Social indicators and social development
conference contributionposted on 2007-01-01, 00:00 authored by Robert CumminsRobert Cummins
This paper concerns the use of social indicators to improve social development and the happiness of populations. A distinction will be drawn between the traditional indicators of wealth and health and the new subjective social indicators. These latter measures concern the subjective side of life quality, or happiness, which in contemporary science is more commonly referred to as subjective wellbeing (SWB). The SWB construct is described within the theoretical context of SWB homeostasis. This is a proposed management system which has the role of maintaining a positive view of the self. It will be described how the homeostatic system can be challenged by hardship and defended by a variety of resources. Recommended forms of SWB measurement will be considered. It is concluded that both objective and subjective social indicators should be consulted by policy makers in order to plan the most effective initiatives to enhance population wellbeing.