Subjective Well-Being

Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 95, No. 3, 1984

34 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2013

See all articles by Ed Diener

Ed Diener

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Date Written: 1984


The literature on subjective well-being (SWB), including happiness, life satisfaction, and positive affect, is reviewed in three areas: measurement, causal factors, and theory. Psychometric data on single-item and multi-item subjective well-being scales are presented, and the measures are compared. Measuring various components of subjective well-being is discussed. In terms of causal influences, research findings on the demographic correlates of SWB are evaluated, as well as the findings on other influences such as health, social contact, activity, and personality. A number of theoretical approaches to happiness are presented and discussed: telic theories, associationistic models, activity theories, judgment approaches, and top-down versus bottom-up conceptions.

Suggested Citation

Diener, Ed, Subjective Well-Being (1984). Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 95, No. 3, 1984. Available at SSRN:

Ed Diener (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

601 E John St
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

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