A New Method For Comparing Subjective Wellbeing ACRoss Countries and Its Correlation With Suicide

Joachim Vosgerau, Carnegie Mellon, USA
Hubert Gatignon, INSEAD, France
Ed Diener, University of Illinois - Urbana Champagne, USA
Cross-national comparisons of subjective well-being (SWB) suffer from individual and national response biases (e.g. self-enhancement, positivity, or social desirability). Many researchers argue that meaningful comparisons across countries are therefore impossible. We demonstrate with simulated data that a new method, the differenced confirmatory factor analysis (dCFA), eliminates response biases as opposed to extant methods such as simple means or traditional CFA. Using two independent SWB datasets of 26 and 30 countries, we show that dCFA yields dramatically different country rankings, and that suicide rates correlate with SWB means.
[ to cite ]:
Joachim Vosgerau, Hubert Gatignon, and Ed Diener (2007) ,"A New Method For Comparing Subjective Wellbeing ACRoss Countries and Its Correlation With Suicide", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 355-358.