Current recommendations on the selection of measures for well-being

By: Tyler J. VanderWeele, Claudia Trudel-Fitzgerald, Paul Allin, Colin Farrelly, Guy Fletcherd, Donald E. Frederick, Jon Hall, John F. Helliwell, Eric S. Kim, William A. Lauinger, Matthew T. Lee, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Seth Margolis, Eileen McNeely, Neil Messer, Louis Tay, Vish Viswanath, Dorota Węziak-Białowolska, Laura D. Kubzanskya


Measures of well-being have proliferated over the past decades. Very little guidance has been available as to which measures to use in what contexts. This paper provides a series of recommendations, based on the present state of knowledge and the existing measures available, of what measures might be preferred in which contexts. The recommendations came out of an interdisciplinary workshop on the measurement of well-being. The recommendations are shaped around the number of items that can be included in a survey, and also based on the differing potential contexts and purposes of data collection such as, for example, government surveys, or multi-use cohort studies, or studies specifically about psychological well-being. The recommendations are not intended to be definitive, but to stimulate discussion and refinement, and to provide guidance to those relatively new to the study of well-being.