This is a study about perceptions of well-being. Its purpose is to investigate how these perceptions are organized in the minds of different groups of American adults, to find valid and efficient ways of measuring these percep- tions, to suggest ways these measurement methods could be implemented to yield a series of social indicators, and to provide some initial readings on these indicators; i.e., some information about the levels of well-being perceived by Americans. The findings are based on data from more than five thousand Americans and include results from four separate representative samplings of the American population. One of the ways our research is unusual is that it includes a major methodological component. Typical surveys involve a modest effort at instru- ment development, the application of the instrument to a group of respondents, and an analysis of the resulting data that mainly describes the people studied. Our work, however, was implemented in a series of sequential cycles, each of which consisted of conceptual development, instrument design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
Ideas and findings generated in prior cycles affected the design of subsequent cycles.
Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.