Sun and Water: On a Modulus-Based Measurement of Happiness
Christopher K. Hsee
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business
affiliation not provided to SSRN
Emotion, Vol. 7, pp. 213-218, 2007
Most happiness researchers use semantic differential or Likert scales to assess happiness. Such conventionally used scales are susceptible to scale renorming (interpretation of scales differently in different contexts) and can produce a specious relativism effect (e.g., rating a low-income person happier than a high-income person in situations where the low-income person is not happier). Building on related psychophysical measurements, the authors propose a simple, survey-friendly, modulus-based scale of happiness and show that it is less susceptible to specious relativism than conventional rating scales but can still catch genuine relativism (e.g., rating a low-income person to be happier than a high-income person in situations where the low-income person is indeed happier).
Number of Pages in PDF File: 6
Keywords: measurement scale, renorming, scale calibration, happiness
JEL Classification: D81, D11, D12, D91
Date posted: May 24, 2008
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