A Demonstration of Set-Points for Subjective Wellbeing
AuthorCummins, RA; Li, N; Wooden, M; Stokes, M
Source TitleJournal of Happiness Studies
AffiliationMelbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research
Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsCummins, R. A., Li, N., Wooden, M. & Stokes, M. (2014). A Demonstration of Set-Points for Subjective Wellbeing. Journal of Happiness Studies, 15 (1), pp.183-206. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-013-9444-9.
Access StatusOpen Access
ARC Grant codeARC/DP1095497
This paper presents evidence for the existence of ‘set-points’ for subjective wellbeing. Our results derive from a 10-year longitudinal study in which subjective wellbeing has been measured using a single question of general life satisfaction. The process of data analysis is driven by logic based on the theory of subjective wellbeing homeostasis. This analysis involves the iterative elimination of raw data, from 7,356 individual respondents, based on confidence limits. All results are projected onto a 0–100 point scale. We demonstrate evidence for the existence of set-points lying between 71 and 90 points, with an average set-point-range of 18–20 points for each person. The implications and limitations of these findings are discussed.
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