Happiness surveys: some comparability issues and an exploratory survey based on just perceivable increments

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Most questionnaires to obtain reports of happiness are primitive with the results obtained of low (interpersonal) comparability. This paper argues that happiness is intrinsically cardinally measurable and comparable though with many difficulties. Moreover, a sophisticated questionnaire was developed and used to obtain more accurate and interpersonally comparable reports of happiness based on the concept of just perceivable increments of pleasure/pain. Comparisons with the traditional questionnaire are also made (by the respondents) to show the superiority of the sophisticated questionnaire.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Cardinal utility
  • Happiness
  • Interpersonal comparison
  • Welfare
  • Well-being

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