HOW CULTURAL VALUES AFFECT PEOPLE’S EXPECTATIONS AND THEIR ATTITUDES TOWARDS HAPPINESS

Authors

  • Fernando Lanzer Pereira de Souza LCO Partners, Brazil

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.35478/jime.2018.3.03

Keywords:

Culture, happiness, Mental Images

Abstract

Happiness is measured by the gap between what you want and what you have. International research studies on happiness usually focus on the size of that gap; and they usually overlook one of the key determinants of that equation: what people want.
In other words: what people want, how much they want and how badly they want it. “It’s not how good you are, but how good you want to be” – Paul Arden (1).
Your level of ambition, and the content of your ambition, are heavily influenced, if not determined, by culture. Culture also determines your expectation regarding your ability to get what you want. Therefore, culture influences your goals and your perceived ability to reach them; it thereby influences your perception of the gap between what you want and what you have (or your ability to get it). Culture heavily influences how happy you feel.
All research studies about happiness need to be thoroughly scrutinized for culture bias. Comparing people’s responses to happiness surveys across cultures yields inaccurate results, due to culture bias, which affects the researchers when they design the survey tools, the respondents’ answers, and also the researchers’ conclusions.
In order to be regarded as valid, any comparative studies about happiness across cultures need to take culture differences into consideration, or risk being dismissed as having little validity.

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Published

2021-03-08

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Section

Articles