Happiness and Quality of Life

Personal satisfaction is considered as a broad concept that covers three components: 1) quality of the living environment, 2) quality of life domains and 3) affective well-being. 'Happiness' is seen as an aspect of the latter component. It is defined as the overall positive affect in one's life. This section explores the relationship of happiness with the first two components of personal satisfaction. A body of empirical happiness research shows that happiness correlates with many aspects of the living environment, particularly with economic prosperity, social connections, and leisure activities. However, not all aspects of the environment considered beneficial appear to be related to happiness, for example, income inequality or job security. Empirical research also shows associations between happiness and life domains, particularly with physical and mental health. Again, there are notable exceptions, for example, happiness seems irrelevant to intelligence. The research illustrates that personal satisfaction is not a singular construct. Rather than one quality, the term indicates composite of characteristics. Therefore, the term should be used as a general descriptor. However, measurement and intervention require further specific concepts.

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