International Differences Of Well Being

1005 Words Apr 16th, 2015 5 Pages
As I continued my research, Ruut Veenhoven stated this question in Chapter 11 of the book "International Differences of Well-Being"—"the discussions centers on whether happiness is similar for all humans or rather something that varies across cultures (328)." This question interests me, because it is a question that I think is very important. We all have a wide range of different priorities and values. First, he chooses to define happiness: "I use the word ‘happiness ' for a subjective state of mind, which I define as the overall appreciation of one 's life-as-a-whole. Happiness is the ‘sum of pleasures and pains '. Happiness in this sense is synonymous with ‘life satisfaction ' and ‘subjective well-being ' (Veenhoven 329)." Veenhoven, then, breaks up the questions "How universal is happiness" into sub-questions because it is too broad to answer. Veenhoven says that, although the mood is something we are aware of it is mostly not in the foreground of our consciousness. It is still assessable, and we can estimate how well we feel most of the time, unlike babies.
Overall, Veenhoven finds that the circumstances of being happy seem to be the same across the world and so are the consequences of enjoying life or not (329). Veenhoven 's use of surveys and statistics makes his research believable to his audience. He shows that being happy is not complicated, and most people know whether they are happy with life or not. I think if we looked at the specifics of what made us happy,…
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