Standard Article

Subjective Wellbeing

  1. William Tov1,
  2. Ed Diener2

Published Online: 17 OCT 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118339893.wbeccp518

The Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural Psychology

The Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural Psychology

How to Cite

Tov, W. and Diener, E. 2013. Subjective Wellbeing. The Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural Psychology. III:1239–1245.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Singapore Management University, Singapore

  2. 2

    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 OCT 2013


The cross-cultural importance of happiness and contentment can be inferred from their emergence in philosophical discussions across many cultural traditions. Aristotle linked happiness to virtuous behavior; Bentham regarded it as the basis for an overarching moral principle. An appeal of Buddhist meditation is the sense of contentment and freedom from suffering that mindful awareness can bring. Even Confucius—whose emphasis on social harmony and righteous action invites the image of a stern, conservative scholar—was said to be a man “whose life was full of joy”, a characteristic that may have been as appealing to his many disciples as his teachings.


  • happiness;
  • quality of life;
  • satisfaction;
  • wellbeing