Personal Life Satisfaction as a Measure of Societal Happiness is an Individualistic Presumption: Evidence from Fifty Countries

Kuba KRYS*, Joonha PARK, Agata KOCIMSKA-ZYCH, Aleksandra KOSIARCZYK, Heyla A. SELIM, Agnieszka WOJTCZUK-TUREK, Brian W. HAAS, Yukiko UCHIDA, Claudio TORRES, Colin A. CAPALDI, Michael Harris BOND, John M. ZELENSKI, Vivian Miu-chi LUN, Fridanna MARICCHIOLO, Christin-melanie VAUCLAIR, Iva Poláčková Šolcová, David Sirlopú, Cai XING, Vivian L. VIGNOLES, Wijnand A. P. VAN TILBURGJulien TEYSSIER, Chien-ru SUN, Stanislava STOYANOVA, Ursula SERDAREVICH, Beate SCHWARZ, Ruta SARGAUTYTE, Espen Røysamb, Vladyslav ROMASHOV, Muhammad RIZWAN, Zoran Pavlović, Vassilis PAVLOPOULOS, Yvette VAN OSCH, Ayu OKVITAWANLI, Azar NADI, Martin NADER, Mustaffa NUR FARIZA, Oriana MOSCA, Tamara Mohorić, Pablo Eduardo Barrientos, Arina Malyonova, Xinhui LIU, J. Hannah LEE, Anna KWIATKOWSKA, Nicole KRONBERGER, Lucie Klůzová Kračmárová, Natalia KASCAKOVA, İdil Işık, Eric R. IGOU, David O. IGBOKWE, Diana HANKE-BOER, Alin GAVRELIUC, Ragna B. Garðarsdóttir, Márta Fülöp, Vladimer Lado Gamsakhurdia, Carla Sofia ESTEVES, Alejandra DOMINGUEZ-ESPINOSA, Patrick DENOUX, Salome CHARKVIANI, Arno BALTIN, Arévalo D. M. MIRA, Lily APPOH, Isabelle ALBERT, Charity S. AKOTIA, Mladen ADAMOVIC

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)


Numerous studies document that societal happiness is correlated with individualism, but the nature of this phenomenon remains understudied. In the current paper, we address this gap and test the reasoning that individualism correlates with societal happiness because the most common measure of societal happiness (i.e., country-level aggregates of personal life satisfaction) is individualism-themed. With the data collected from 13,009 participants across fifty countries, we compare associations of four types of happiness (out of which three are more collectivism-themed than personal life satisfaction) with two different measures of individualism. We replicated previous findings by demonstrating that societal happiness measured as country-level aggregate of personal life satisfaction is correlated with individualism. Importantly though, we also found that the country-level aggregates of the collectivism-themed measures of happiness do not tend to be significantly correlated with individualism. Implications for happiness studies and for policy makers are signaled.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding This work was supported by the Polish National Science Centre under Grant 2016/23/D/ HS6/02946; the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science under Grants P17806 and 17F17806; the Hun- garian OTKA under Grant K-111 789; the Brazilian National Council for Research—CNPq under Grant PQ301298/2018-1; the Czech Science Foundation under grant 20-08583S; the Shota Rustaveli National Sci- ence Foundation of Georgia under grant number YS 17–43; the National Natural Science Foundation of China under grant 71873133; and the Department of educational studies, University of Roma Tre under biannual Grant DSF 2017-2018.


  • Collectivism
  • Culture
  • Family happiness
  • Individualism
  • Interdependent happiness
  • Life satisfaction
  • Self-construals
  • Well-being

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    KRYS, K., PARK, J., KOCIMSKA-ZYCH, A., KOSIARCZYK, A., SELIM, H. A., WOJTCZUK-TUREK, A., HAAS, B. W., UCHIDA, Y., TORRES, C., CAPALDI, C. A., BOND, M. H., ZELENSKI, J. M., LUN, V. M., MARICCHIOLO, F., VAUCLAIR, C., Poláčková Šolcová, I., Sirlopú, D., XING, C., VIGNOLES, V. L., ... ADAMOVIC, M. (2020). Personal Life Satisfaction as a Measure of Societal Happiness is an Individualistic Presumption: Evidence from Fifty Countries. Journal of Happiness Studies.