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Studies

Wessman (1956): study US 1946

Publication

Author(s):
Wessman, A.E.
Title:
A Psychological Inquiry into Satisfaction and Happiness.
Source:
Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, Princeton University, 1956, USA

Investigation

Public:
21+ aged, general public, USA, 1946
Survey name:
Gallup poll
Sample:
Non-probability purposive-quota sample
Respondents:
N = 2377
Non Response:
-
Assessment:
Interview: face-to-face
Structured interview

Happiness Measure(s) and Distributional Findings

Full text:
Self report on single question:

In general, how happy would you say you are..?
4  very happy
3  fairly happy
2  not very happy
1  not at all happy
-   NA/DK
Classification:
O-HL-g-sq-v-4-b
Author's label:
Avowed happiness
Remarks:
4- step scale reduced to 3 by combining response options 1 and 2. On this reduced 3-step scale:  M = 2.31, Sd = 0.63
Page in publication:
170
Observed distribution
Frequencies
1: 1%,   2: 7%,   3: 45%,   4: 46%   (total 99%)
Summary Statistics
On original range 1 - 4 On range 0-10
Mean:
3.37 7.55
SD:
0.66 1.85

Correlational Findings

Author's label Subject Description Finding Age Current age (in years) Educational level Level of school-education Unfulfilled aspirations: education, follow a talent Specific concerns
Educational aspirations
Specific changes wanted
Realization of educational goals
Desired personal changes: more education Educational aspirations
Specific changes wanted
Object of life-goals
White race Ethnic status in the USA Childlessness Current parental status State of family relationships Current climate
Perceived quality of intimate ties
Most important worry: health (personal and family Specific concerns
Concern about intimates
Concerns about health
Specific worries
Unfulfilled aspirations: marriage, children, husband Current want for children
Specific changes wanted
Perceived realization of specific life-goals
Children as planned
Male sex Sexe: male (vs female) Perceived happiest period Happiest period in life Perceived major factor in people's happiness Perceived sources of every-bodies happiness Perceived major factor in people's Unhappiness Perceived sources of every-bodies happiness Positive attitude towards marriage Perceived level of happiness of specific social categories
Perceived happiness of the married
Meaning attached to the word "happiness" Concept of happiness
Perceived sources of happiness
Happy nature Self-perceived happy nature
Happy
Satisfaction with marriage In specific periods in the past
Attitudes to one's own marital status
Satisfaction with marriage
Self-perceived health Global health self-rating Desired personal changes: health Specific changes wanted
Concerns about health
Desired personal changes Specific concerns
Specific changes wanted
Desire to change Wish to change life Unfulfilled aspirations mentioned Attitude to having children
Aspired income-increase
Attitudes to leisure
Specific changes wanted
Object of life-goals
Perceived realization of specific life-goals
Attitudes to entering marriage
Occupational aspirations
Attitudes to one's possessions
Satisfaction with housework Satisfaction with home-making Economic status 'Objective' socio-economic status Unfulfilled aspirations: money Specific concerns
Income aspirations
Specific changes wanted
Object of life-goals
Perceived realization of specific life-goals
Materialistic values
Most important worry: financial worries, money Specific concerns
Worrying about money
Specific worries
Time spent in disliked activities Time spent on disliked activities
Satisfaction with time-use
Never married (vs widowed) Never married (vs widowed) Married (vs never married) Married vs never married Married (vs widowed) Married vs widowed Married (vs divorced) Married vs divorced Never married (vs divorced) Never married (vs divorced) Widowed (vs divorced) Widowed (vs divorced) Caring about what other people think of you Specific concerns
Approval seeking
Ease of making friends Ability to maintain intimate contacts
Sociable
Length Height Overweight Weight Desired personal changes: physical: appearance Interest in appearance
Specific concerns
Specific changes wanted
Most important worry politics, world and national conditions Specific concerns
Political concern
Specific worries
Amount of worrying Amount of worrying Most important worry Specific concerns
Specific worries
Religiousness Satisfaction with religion Non-religious Church-member or not Religious affiliation Current religious denomination
Church-member or not
Church attendance Participation in church Satisfaction with present age Satisfaction with age Satisfaction with community Specific changes wanted
Attitude to vicinity
Satisfaction with friends Satisfaction with friends
Specific changes wanted
Job satisfaction Satisfaction with work-as-a-whole Satisfaction with housework Satisfaction with home-making Desire: character changes (worry less) Specific changes wanted
Concern about character
Attitudes to own worrying
Most important worry: personality Specific concerns
Concern about character
Specific worries
Desire: better social relationships Concern about intimates
Specific changes wanted
Worry: work conditions Current concern about work
Specific worries
Unfulfilled aspirations: new job, own business Specific changes wanted
Perceived realization of specific life-goals
Occupational aspirations
Unfulfilled aspirations: move to country, become farmer Attitudes to farming
Specific changes wanted
Perceived realization of specific life-goals
Attitude to urban life
Occupational aspirations
Desire: better work and attitudes towards it Specific changes wanted
Occupational aspirations
Current concern about work
Having unfulfilled aspirations O-HL by C-RW
Having goals or not (life-planning)
Perceived realization of life-goal set