If “subjective well-being” isn’t a good indicator of happiness, is there some other notion that fares better?
Various proposals have been made, typically falling under the banner of what is called “psychological well-being.” This notion harkens back to Aristotle’s definition of happiness (eudaimonia) as “an exercise of virtue” and calls attention to those qualities that appear to make for an “excellent life:” self-actualization, autonomy, creativity, purpose in life etc. The advantage here is that we do not have to rely on peoples’ self-reports: we can simply witness their activities and see how they respond under various conditions to measure how much of a certain quality they possess. The problem however is determining an unbiased set of “objective conditions” of happiness. Furthermore, there is still the issue that many creative types may score very high on such tests yet seem to be miserable, as in the cases of artists like Vincent Van Gogh. Maybe happiness is a mansion with many rooms: if so, there may not be one single notion that accounts for all its facets. On this website we have chos
*Sadly, we had to bring back ads too. Hopefully more targeted.