chapter  3
24 Pages

Cultural Differences in Subjective Well-Being

How and Why
WithWilliam Tov, Ze Ling Serene Nai

We review cultural differences in subjective well-being (SWB). Cultures can differ in the (i) structure of SWB (i.e., the interrelationships among positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction); (ii) mean levels of SWB; and (iii) the correlates of SWB. Some studies suggest that East-West differences in SWB are mediated by cultural differences in values, self-construals, relational beliefs, and dialectical beliefs. However, more empirical tests of mediation are needed. Finally, we discuss remaining challenges in culture and SWB research. These include assessment of measurement equivalence, establishing mediated moderation of cultural constructs, expansion of research beyond the East-West axis, and operationalizing culture beyond the self-endorsement of values and beliefs.