What are people saying when they report they are happy or life satisfied
The study of happiness was dominated with the model of subjective well-being. With the advent of positive psychology the eudaimonic and hedonic models entered the field, but major surveys continue to use single-item measures of life satisfaction or happiness. We study the associations between life satisfaction and happiness, measured single-items with a graphic representation of a ladder and a thermometer, and three models of happiness: the subjective well-being, the eudaimonic and hedonic. The results showed that subjective well-being was the main predictor of life satisfaction and hedonic model also predicted a small amount of this variable. For happiness the predictors were the same but in reversed order, the main predictor was the hedonic model and a small variance was explained by subjective well-being. Contrary to our hypothesis the eudaimonic perspective of happiness was not a predictor in none of the models. These results underline the importance of the interaction between a cognitive or appraisal perspective and the hedonic perspectives for the study of happiness.
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