The Happy Culture: A Theoretical, Meta-Analytic, and Empirical Review of the Relationship Between Culture and Wealth and Subjective Well-Being

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Vasyl Taras, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Do cultural values enhance financial and subjective well-being (SWB)? Taking a multidisciplinary approach, we meta-analytically reviewed the field, found it thinly covered, and focused on individualism. In counter, we collected a broad array of individuallevel data, specifically an Internet sample of 8,438 adult respondents. Individual SWB was most strongly associated with cultural values that foster relationships and social capital, which typically accounted for more unique variance in life satisfaction than an individual’s salary. At a national level, we used mean-based meta-analysis to construct a comprehensive cultural and SWB database. Results show some reversals from the individual level, particularly masculinity’s facet of achievement orientation. In all, the happy nation has low power distance and low uncertainty avoidance, but is high in femininity and individualism, and these effects are interrelated but still partially independent from political and economic institutions. In short, culture matters for individual and national well-being.

Additional Information

Personality and Social Psychology Review, 1-42
Language: English
Date: 2017
satisfaction, subjective well-being, culture, wealth, governance

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