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Perspect Psychol Sci. 2018 Mar;13(2):171-175. doi: 10.1177/1745691616689467.

Beyond Money: Progress on an Economy of Well-Being.

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1 Department of Psychology, University of Virginia.
2 Department of Psychology, University of Utah.
3 The Gallup Organization, Omaha, Nebraska.
4 Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania.


In our 2004 "Beyond Money" article, we argued that national accounts of psychological and subjective well-being should complement the economic indicators that frequently guide policy decisions. We claimed that economic indicators fail to reflect important aspects of quality of life that well-being indicators capture. Since the time of our article, progress has been made, and scores of nations have used some forms of well-being measures. The National Academy of Sciences of the United States and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development both issued reports on accounts of well-being. Researchers have pointed to policies that are supported by the findings, such as environmental and economic policies. The emergence of "big data" has opened major new pathways for measuring well-being in inexpensive, unobtrusive, and nonreactive fashion. Psychological researchers now need to create superordinate combinations of subjective and objective measures of well-being to study the impact of the policies they advocate. The accounts can serve as a lever for convincing policymakers to enact policies that increase human flourishing.


application; policy; positive psychology

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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