Correlational finding on Happiness and Total wealth
Subject code: P12ab01

StudyHowell et al. (2006): study MY 2003
TitleDoes Wealth Enhance Life Satisfaction for People Who Are Materially Deprived? Exploring the Association among the 'Orang Asli' of Peninsular Malaysia.
SourceSocial Indicators Research, 2006, Vol. 76, 499 - 524
DOIDOI:10.1007/s11205-005-3107-0
PublicHeads of households, Malaysia, 2003
SampleProbability systematic sample
Non-Response4,6%
Respondents N =307

Correlate
Author's labelwealth composite index; possessions&savings
Page in Source 506-511
Our classificationTotal wealth, code P12ab01
Operationalization
A wealth composite index; formed as the sum of z-scores 
for:
a. material wealth
b. log of savings.

Material wealth: possessions of household-members on a 
list of items; each item gets a weight based on its 
market price as a used good. In order of decreasing 
price: a gas stove, a motorcycle, radio, television, 
electricity, bicycle,indoor bathroom, chainsaw,  VCD 
player, generator, cellular phone, automobile, 
refrigirator.
Observed distributionMaterial wealth (USD): M=538; SD=411 Log-savings M=1,61; SD=1,28 Composite (z-scores) M=0,00; SD=1,57

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-Sum-u-mq-n-7-br=+.23 p < .01
Correlation between wealth and life satisfaction 
is stronger if measurement errors for life 
satisfaction are removed (from .23 to .43). In 
rich nations measurements errors are less 
substantial (Cronbach alpha is .83, in poor 
nations .64) and the correlation would only 
increase from .13 to .15. The difference in 
correlation between life satisfaction and wealth 
in poor and rich nations (.43 versus .15) supports 
the need theory for life satisfaction (see 
picure).
Set Image size:   



Appendix 1: Happiness measures used
CodeFull Text
O-Sum-u-mq-n-7-bSelfreport on five questions:

A I am very content with my life
B Nothing is currently lacking in my life
C When I examine my life as a whole, I feel I am not meeting my aspirations*
D I feel dissatisfied because I'm not doing everything that I want to be doing in my life*

Rating:
1 strongly disagree
.
.
7 strongly agree
* reversed keyed item

Name: Contentment with life assesment Scale (CLASS)


Appendix 2: Statistics used
SymbolExplanation
rPRODUCT-MOMENT CORRELATION COEFFICIENT (Also "Pearson's correlation coefficient' or simply 'correlation coefficient')
Type: test statistic.
Measurement level: Correlate: metric, Happiness: metric
Range: [-1; +1]

Meaning:
r = 0 no correlation ,
r = 1 perfect correlation, where high correlate values correspond with high happiness values, and
r = -1 perfect correlation, where high correlate values correspond with low happiness values.
Source:
Ruut Veenhoven, World Database of Happiness, Collection of Correlational Findings, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
https://worlddatabaseofhappiness.eur.nl