Correlational finding on Happiness and Preference for happiness (over other goods)
Subject code: P11ab01

StudyAdler et al. (2015): study US 2013
TitleWould you Choose to be Happy? Tradeoffs between Happiness and the other Dimensions of Life in a Large Population Survey.
SourceDuke Law School Public Law & Legal Theory Series, 2015, No. 2015-35, 1 - 51
URLhttp://ssrn.com/abstract=2640117
Public18+ aged, general public, United States of America, 2013
SampleProbability sample (unspecified)
Non-Response
Respondents N =6545

Correlate
Author's labelPreference for happiness
Page in Source 3-5,14-18,20
Our classificationPreference for happiness (over other goods), code P11ab01
Operationalization
Priority for happiness in choices between happines and 
another valued matter in an imaginary life scenarios
a: health
b: income
c: career
d: family
e: knowledge


1 choice for happiness
0 choice for other good
Observed distributionChoice for happiness(LS) in all 5 cases - on brief scenario 17,3% - on extended scenario 21,7% Choice for other good in all 5 cases - on brief scenario 4,9% - on extended scenario 4,2%
Remarks
Choices are presented in two formats: Brief and 
Extended
Example of a BRIEF scenario:
- Life A: You feel satisfied with your life. You have 
not enough money to get by
- Life B: You do not feel satisfied with your life. You 
have enough money to get by
Example of an EXTENDED scenario: Health vs. mood:
Life One:
Michael is in good health. He has never had a major 
illness or injury. He rarely catches the cold or the  
flu, and almost never needs to take a sick day at work. 
Michael sees his doctor annually for a check-up, and 
always receives a clean bill of health". He does not 
take any medications on an ongoing basis. Michael is 
strong, and good at physical activities.
Despite his good health, Michael does not feel happy on 
a day-to-day basis. He often feels anxious. Michael is 
a grumpy person who often reacts negatively to the 
normal stresses of life. He tends to dwell on setbacks 
or annoyances. If asked to rate his happiness on a 
scale from 0 to 10, Michael would say that it is a 4".
Life Two:
Justin is in poor health. He has a chronic disease for 
which he takes daily medications. The disease is not 
life-threatening but makes it difficult for Justin to 
walk long distances or engage in sports or other 
vigorous physical activities. Justin experiences 
moderate pain several times a day. Justin sees his 
physician regularly about the disease. Despite his poor 
health, Justin feels happy on a day-to-day basis. He 
rarely feels anxious. Justin is a cheery person who is 
not bothered by the normal stresses of life, and does 
not feel upset even when he thinks about his health 
condition. He tends to ignore setbacks and annoyances. 
If asked to rate his happiness on a scale from 0 to 10, 
Justin would say that it is an 8".

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-SLu-c-sq-n-11-cOPRC=+ ns
Preference for happiness(LS) on BRIEF scenario's
Difference from lowest happiness quartile (1):
- quartile 2: OPRC = +.01  (ns) 
- quartile 3: OPRC = -.001 (ns)
- quartile 4: OPRC = -.012 (ns)
O-SLu-c-sq-n-11-cOPRC=+ ns
Preference for happiness(LS) on EXTENDED  
scenario's
Difference from lowest happiness quartile (1):
- quartile 2: OPRC = +.019 (ns) 
- quartile 3: OPRC = +.007 (ns)
- quartile 4: OPRC = +.007 (ns)

OPRCís controlled for
- sexe
- age
- family situation
  - marital status
  - having children
- education
- employment


Appendix 1: Happiness measures used
CodeFull Text
O-SLu-c-sq-n-11-cSelfreport on single question:

Overall how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?
0 not at all
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10 completely


Appendix 2: Statistics used
SymbolExplanation
OPRCORDERED PROBIT REGRESSION COEFFICIENT
Statistic: Ordered probit regression coefficient
Measurement level: Correlate: metric, Happiness: ordered responses
Theoretical range: unlimited

OPRC > 0 A one unit increase in the independent variable corresponds to a higher probability of responding in the highest category of the dependent variable and to a lower probability of responding in the lowest category of the dependent variable.

OLRC< 0 A one unit increase in the independent variable corresponds to a lower probability of responding in the highest category of the dependent variable and to a higher probability of responding in the lowest category of the dependent variable.

OLRC = 0 No relationship between the independent and dependent variable..

Remarks:
The interpretation for the intermediate categories of the dependent variable are ambiguous. It is advised to use marginal effects..
Source:
Ruut Veenhoven, World Database of Happiness, Collection of Correlational Findings, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
https://worlddatabaseofhappiness.eur.nl