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Visualizing the Good Life: A Cross-Cultural Analysis

Visualizing the Good Life: A Cross-Cultural Analysis How can we visualize similarity and difference across cultural conceptions of a good or worthy life? To examine the internal structure of such conceptions, we asked 584 university students from mainland China and Canada to indicate the relative importance of 30 elements or criteria commonly used in defining a good life. Statistical comparison and multidimensional scaling were used to reveal the form and extent of group commonalities and differences on the criteria and their meaning in relation to underlying dimensions of individual and cultural variation. The results suggested that South Asian Canadians were more oriented towards moral, spiritual, and beneficent concerns in envisioning a good life than were the mainland Chinese and Western European Canadians. The Chinese, for their part, tended to emphasize practical, prudential, and socially defined goods. This contrasted with the Western European Canadians, who showed more preference for personally defined, internal goods. East Asian Canadians fell between Chinese and Western European Canadians in overall orientation, reflecting their biculturality. All groups placed heavy emphasis on close and enduring relationships. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Happiness Studies Springer Journals

Visualizing the Good Life: A Cross-Cultural Analysis

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Social Sciences, general; Quality of Life Research; Personality and Social Psychology; Economics/Management Science, general; Quality of Life Research; Philosophy; Positive Psychology
ISSN
1389-4978
eISSN
1573-7780
DOI
10.1007/s10902-012-9412-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

How can we visualize similarity and difference across cultural conceptions of a good or worthy life? To examine the internal structure of such conceptions, we asked 584 university students from mainland China and Canada to indicate the relative importance of 30 elements or criteria commonly used in defining a good life. Statistical comparison and multidimensional scaling were used to reveal the form and extent of group commonalities and differences on the criteria and their meaning in relation to underlying dimensions of individual and cultural variation. The results suggested that South Asian Canadians were more oriented towards moral, spiritual, and beneficent concerns in envisioning a good life than were the mainland Chinese and Western European Canadians. The Chinese, for their part, tended to emphasize practical, prudential, and socially defined goods. This contrasted with the Western European Canadians, who showed more preference for personally defined, internal goods. East Asian Canadians fell between Chinese and Western European Canadians in overall orientation, reflecting their biculturality. All groups placed heavy emphasis on close and enduring relationships.

Journal

Journal of Happiness StudiesSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 8, 2013

References