chapter  4
Is the good life sustainable?
A three-decade study of values, happiness and sustainability in Norway
ByOttar Hellevik
Pages 25

The key concepts in this chapter are values, subjective well-being and sustainability. Values refer to our ideas of how we want to live our lives, our conceptions of basic goals and means to attain them. Sustainability concerns the question of how our way of life affects the chances for solving basic problems facing mankind today. It studies the relationship between the Monitor materialism - idealism dimension on the one hand, and subjective well-being and sustainability on the other. Since an idealistic value orientation goes together with attitudes and behaviours that are favourable for the three aspects of sustainability considered here, a positive trend for sustainability is to be expected after the turn of the century. The main conclusion of the chapter is that an idealistic idea of the good life is superior, both with regard to feelings of happiness and satisfaction and with regard to support for sustainable policies and practices.