been used by a wide variety of researchers since its initial development by Hadley Cantril, is an example of one type of well-being assessment. At the same time, scholarly research has revealed that measurement of well-being is multifaceted, including a continuum from judgments of life life evaluation to feelings daily affect. Different measures of well-being provide different perspectives on the process by which respondents reflect on or experience their lives. Research conducted across countries around the world Deaton, indicates substantial correlations between the Cantril Scale and income.


Understanding How Gallup Uses the Cantril Scale

We are not all equally happy. Happiness varies not only from one person to the next but also from one country to another. For more discussion of happiness around the world, see The Many Faces of Happiness. Psychologists measure happiness in several ways. One approach involves the extent to which you experience positive versus negative emotions. Another assesses life satisfaction, or how pleased you are with your life as a whole.

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