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A Theory of Subjective Wellbeing


Fabian, M, A Theory of Subjective Wellbeing, Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, pp. 1-425. ISBN 9780197635261 (2022) [Authored Research Book]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2022 Oxford University Press

DOI: doi:10.1093/oso/9780197635261.001.0001


The study of "subjective wellbeing" has seen explosive growth in recent decades, opening important new discourses in personality and social psychology, happiness economics, and moral philosophy. Now it is moving into the policy domain. In this it has arguably overstepped its limits. The shallow theoretical base of subjective wellbeing research, the limitations of its measurement instruments, and its ethical naivety make policymaking on the basis of its findings a risky venture. The present volume is an attempt to shore up these weaknesses and set subjective wellbeing scholarship on a course for several more decades of growth and maturation. It presents a theory of subjective wellbeing in two parts. The first is the subjective wellbeing production function—a model of wellbeing as outcome. The second is the coalescence of being—a model of the self-actualization process by which wellbeing is achieved. This two-part model integrates ideas from subjective wellbeing studies with complementary ideas in analytical and continental philosophy, clinical, moral, and developmental psychology, and welfare economics. Importantly, this theory is ethically sensitive, bridging the gap between the philosophical and psychological perspectives on wellbeing in a way that illuminates the complexities facing the application of subjective wellbeing in public policy. The book also provides a thorough review of various ways in which subjective wellbeing can be studied empirically, and the hard trade-offs we face between long surveys that capture the richness of the concept and the parsimony required by social surveys and policy analysis.

Item Details

Item Type:Authored Research Book
Keywords:wellbeing, public policy, happiness, measurement
Research Division:Economics
Research Group:Applied economics
Research Field:Welfare economics
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Ethics
Objective Field:Ethics not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Fabian, M (Dr Mark Fabian)
ID Code:153607
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:CALE Research Institute
Deposited On:2022-09-27
Last Modified:2022-10-18

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