International Well-Being Study

Aaron Jarden from The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, Psychology, Wellington, New Zealand and Canterbury University, Psychology, Christchurch, New Zealand; Todd Kashdan from George Mason University, Psychology, Fairfax, VA, USA

Longitudinal in-depth studies of well-being are few and far between. The International Well-Being Study ( one of the largest and most comprehensive studies in the field of positive psychology to date.

Beginning in March 2009 and available in 16 languages, this study asks participants 208 questions every three months for a year. Measures include 18 validated scales; global well-being scales, component well-being scales, measures of negative symptomatology, and of positive and negative events. To date the survey has been completed more than 10,000 times in English alone.

In addition to its notability for its size and scope, this study is also notable for its collaborative nature, cheap cost, scalable use of technology, and longitudinal design which will also be discussed. There are some very interesting findings in the study data to date andimplications of these findings – for example, that the extent to which participants live their lives in alignment with their values is a stronger predictor of life satisfaction than components currently studied in the field – strengths, gratitude, hope, meaning, etc – , or that satisfaction with time use is also a very strong predictor of well-being.

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