Table of Contents

Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Happiness and Quality of Life

Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Happiness and Quality of Life

Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series

Edited by Luigino Bruni and Pier Luigi Porta

Offering a thorough assessment of the recent developments in the economic literature on happiness and quality of life, this Handbook astutely considers both methods of estimation and policy application. The expert contributors critically present in-depth research on a wide range of topics including culture and media, inequality, and the relational and emotional side of human life. Accessible and far-reaching, it will prove an invaluable resource for students and scholars of welfare and economics.

Chapter 13: Quality of life studies and positive psychology

Helena À. Marujo and Luis M. Neto

Subjects: economics and finance, economic psychology, welfare economics, research methods, research methods in economics


In this chapter, a succinct review of the quality of life and of the positive psychology domains, both focused on the study and elevation of the quality of individual and collective humans’ lives, brings about their historical, conceptual and applied divergences, but also their unequivocal relatedness and communalities. Their philosophies, purposes, objects of study, underlying constructs and inquiry characteristics are briefly explored, and their current controversies, strengths and weaknesses analysed. On the basis of the reviewed studies it is concluded that both domains are currently: bridged by the subjective focus; interconnected by the well-being theme; devoted to an emergent eudaimonic and social/relational perspective; and considering that what makes life prosper should be at the heart of a revivified, vigilant and engaged critical science, with a stronger ethos. Subsequently, there is an imperative need to harmonize both contributions, and to acknowledge and potentiate complementarities and continuous convergences to help new and fertile answers to emerge. This should be done in parallel with the integration of new and fundamental perspectives emerging from European considerations, such as the Civil Economy, with the rise of the Public Felicitá model, companions in the quest to discover and promote the foundations of human betterment and society well-being. None of these scientific grounds are sufficient in themselves to capture the complexity of the subject, so the different contributions need to enter tangible dialogues. Hence, some proposals towards realms of scientific collaboration are discussed in order to further understand, encourage and advocate essential qualities and potential practices of a virtuous society and a laudable collective life.

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