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Advancing wellbeing research: would Americans be happier if they lived like Australians?

Conference Paper


Abstract


  • International comparisons of subjective wellbeing (SWB) rarely account for the situational

    and social context of the experience of emotions such as the happiness and pleasantness

    associated with everyday activities. Kahneman and Krueger’s landmark Princeton Affect and

    Time Survey (PATS, 2006) reveals the emotional context to the daily time‐schedules of

    Americans, and enables aggregation of time and emotion data to produce estimates of

    ‘pleasant’ and ‘unpleasant’ time across a range of activities. Given the cultural and

    institutional differences between Americans and Australians, we would expect substantial

    differences in unpleasant time to emerge between the two countries, and a hypothetical

    examination of what would happen if Americans shifted to Australian time schedules is

    revealing. This paper analyses the PATS data and finds that shifting to Australian time

    schedules has mixed effects for Americans. The shift produces a small but significant change

    in net ‘unpleasant’ time, and reveals an interesting exchange whereby Americans would

    gain pleasant time in certain categories but lose it in others. There are substantial gender

    effects as well. The paper argues that it is imperative to conduct a time and emotion survey

    in Australia, to directly compare time and emotional wellbeing between the two countries.

Publication Date


  • 2011

Citation


  • Patulny, R. & Fisher, K. 2011, ''Advancing wellbeing research: would Americans be happier if they lived like Australians?'', Emotions in Social Life: New Advance in Sociological and Policy Research, Social Policy Research Centre, Sydney,

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/artspapers/1262

Place Of Publication


  • Sydney

Abstract


  • International comparisons of subjective wellbeing (SWB) rarely account for the situational

    and social context of the experience of emotions such as the happiness and pleasantness

    associated with everyday activities. Kahneman and Krueger’s landmark Princeton Affect and

    Time Survey (PATS, 2006) reveals the emotional context to the daily time‐schedules of

    Americans, and enables aggregation of time and emotion data to produce estimates of

    ‘pleasant’ and ‘unpleasant’ time across a range of activities. Given the cultural and

    institutional differences between Americans and Australians, we would expect substantial

    differences in unpleasant time to emerge between the two countries, and a hypothetical

    examination of what would happen if Americans shifted to Australian time schedules is

    revealing. This paper analyses the PATS data and finds that shifting to Australian time

    schedules has mixed effects for Americans. The shift produces a small but significant change

    in net ‘unpleasant’ time, and reveals an interesting exchange whereby Americans would

    gain pleasant time in certain categories but lose it in others. There are substantial gender

    effects as well. The paper argues that it is imperative to conduct a time and emotion survey

    in Australia, to directly compare time and emotional wellbeing between the two countries.

Publication Date


  • 2011

Citation


  • Patulny, R. & Fisher, K. 2011, ''Advancing wellbeing research: would Americans be happier if they lived like Australians?'', Emotions in Social Life: New Advance in Sociological and Policy Research, Social Policy Research Centre, Sydney,

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/artspapers/1262

Place Of Publication


  • Sydney