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The Personal Well-Being Index and the Work of the International Well-Being Group (IWBG) Presentation to Japanese General Social Surveys (JGSS) Group, Osaka School of Commerce 8-9 February 2013 Dr Dave Webb University of Western Australia dave.webb@uwa.edu.au. Acknowledgments.

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slide1

The Personal Well-Being Index and the Work of the International Well-Being Group (IWBG)Presentation to Japanese General Social Surveys (JGSS) Group, Osaka School of Commerce8-9 February 2013DrDave WebbUniversity of Western Australiadave.webb@uwa.edu.au

acknowledgments
Acknowledgments
  • I would like to thank Professor Robert Cummins, Director of Australian Centre on Quality of Life (ACQOL) and members of the International Well-Being Group (IWBG) for use of some of the materials included in this presentation
  • I would like to especially thank Professor Noriko Iwai and staff of JGSS for inviting me to Osaka
acronyms seen today
Acronyms seen today
  • ACQOL = Australian Centre on Quality of Life
  • COMQOL = Comprehensive measure of QOL
  • IWBG = International wellbeing group
  • QOL = Quality of Life
  • SWB = Subjective wellbeing
  • PWI = Personal wellbeing index
  • NWI = National wellbeing index
  • NEO-PI-R = Neuroticism, Extraversion and Openness to experience personal inventory (revised)
introduction
Introduction
  • Why measure SWB
  • Introduction to PWI
    • Development
    • Current application
  • Work of the IWBG
  • Examples of current personal work
  • Future research
    • Collaboration opportunities
subjective well being
Subjective Well-Being

A positive state of mind that involves the whole life experience

Why should we measure it?

How do we measure it?

Prof Cummins 2012

why should we measure swb happy citizens lyubomirsky et al 2005
Why should we measure SWB?Happy citizens....(Lyubomirsky et al 2005)
  • Positive perceptions of self and others
  • Stronger creativity and problem solving
  • Work harder
  • Create more social capital
  • Healthier
  • Live longer
  • Better social relationships
  • More self-sufficient
pwi development history
PWI Development - History

Cummins 1995

  • Many diverse instruments of SWB
    • Many definitions
    • 16 studies located adopting 14 diverse approaches
    • Converted mean of 75.02%, SD 2.74

Cummins 1996

  • Meta-analysis resulted in 173 dimensions with much shared variance
  • Further analysis reduced to 7 broad domains (material well-being, health, productivity, intimacy, safety, community and emotional well-being) = COMQOL
pwi development
PWI Development
  • After several years COMQOL abandoned on grounds of:
    • Construct validity failure (item loadings)
    • Conceptual: (Importance) X (satisfaction) fails to explain variance beyond independent measures and, importance adds no explained variance beyond satisfaction
    • 5-point and 7-point limit discriminative capacity of respondents above point of neutrality
  • COMQOL > PWI/NWI and Relationship between Deakin University, Melbourne and Australian Unity in 2001
how satisfied are you with your
“How satisfied are you with your --------?”

Personal

relationships

How people feel about the domain

Personal

Health

Standard of

living

How satisfied people feel in general

Achieving in life

Life as

a whole

Spirituality/

Religion

Community

connectedness

An over-all average [Subjective wellbeing]

A value for each domain that can be used diagnostically as well as potentially an input to policy development

Safety

Future

security

Prof Cummins 2012

slide11

PWI = Eight questions of satisfaction with specific life domains.

How satisfied are you with…?

Domains

1. your standard of living? [Standard of Living]

2. your health? [Personal Health]

3. what you are achieving in life? [Achieving in Life]

4. your personal relationships? [Personal Relationships]

5. how safe you feel? [Personal Safety]

6. feeling part of your community? [Community-Connectedness]

7. your future security? [Future Security]

8. your spirituality or religion?¨ [Spirituality – Religion]

PLUS one overall:

How satisfied are you overall with your life?

how satisfied are you with your1
How satisfied are you with your ----?

[Jones and Thurstone 1955]

11-point, end-defined scale

Completely

Dissatisfied

Completely

Satisfied

100

0

Score * 100/(number of scale points – 1)

Prof Cummins 2012

national wellbeing index nwi
National Wellbeing Index (NWI)

How satisfied are you with…?

  • Economic situation
  • Natural environment
  • Social conditions
  • Government
  • Business
  • National security
pwi nwi current situation
PWI & NWI Current situation
  • Since 2001/2002 adopted in over 40 countries
  • Translated in to more than 20 languages
  • Reported on in more than 120 journal articles
  • Dedicated section to PWI in Prof Alex MichalosEncyclopedia of QOL, Springer publishing (2013)
coverage
Coverage
  • Ireland
  • Mexico
  • Croatia
  • Germany
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • Columbia
  • Argentina
  • China (Hong Kong, Macau, Tibet)
  • Thailand
  • New Zealand
  • USA
  • Canada
  • India
  • Algeria
  • Iran
coverage areas
Coverage areas
  • Measurement; development, application and validation
  • Conceptual & Theory-building (homeostasis, itemisation and face validity)
  • Economy (wealth, income, material, poverty, capitalism, social class, work and job type
  • Relationships (parental, spousal, love, attachment, belonging, loneliness)
  • Consumers and business interface
  • Religion and spirituality
  • Community living (aged and young-persons)
  • Community development
  • Health (illness, care-giving, mental and depression, stress, yogic lifestyle, substance abuse)
  • Affect and mood states
  • Crime and security
  • Internet usage
  • Ageing
australian unity studies
Australian Unity Studies
  • Since 2001 = 28 surveys on diverse themes of life in Australia e.g., work, family and relationships, threat of terrorism, climate change and natural disasters, personal health and finance, country living
  • Sample = approximately n= 2,000 per survey period across all regional states = rich within country picture (Total n = 52,000 approximately)
personal wellbeing index 2001 2011
Personal Wellbeing Index2001 - 2011

Key: a = September 11 e = Athens Olympics i = Labor Government Elected m = Labor government re-elected

b = Bali Bombing f = Asian Tsunami j = Stock market collapse n = Qld/Vic floods

c = Pre-Iraq War g = Second Bali Bombing k = Fires and floods

d = Hussein Depose h = New IR Laws l = Stock market recovery

Prof Cummins 2012

personal wellbeing index 2001 20111
Personal Wellbeing Index2001 - 2011

This represents a 3.0 percentage point variation

Key: a = September 11 e = Athens Olympics i = Labor Government Elected m = Labor government re-elected

b = Bali Bombing f = Asian Tsunami j = Stock market collapse n = Qld/Vic floods

c = Pre-Iraq War g = Second Bali Bombing k = Fires and floods

d = Hussein Depose h = New IR Laws l = Stock market recovery

Prof Cummins 2012

normative range using survey mean scores as data n 25 survey periods

100

90

80

76.4

73.4

70

Subjective

Wellbeing

Mean = 74.9

60

50

SD = 0.8

40

30

20

10

0

Normative rangeusing survey mean scores as data (N=25 survey periods)

Very satisfied

Very dissatisfied

Prof Cummins 2012

why is swb held so steady
Why is SWB held so steady?

Homeostasis

Just like we hold body temperature steady

  • SWB Homeostasis is a management system that acts to keep people feeling normally positive about themself and so resists change

Prof Cummins 2012

each person has a set point for their swb

90

60

Each person has a set-point for their SWB

These set-points

lie between

60 and 90

Range for

individual

set-points

Set-points are always POSITIVE

ie above 50

Prof Cummins 2012

each person has a set point for their swb1

When nothing much is happening to them, people rate how

they feel about their life in terms of their set-point for SWB

Each person has a set-point for their SWB

90

The average set-point

75

60

Time

Prof Cummins 2012

homeostasis can fail

Overwhelming

negative

challenges

Subjective

wellbeing

Homeostasis can fail

The potential result of SWB loss is depression

Prof Cummins 2012

what determines whether we can defend ourselves against homeostatic defeat
What determines whether we can defend ourselves against homeostatic defeat?

Resilience

  • It is the power to defend wellbeing against sources of threat, such as poverty, ill-health and other negative life events
  • It is a balance between personal resources and the level of challenge

Prof Cummins 2012

swb constantly under challenge but is well protected
SWB constantly under challenge, but is well protected

Subjective

Wellbeing

[normal]

X

Challenges

External resources

(eg. Relationships,

Money)

http://www.asianoffbeat.com/default.asp?display=1165

Prof Cummins 2012

income is an external resource that enhances resilience
Income is an external resource that enhances resilience

81

Total N ≈ 30,000

80

79.2

*

79

78.3

78.0

*

78

76.5

77

Subjective

wellbeing

*

76.3

76

*

74.9

75

Normal Range

73.9

74

73.0

73

71.7

72

71

<$15

$15-30

$31-60

$61-90

$91-120

$121-150

$150+

Median

Household Income ($'000)

Prof Cummins 2012

internal resources
Internal resources

X

Subjective

wellbeing

Challenges

External resources

(eg. relationships,

money)

Internal resources

(eg. Finding meaning,

rationalising event)

  • God is testing me
  • It wasn’t my fault
  • I didn’t need that vase

Prof Cummins 2012

slide31

The use of internal resources

When we fail to control the world around us

(Primary Control failure)

we engage Secondary Control to protect SWB

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Japanese_car_accident_blur.jpg

“It wasn’t my fault” reasons (insert name here!)

homeostasis failure

Subjective

wellbeing

Bad

stuff

X

Internal resources

(eg. blaming

someone else)

External resources

(eg. relationships,

money)

Homeostasis failure

The result of subjective wellbeing loss is depression

X

Prof Cummins 2012

predictions for homeostasis theory
Predictions for homeostasis theory
  • The relationship between the strength of challenge to homeostasis and SWB is non-linear
  • The level of challenge to homeostasis is cumulative over sources of stress
  • Of themselves, ill-health and disability only weakly challenge homeostasis
  • Only the person concerned is qualified to report on their own subjective wellbeing.

Prof Cummins 2012

homeostasis can be challenged by
Homeostasis can be challenged by:
  • Chronic pain (arthritis)
  • Chronic stress (informal carers)
  • Lack of intimacy
  • Living conditions (homelessness)
  • Incarceration (prisoners)
  • Poverty (and loss of wealth)
  • Lack of purpose in life

Prof Cummins 2012

so what is the relationship between negative events stressors and swb

High

SWB

?

Low

Very Weak Very Strong

Stressor

So, what is the Relationship Between negative events (stressors) and SWB?

Prof Cummins 2012

the relationship between stress and swb

Dominant source of control

Homeostasis

DISTRESS

High

75

SWB

Threshold

Low

No stress

High stress

Stress

Level of environmental challenge

The Relationship Between Stress and SWB

Prof Cummins 2012

subjective wellbeing is generally insensitive to most medical conditions

80

76.3

78

75.7

76.4

76

73.9

73.7

74

SWB

73.3

72

71.0

70

68

66

64.8

64

62

61.0

60

Blood

Diabetes

Heart

Asthma

Arthritis

Depression

Anxiety

pressure

problems

Subjective Wellbeing is generally insensitive to most medical conditions

Normative range

NB. The medical condition must be consciously experienced

as strongly aversive in order to affect subjective wellbeing

Prof Cummins 2012

body mass index pwi

Underweight

Normal

Overweight

Obese

6.9%

N=499

42.0%

N=3044

35.6%

N=2575

11.2%

N=810

2.9%

N=207

0.8%

N=57

0.3

N=22

Mild

Moderate

Severe

Very severe

77

76.1

76.6

75.3

75.5

Normal Range

75

73.9

73.4

73

SWB

72.7

71.4

71

69

67

66.0

65

15-19

20-24

25-29

30-34

35-39

40-44

45-49

BMI

Body Mass Index (PWI)

Prof Cummins 2012

household structure
Household structure

3.7 point change

Prof Cummins 2012

household structure1
Household structure

3.7 point change

10.4 point change

Prof Cummins 2012

household structure2
Household structure

12.2 point change

Prof Cummins 2012

the personal well being index and the work of the international well being group iwbg

The Personal Well-Being Index and the Work of the International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

the international wellbeing index a psychometric progress report

The International wellbeing Index: A psychometric progress report

Robert A. CUMMINS

Deakin University, Australia

Beatriz ARITA

Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, Mexico

Sergiu BALTATESCU

University of Oradea, Romania

Jozef DZUKA

Presov University, SLOVAKIA

Ferran CASAS

University of Girona, Spain

Anna LAU

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Linda Luz GUERRERO

Social Weather Stations,Philippines

Gerard O'NEILL

Amárach Consulting, IrelandHabib TILIOUINE

University of Oran, AlgeriaGraciela TONON

Universidad Nacional de Lomas de Zamora, ArgentinaAnnapia VERRI

Neurologic Institute C. Mondino and University of Pavia,Italy.

Joar VITTERSO

University of Tromso, Norway

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

slide47
This is an initiative of the IWBG

AIM #1

To examine the relative psychometric performance of a standard SWB Index in different cultural and language groups.

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

aim 2

AIM #2

To get beyond simplistic (and misleading) between-country comparisons of SWB

To build understanding of WHY countries differ in their SWB

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

sample demographics and method
Sample Demographics and Method

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

sample demographics and method1
Sample Demographics and Method

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

slide51

Two global constructs:

Satisfaction with Life as a Whole

Satisfaction with Life in [country]

Personal Wellbeing Index

“How satisfied are you with -------”

National Wellbeing Index

“How satisfied are you with -------”

  • the economic situation in Algeria?
  • 2. the state of the natural environment in Italy?
  • 3. the social conditions in Spain?
  • 4. Government in Romania?
  • business in Australia?
  • 6. national security in Argentina?
  • your standard of living?
  • 2. your health?
  • 3. what you achieve in life?
  • 4. your personal relationships?
  • 5. how safe you feel?
  • feeling part of your community?
  • 7. your future security?

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

factor analysis
Factor Analysis

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

factor analysis1

Algeria

Mexico

Romania

Spain

Australia

Italy

Ireland

Argentina

Factor Analysis
  • All countries tested produce two clean factors (using an item-loading cut-off score of .4
  • BUT, the factors emerge in different orders

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

what causes one factor to be stronger than the other

The strongest factor will be the one with the largest variance

Factor 2

Factor 1

0

100

50

Satisfaction scale

What causes one factor to be stronger than the other?

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

swb homeostasis
SWB Homeostasis

Our SWB is actively managed by a system that strives to maintain our level of happiness close to its genetically determined set-point.

Set-points lie within the positive sector of the 0 – 100 range ie. between 60 - 90

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

proximal distal dimension of homeostasis

Control

mechanism

Homeostasis

HI

Strength of Homeostatic Control

LO

Distal

(not at all about me)

“The Government”

Proximal

(about me)

“My integrity”

Cognition

“How satisfied are you with your -------”

Proximal – Distal Dimension of homeostasis

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

why does the national wellbeing index normally emerge first as the strongest factor

National wellbeing normally has the largest variance

Personal wellbeing: Factor 2

National wellbeing: Factor 1

0

100

50

Satisfaction scale

Why does the National Wellbeing Index normally emerge first as the strongest factor?

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

slide58

Personal wellbeing: Factor 1

National wellbeing: Factor 2

0

100

50

Satisfaction scale

BUT

This will only apply if homeostasis is effective.

In situations of homeostatic defeat, the pattern will be reversed

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

prediction

Factor order

Variance

NWI > PWI

NWI : PWI

Benign

Environment

PWI > NWI

PWI : NWI

Hostile

Theory:The factor order can be diagnostic

of a hostile environment

Prediction

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

factor analysis2

Algeria

Mexico

Romania

Spain

Australia

Italy

Ireland

Argentina

Factor Analysis

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

factor analysis3

Algeria

Mexico

Romania

Spain

Australia

Italy

Ireland

Argentina

Factor Analysis

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

slide62

Algeria

Mexico

Romania

Spain

Australia

Italy

Ireland

Argentina

Factor Analysis

personal wellbeing index
Personal Wellbeing Index

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

personal wellbeing index1

GDP/CAP

PWI

90

35

30.4

77.4

80

30

73.0

72.8

71.1

71.0

69.6

70

27.8

65.6

25

24.6

60

52.3

20.9

20

50

GDP/CAP

Strength

$

of

(x 1,000)

satisfaction

40

15

30

10

8.1

7.4

20

8.8

5.6

5

10

0

0

Mexico

Australia

Ireland

Spain

Italy

Romania

Argentina

Algeria

Personal Wellbeing Index

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

slide65
Comparison SWB and PersonalitySteel, P. & Ones, D.S. (2002). Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 83, 767-81.
  • Source of SWB: Veenhoven’s World Database of Happiness

Mean sample size per country:

  • Affect (hedonic balance) = 2,901
  • Happiness = 25,300
  • Satisfaction = 28,654
  • Number of people involved in the overall data = 2,100,000

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

neo pi r 24 countries
NEO-PI-R (24 countries)
  • Neuroticism(anxious, moody etc)
  • Extraversion (sociable, optimistic etc.)
  • Openness to experience (intellect, appreciate arts etc.)
  • Conscientiousness(organised, industrious)
  • Agreeableness(altruistic, friendly etc.)

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

slide67

Using population mean scores as data

  • NEO-PI-R: Extraversion & Neuroticism
  • Predicting affect R² = .79
    • Variance accounted for by extraversion
  • Predicting SWB (happiness and satisfaction) R² = .64
    • Variance accounted for by neuroticism

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

hierarchical regression
Hierarchical Regression

Step 1:GNP

Step 2: SWB R² = .76 R² =

Here, only neuroticism accounts for change in variance

Personality explains MORE of the variance in between-nation SWB than does GNP !!

.41

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

neuroticism vs personal wellbeing index
Neuroticismvs. Personal Wellbeing Index

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

extraversion vs personal wellbeing index
Extraversionvs. Personal Wellbeing Index

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

conclusions
Conclusions
  • These results are consistent with predictions based on Homeostasis Theory
  • In trying to understand why countries differ in their level of SWB, the variance is at least as informative as the mean scores.
  • Studies highlight the importance of personality in explaining SWB
  • Highlight importance too in being clear about what wants to be measured in terms of SWB
  • Footnote: A study of predictors of mental health & happiness in Japan found extraversion to be strongest predictor of happiness = 20% variance (Furnham and Cheng 1999)

International Well-Being Group (IWBG)

self determination theory sdt
Self-Determination Theory (SDT)
  • In SDT, the nutrients for healthy development and functioning include basic psychological (self) needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
  • When the needs are satisfied, people will develop and function effectively and experience wellbeing, but to the extent that they are thwarted, people more likely evidence ill-being and non-optimal functioning.
    • Deci, EL & Ryan, RM 2000, 'The "What" and "Why" of Goal Pursuits: Human Needs and the Self Determination of Behaviour', Psychological Inquiry, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 227-268.
current future projects
Current & Future projects
  • Sustainable consumption behaviours
    • Energy-saving
    • Waste management
    • Consumer attitude and CWB (charitable-giving and volunteerism)
    • Binge drinking among adolescents and well-being
  • Crime, security & Human rights
    • Human trafficking (Individual and community well-being)
    • Internet security and risk-taking behaviour aversion in young children and well-being
  • Ethics
    • Workplace
collaboration possibilities
Collaboration possibilities
  • Self-determination theory and relationship with attitudes, motivations, behaviours and subjective well-being across many diverse settings
  • Many other areas open for discussion
  • Please contact me to discuss possibilities
useful references
Useful References
  • Cheng, H. and A. Furnham (2003). "Personality, self-esteem, and demographic predictions of happiness and depression." Personality and Individual Differences 34(6): 921-942.
  • Cummins, R. A. (1998). "The second approximation to an international standard for life satisfaction." Social Indicators Research 43(3): 307-334.
  • Cummins, R. A., (1995). On the trail of the gold standard for subjective wellbeing, Social Indicators Research. Vol. 35, No. 2, Pp 179-200
  • Cummins , R. A., (1996). The domains of life satisfaction: An attempt to order chaos. Social Indicators Research. Vol. 38, No. 3, Pp 303-328
  • Cummins, R. A. (2000). "Objective and Subjective Quality of Life: an Interactive Model." Social Indicators Research 52(1): 55-72.
  • Cummins, R. A. (2003). "Normative life satisfaction: Measurement issues and a homeostatic model." Social Indicators Research 64(2): 225-256.
  • Cummins, R. A. (2005). "The domains of life satisfaction: An attempt to order chaos." Citation classics from social indicators research: 559-584.
  • Cummins, R. A., R. Eckersley, et al. (2003). "Developing a national index of subjective wellbeing: The Australian Unity Wellbeing Index." Social Indicators Research 64(2): 159-190.
  • Cummins, R. A., R. Eckersley, et al. (2003). "Developing a national index of subjective wellbeing: The Australian Unity Wellbeing Index." Social Indicators Research 64(2): 159-190.
  • Davern, M. and R. A. Cummins (2006). "Is life dissatisfaction the opposite of life satisfaction?" Australian journal of psychology 58(1): 1-7.
  • Davern, M. T., R. A. Cummins, et al. (2007). "Subjective wellbeing as an affective-cognitive construct." Journal of Happiness Studies 8(4): 429-449.
  • Deci, EL & Ryan, RM 2000, 'The "What" and "Why" of Goal Pursuits: Human Needs and the Self Determination of Behaviour', Psychological Inquiry, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 227-268.
references
References
  • Furnham, A. and H. Cheng (1999). "Personality as predictor of mental health and happiness in the East and West." Personality and Individual Differences 27(3): 395-403.
  • Jones, L. V. and L. L. Thurstone (1955). "The psychophysics of semantics: an experimental investigation." Journal of Applied Psychology 39(1): 31.
  • Lyubomirsky, S., L. King, et al. (2005). "The benefits of frequent positive affect: does happiness lead to success?" Psychological bulletin 131(6): 803.
  • Sirgy, M. J., Gurel-Atay, E., Webb, D., Cicic, M., Husic, M., Ekici, A., Herrmann, A., Hegazy, I., Lee, D. J., Johar, V., (2013), “Is materialism all that bad? Effects on satisfaction with material life, life satisfaction, and economic motivation,” Social Indicators Research, Vol 10, Issue 1, Pp 349-367. DOI 10.1007/s11205-011-9934-2
  • Sirgy, M. J., Gurel-Atay , E., Webb, D., Cicic, M., Husic, M., Ekici, A., Herrmann, A., Hegazy, I., Lee, D.-J. & Johar, J. S. (2012). Linking advertising, materialism, and life satisfaction. Social Indicators Research, DOI: 10.1007/s11205-011-9829-2. Volume 107, Number 1, Pages 79-101
  • Steel, P. and D. S. Ones (2002). "Personality and happiness: a national-level analysis." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 83(3): 767.
  • Webb, D. (2009). "Subjective wellbeing on the Tibetan plateau: An exploratory investigation." Journal of Happiness Studies 10(6): 753-768.
  • Webb, D. and V. Khoo (2010). "Exploring Singaporean Giving Behaviour to Different Charitable Causes." Journal of Research for Consumers.
  • Webb, D. and K. Stuart (2007). "Benefiting Remote Tibetan Communities with Solar Cooker Technology." Practicing Anthropology 29(2): 28-31.
  • Webb, D. and K. Stuart (2007). "Exploring the impact of providing alternative technology products in remote Tibetan communities." Journal of Research for Consumers(12): 1-13.
  • Webb, D., and Wong, J., (In review). Exploring the values and attitudes associated with charitable donations and the impact on subjective well-being. Submitted 12 November 2012 to Social Indicators Research, Springer, The Netherlands.