Ex WB is a term with a very close connection with the much older and extensive field of mood and emotions.A reasonable argument can be made that the terms hedonic well-being and emotions are synonymous; and sometimes hedonic well-being is called “emotional well-being” (see, for example, Zou et al., unpublished).2.1 DISTINCTIVENESS OF EXPERIENCED AND EVALUATIVE WELL-BEING An important consideration for determining the value of Ex WB data and statistics—for research, policy, and general information purposes—is its distinctiveness from measures of evaluative well-being.One might expect people with high levels of overall SWB to report, in most cases, relatively high levels for both its evaluative and experienced dimensions.These range from the moment-to-moment assessments of affect to instruments that require reflection by respondents about longer time periods, such as how they felt “yesterday.” At the longer intervals, well-being assessments are likely to take on the characteristics of “life evaluation” measures.Experience measures can, in a sense, be viewed as a subspectrum of the overall subjective well-being (SWB) continuum, which at one end involves a point-in-time reference period and is purely hedonic (“How do you feel at this moment?”) and at the other end involves evaluation of a comparatively very long reference period (“Taking all things together, how would you evaluate your life? The Ex WB portion of the continuum ranges from the momentary assessments of affect (the shortest framing period) to global-day assessments or day reconstructions at the longer end.As the reference and recall periods lengthen, a measure takes on more and more characteristics of an evaluative well-being assessment.
But what is it, in a society where so many of the conditions that might once have stood in the way of happiness have been removed or brought under control, that makes us so uneasy, so fearful that our lives are not yet safely in hand, that the future we are facing…? Sure, it can tell us how neurons fire, how genes affect cognition, how biases hurt and help us, etc.
Very high associations of Ex WB with evaluative measures would mitigate the case for regularly including both types of measures in data collections.
The goal ________________ This is known as the reporting period.
Douglas Adams captures the hilarity of trying to describe something complex and infinite in a single number.
We just need to work a little harder — check a few more boxes — and we’ll get to where we want to go. And, even if it does, will it take us where we want to go?Historically, the “standard” period studied for hedonic well-being or Ex WB analysis has been a single day.