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November 2017

Definition and Measures of Subjective Wellbeing: Discussion paper 3

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Definition and Measures of Subjective Wellbeing: Discussion paper 3
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Definition and Measures of Subjective Wellbeing (Discussion paper 3)

It is enormously encouraging that so many government organisations and international bodies are recognising human wellbeing as a policy outcome – even a policy priority. This crystallises the need for good wellbeing measures.

In this short paper, I will make the folloawing points:

If something is worth measuring, it is worth measuring well.

  • We need to separate the core construct of subjective wellbeing  from the external factors and internal resources that influence it.
  • Subjective wellbeing is a multi-dimensional construct.
  • If we are going to measure subjective wellbeing well, we need a multi-dimensional measure.
  • For policy purposes, we need to identify the levers of change for different dimensions of wellbeing.
  • This requires good measures of the external factors and internal resources that have the greatest influence on subjective wellbeing, along with a good multi-dimensional measure of subjective wellbeing itself.
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