Congratulations to ISQOLS Members, Leonie Steckermeier and Jan Delhey!
A recent study by Leonie Steckermeier and Jan Delhey (both ISQOLS members) from University Magdeburg is listed among the "Top 10 insights from the science of a meaningful life". This list is compiled by Greater Good, a
team of well-being researchers affiliated with Berkeley University. Each year they pick "the most provocative and influential findings".
The study featured is titled "Better for Everyone? Egalitarian Culture and Social Wellbeing in Europe", published in Social Indicators Research (2018, online first - open access).
To quote from the webpage:
"One recent study suggests another possibility: that when people live in more generally egalitarian cultures—marked by greater social trust and self-expression values—they are less likely to feel inferior to others, and so are happier as a result."
Click the link below to read the entire article, or read the excerpt below:
"Living in a country that promotes gender equality may seem like a good idea for many reasons. But does it really affect people’s well-being? A new study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies put that question to the test.
Drawing from the World Values Survey—a large data pool tracking well-being around the world—researchers looked at how happy people were in Western Europe, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. This they compared to specific measures of gender equality in each country, like educational attainment, gender balance in parliament, earned income, life expectancies, and more.
Ultimately, they found that people living in more egalitarian countries had greater overall well-being. This was true even taking into account people’s wealth and income, as well as whether a country was more “individualistic” or “collectivist,” among other factors. Additionally, when looking at changes within a country (rather than comparing countries), increases in gender equality during one year corresponded to greater overall well-being that year.
“The magnitude of the effect of inequality is quite pronounced, meaning that changes in the level of inequality are associated with substantively meaningful changes in the level of well-being,” the authors write.
While these effects were more pronounced for women, men were also better off in more egalitarian countries. Why? Perhaps egalitarianism allows men more emotional freedom, reducing their perceived need to conform to masculine ideals (which is tied to unhappiness); or happier women mean happier men (because of contagion effects). Or it could be that equity helps the economy overall, and that in turn influences everyone’s well-being.
One recent study suggests another possibility: that when people live in more generally egalitarian cultures—marked by greater social trust and self-expression values—they are less likely to feel inferior to others, and so are happier as a result.
Whatever the reason, the researchers conclude, “To the extent that governments wish to promote the happiness and well-being of their citizens, it may be sensible to prioritize equality.”