Measuring Happiness: Examining Definitions and Instruments

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Abubakarr Jalloh


This paper examines the literature on happiness. Specifically, the definition of happiness as it relates to life satisfaction and subjective well-being (SWB). Additionally, the instruments used to index the indicators of happiness are explored. The paper discusses the construct of happiness and how it has been used and researched, including the different scales and instruments utilized to measure life satisfaction and SWB. Happiness is defined as the subjective enjoyment of an individual’s holistic life. The literature defines happiness in the context of life satisfaction and SWB, which involves people’s evaluation of how satisfied they are with their lives. The construct of happiness includes life satisfaction, positive psychology, and emotional well-being. Some of the extensively used instruments and scales to measure happiness include Satisfaction with Life Scale, Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Index, Single-Item Measurement of Happiness, and Oxford Happiness Questionnaire.

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Abubakarr Jalloh, University of Northern Iowa

Doctoral Candidate - University of Northern Iowa