Dimensions of measuring SWL
Team G: Patrick Curtis, Salah Hammad, Jinxi Weng, Kevin Hsiao Marketing 4910 01 3 December 2018
When we were assigned to analyze a happiness index, the sections we decided to focus on were overall satisfaction with life and affect (feelings). These sections included the following eight questions that we decided to examine and put our efforts towards: 1. Please imagine a ladder with steps numbered from zero at the bottom to ten at the top. Suppose we say that the top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible. If the top step is 10 and the bottom step is 0, on which step of the ladder do you feel you personally stand at the present time? 2. Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays? 3. Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile? 4. I lead a purposeful and meaningful life. 5. I am engaged and interested in my daily activities. 6. I am optimistic about my future. 7. Most days I feel a sense of accomplishment from what I do. 8. In general, I would say my health is:
The two groups we chose to compare were individuals who lived alone and individuals who lived with at least one other individual (this ranged from 1 roommate to 20 or more). The reason we decided to focus on this group was to see how living with someone else impacted the respondents outlook on their life and how optimistic they felt. Our hypothesis was that individuals who live alone will rank themselves lower on all 8 questions. Our reasoning behind this hypothesis was that individuals who lived with at least one other person would, on average, spend less time alone and also share closer bonds with a greater number of people. Living with roommates gives an individual far more time to be around with people they likely are acquainted with and friends with, therefore feel less lonely. However, this hypothesis is based off the assumption that the majority of respondents with roommates are living with people they enjoy being around. Our hypothesis may be proven incorrect depending on the respondents living situations and who they live with.
UW Group Analysis If the top step is 10 and the bottom step is 0, on which step of the ladder do you feel you personally stand at the present time? Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays? Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile? I lead a purposeful and meaningful life. I am engaged and interested in my daily activities. I am optimistic about my future. In general, I feel very positive about myself. In general, I would say my health is: UW Alone 6.43 6.29 6.71 4.14 4 4.14 3.29 3.71 UW With at least 1 roommate 6.80 6.57 6 3.60 3.59 4 3.49 3.17 Blue = 10 point scale, Green = 5 point scale
From the data collected from UW students, we saw various results in regards to our hypothesis. On average, UW students who lived alone ranked themselves higher on worth of their life, having a purposeful and meaningful life, being engaged in daily activities, and overall health. Whereas UW students who had at least one roommate, ranked themselves higher on cantril’s ladder, satisfaction with life, and self positivity. UW students who lived both alone and with roomates ranked themselves similarly in regards to optimism about their future (UW students living alone ranked themselves slightly higher). First of, lets focus on the questions where UW students living with roommates ranked themselves higher. The results of these responses reflected our hypothesis and were the results we expected. Individuals with greater self esteem generally are able to build stronger relationships and maintain good emotional health. We believe that students living with at least one roommate interact with others more often since they share the same living space while students who live alone are more likely to feel isolated. UW student living with roommates have likely already created these bonds and live with friends or family, or have created these bonds through living with other individuals. Furthermore, these students could have ranked themselves higher on Cantril’s ladder because good relationships and friends are the key to happiness. As a result individuals living with one or more roommate may have achieved some of those close relationships we need to make us happy, leading to a more optimistic view of where they stand on cantril’s ladder. This also leads into these students ranking themselves higher when it came to their satisfaction with life. As we’ve learned throughout this course, academic, career, and financial achievements impact overall happiness less than the relationships and bonds we create. Not to say that students who live alone haven’t or can’t achieve these relationships, but they are more likely to have a stunted social life which will impact overall happiness. Outliers do of course exist with roommate situations gone bad, but overall individuals generally choose to live with those they care about. As a result, the relationships they have created may lead them to feel more satisfied with their current lives. Next, let’s focus on the questions where our hypothesis was incorrect. These questions made us look deeper to see why living alone may produce these rankings. To start, these students living alone ranked themselves higher in regards to having both a worthwhile, and purposeful life. While living with others may create or nurture relationships, living alone gives individuals a chance to focus on themselves and be alone when they need personal time. Being able to go out and spend time with others and then return home to spend time with yourself may give individuals more opportunities for self reflection. Some of these students may be living alone for the first time and finally gaining the independence they’ve been waiting for their whole life. This may be what leads these students to rank themselves higher for these two questions. Furthermore, UW students living alone ranked themselves higher when asked how engaged they were in daily activities. I would suggest that this is simply because fewer roommates means fewer distractions. Living alone provides a private workspace where individuals can focus on themselves and the tasks at hand without the temptation to take a break and socialize or go off and do something else. And lastly, the students living alone ranked themselves higher in overall health. While this answer was surprising, it can be a result of individuals who have a healthy balance between social life, work, and personal time. Sharing experiences and bonds with others is a necessity for overall health, alone time, and space to decompress is just as important. A quiet place to work or relax after a fun day with friends can be what some people need to create ba
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