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Evolution of the Subject Area of Happiness and Subjective Well-Being Research in World and Russian Science

Evolution of the Subject Area of Happiness and Subjective Well-Being Research in World and Russian Science

Journal of Economic Regulation, , Vol. 11 (no. 4),

The article provides an analytical overview of the peculiarities of the international and Russian tradition of studying overlapping structures describing happiness, subjective well-being, quality of life and satisfaction. The semantic content of such constructions and the peculiarities of their use in empirical research are studied. The most common and studied determinants of subjective well-being are described. Existing Russian and international databases that can serve as sources of well-being analysis in the time and cross-country space are considered. A semantic analysis of the concept of "happiness" as the closest and most commonly used synonym for the term "subjective well-being" is conducted. The discussion questions of the relationship of theoretical constructs describing the concept of subjective well-being are discussed in detail. A characterisation of the extent to which the existing needs of an individual are met has been proposed as a basis for developing similar structures, where it is important to take into account the individual specificity and level character of the needs themselves. It has been shown that the concept of subjective well-being is adequately described by the parameter of need satisfaction, the indicator of which is positive emotions. A model of subjective well-being is considered, which takes into account the difference between the hedonistic component characterized by a measure of satisfaction with universal basic needs determined by material and other resources, and the eudemonistic component characterising success in achieving individual meaningful life goals. The article provides an analysis of the fact that a person's well-being is determined both through an assessment or self-assessment of his or her social status and situation, his or her ideas about the possibility and feasibility of achieving the desired goal. On this basis, a two-level model of subjective well-being is proposed, distinguishing between an affective component, such as an assessment of an individual's emotional balance at the time of measurement and a cognitive component, which characterises the assessment of quality of life in general, the degree of subjectivity and reasonableness in achieving a person's life goals.


Keywords: subjective well-being; happiness; life satisfaction; subjective quality of life; crosscountry research; needs; hedonia and eudemony meaning; effort and success

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