Issues of Subjective Well-being

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CHAPTER1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background of study Generally, the issues of Subjective Well-being (SWB) is always be discussed and highlighted.  A lot of social psychologists and behavioral psychologists have been put their attention into the studies of a SWB. Seligman (2002) posited that SWB has sparked interest among the researches in the field of social science. Besides, some scholars also claimed that it has become a major topic in social research over the last three decades (Diener, Suh, Lucas, & Smith, 1999).

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Pioneering work by Diener (1984) located SWB as central to a person’s experience containing measurable positive aspects and involving a global assessment of that person’s life. However, cognitive evaluation of life satisfaction as a whole, and emotional reactions to life events were later integrated into this definition (Diener & Diener, 1995). In the other words, there are two facets in SWB which are life satisfaction and happiness (Diener, Kesebir, & Lucas, 2008). Life satisfaction is refers the cognitive component which widely recognized as an important indicator of SWB (Diener, 2000). Another facet in SWB is happiness. The origin of the word “happiness” in the English language comes from the word “hap” which means, “what just happens, chance, luck — whether good or bad” (Griffin, 2007). Therefore, it is an emotional component which separate into positive and negative affect. Positive affect reflects the frequency of one’s experience positive moods and emotions. However, if one’s experience negative moods and emotions, his/ her categorized possesses negative affect. It noted that both affects are feelings that subject to momentary changes in response to daily events. Thus, happiness and life satisfaction are significant predictors to determine SWB which refers peoples’ evaluation of their lives in general (Diener, 2000). For instance, one’s who perceives satisfied with his/her life and feels happy, his/her is categorized high SWB. According to previous study, people who express high SWB are tend to live a longer life as likely to be healthier and more resistant to illness compared to people in low SWB (Danner et al., 2001). Conversely, there are some scholars tend to see happiness, life satisfaction, and well-being as synonymous and interchangeable for one another (Easterlin, 2003). Therefore, there are not differences between each of them in the study of well-being. Nevertheless, the focus of the present study is life satisfaction because Nettle (2005) argued that the assessment of people view their life satisfaction is more stable compared to happiness which reflects a summary of “judgments about feelings”. In the other words, people tend to give the same pattern of response over time with slightly different question wording are used in answering the life satisfaction assessment (Diener, Suh, Lucas & Smith, 1999). In fact, the idea of life satisfaction was proposed by Neugarten et al. (1961). According to the study,

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