European Conference on Positive Psychology

  • Charlie Lea (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference


Weighing up one’s life: the relative importance of life domains in life satisfaction judgements

Introduction. A key aspect of life satisfaction judgements is that individuals are free to choose the information they feel is relevant. It has been assumed that areas of information differ in terms of the weight they are given in the judgement; however few studies have broached the issue of the relative weight attributed to various domains. By comparing life satisfaction, happiness and meaning judgements the present study sought to demonstrate the weighting process in action.
Method. Study 1 (N = 216) asked participants to judge vignettes that were systematically varied in terms of the positive information provided by three domains: relationships, money and contribution-to-the-world. Three vignettes had one positive domain while the other two were negative, a fourth vignette was formed by having both money and contribution-to-the-world positive. Study 2 (N = 1654) used archival survey data, in which participants had reported on various aspects of life, to form groups that replicated the Study 1 vignettes.
Results. Both studies found that the domains of relationships and money were given similar weight in a life satisfaction judgement. Relationships, and money to a lesser extent, were important for happiness judgements whereas contribution to the world and relationships were given more weight when the meaningfulness of a life was judged.
Discussion. The domains of relationships, money and contribution-to-the-world were weighted differently, according to the well-being judgement. The importance of money to life satisfaction addresses a contentious issue in well-being research. The idea that well-being judgements are thoughtful and considered assessments was supported.

Poster presentation
Period4 Jul 2014
Event typeConference
LocationAmsterdam, NetherlandsShow on map


  • life satisfaction judgements
  • life domains
  • satisfaction with life
  • happiness
  • meaning
  • weighting