Improving quality of life

Date of publication: September 1, 1996


This study explores both how satisfied people are with the various aspects of their lives, and also how important each thing is in determining overall quality of life. Using a model drawn from customer satisfaction research, we have examined 125 different items that could possibly affect an individual's quality of life. AH of these items were aggregated into twelve different "domains" that influence a person's overall quality of life: National Affairs, Community, Money, Job, Leisure, Spouse or Romantic Partner, Friends, Family, Education, Religion, Personal Well Being, and Material Goods. In general Americans give only average marks to their overall quality of life. Yet 1 in 10 Americans - the "happiness elite" - are absolutely delighted with their lives. These happy people don't differ from other people merely by chance. Understanding how this group differs from everyone else can provide important insights into how to improve the lives of other people.

Thomas A.W. Miller


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