Liberal countries have more satisfied citizens while conservatives are happier individuals

People living in more liberal countries are happier on average than those in less liberal countries, but individually, conservatives are happier than liberals no matter where they live, according to a study of people in 16 Western European countries.

"Liberal governments tend to do more to shield against certain hardships, such as unemployment and poverty, which can make people feel happier overall," said the study's lead author, Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn, PhD, of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. "On the other hand, conservatives rate their well-being higher than liberals because conservatives more readily support and rationalize the status quo, thus, believing that socioeconomic hardships are a result of individual shortcomings." The study appears online in the American Psychological Association's Journal of Applied Psychology.

Overall, people living in with more liberal policies reported higher than those in countries with less liberal policies, irrespective of their own , according to the study. The more conservative citizens reported higher life satisfaction than their liberal counterparts, regardless of their government's political leanings. "These findings lead us to believe that conservatives living in liberal countries are most likely to report the highest well-being," said Okulicz-Kozaryn.

The differences in happiness ratings between individuals and countries were evident when researchers compared how people rated their own life satisfaction with each country's welfare policies. For example, when researchers looked at what a country does for its citizens, greater liberalism corresponded with higher well-being, but when researchers looked at citizens' political beliefs, greater liberalism corresponded with poorer life satisfaction, said Okulicz-Kozaryn.

The researchers analyzed surveys collected from 1,134,384 people between 1970 and 2002 in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Denmark, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Austria and Norway. The surveys were representative samples of each country's population. This data set is part of a series of public opinion surveys conducted on behalf of the European Commission.

To determine if a country was politically liberal or conservative, the researchers looked at ease of access to services such as pensions, sickness benefits and unemployment compensation. They also examined each country's level of spending on welfare, which is found in a report produced by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Sweden was often cited as being the most liberal country, with more public welfare services, while countries such as Ireland, France and Portugal were found to be more conservative. In general Scandinavian countries were the happiest countries and were also the most liberal. Denmark was consistently the happiest country in the study.

The surveys also had each person rate his or her level of personal life satisfaction on a scale from "not at all satisfied" to "very satisfied." To determine individual political orientation, each participant rated his or her political views as being somewhere from very liberal to very conservative.

"Our findings are important to governments and organizations because they underscore the impact that these two entities have on one another," said Okulicz-Kozaryn. "Politics is everywhere, and our findings suggest that citizens are best served when governments and organizations work together by instituting policies that have been shown to increase citizens' well-being. For example, if governments do not enact sufficient policies that protect citizens from underemployment, the expected decreases in well-being can have an effect on employees' productivity within organizations."


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Bigger government makes for more satisfied people, international study finds

More information: "The Subjective Well-Being Political Paradox: Happy Welfare States and Unhappy Liberals," Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn, PhD, and Oscar Holmes IV, PhD, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Derek R. Avery, PhD, Temple University, online Aug. 25, 2014, Journal of Applied Psychology.
Journal information: Journal of Applied Psychology

Citation: Liberal countries have more satisfied citizens while conservatives are happier individuals (2014, September 9) retrieved 17 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-09-liberal-countries-citizens-happier-individuals.html
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Sep 09, 2014
Might be that conservatives tend to be wealthier and it is the wealth that correlates to happiness.

In any case, the lack of statistics in this article means the results are not necessarily significant in non-statistical meaning of the word.

Sep 09, 2014
Define 'well-being'.

" if governments do not enact sufficient policies that protect citizens from underemployment, "

What if govts STOP enacting policies that kill employment?

Just shows the bias of the authors and physorg. Always assuming that the state MUST be actively screwing around to 'fix' things.

More bias:

"On the other hand, conservatives rate their well-being higher than liberals because conservatives more readily support and rationalize the status quo, thus, believing that socioeconomic hardships are a result of individual shortcomings."

Conservatives I know do not rationalize the STATIST quo and actively work to limit the power of the state to make the lives of others, including 'liberals', better.

Sep 09, 2014
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Sep 09, 2014
"conservatives tend to be wealthier"
Well, there's an interesting assertion that seems to have just dropped out of nowhere. No, I don't have statistics, but when I look at a red/blue map of the country, I have to doubt it. The counties around DC are the wealthiest (per capita and overwhelming leftist), San Francisco area ranks second. The blue areas are strips along the coasts and the north central US where the wealth is concentrated. The red areas are the lower Midwest, the inland west, and the Deep South which are not noted for their extravagant life styles.

Sep 09, 2014
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Sep 09, 2014
The free market economy is inherently unstable and it permanently leads into economical inequality and formation of monopoly,


A monopoly can only exist with the protection and collusion of the govt.

A free market economy is unstable because people are free to create, innovate and grow the economy. Govts can't protect the buggy whip industries from innovation and changes.
A robust growing economy creates wealth and all can participate.
Why are 'liberals' so bothered if a free market economy creates billionaires but don't care if a socialist/fascist state creates billionaires that suck off the state teat?

governemental capitalism

Another term for socialism.

Sep 09, 2014
However, there are statistics showing that conservatives are more religious (church attendance) and more generous (percent of personal income). Naw, no correlation to happiness there.

Sep 09, 2014
"conservatives tend to be wealthier"
Well, there's an interesting assertion that seems to have just dropped out of nowhere. No, I don't have statistics, but when I look at a red/blue map of the country, I have to doubt it. The counties around DC are the wealthiest (per capita and overwhelming leftist), San Francisco area ranks second. The blue areas are strips along the coasts and the north central US where the wealth is concentrated. The red areas are the lower Midwest, the inland west, and the Deep South which are not noted for their extravagant life styles.

Well then, somebody must be lying, it would appear...

Sep 09, 2014
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Sep 09, 2014
Somebody confusing instability with dynamism?

Sep 09, 2014
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Sep 09, 2014
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Sep 09, 2014
Not accidentally the small entrepreneurship runs most smoothly today just in centralist China. It's very easy to start your private business in China.

That'd because regulation has been relaxed to encourage it.
In the US it's also "easy" to start a business. Maintaining it, however...
The government would much rather dictate rules to numerous, small, poorly funded organizations than to the larger, well capitalized ones.


Sep 09, 2014
Thanks Aligo your posts are a bit more comprehensible to me today

Sep 09, 2014
From this reason the free market economy remains applicable only to short distance/temporal communal level


5 year plans didn't work so well for USSR.

the most loud conservatives in the USA are the capitalists who profit mostly from lobbyism and governmental contracts.


Crony 'capitalists' are NOT conservatives.

free-market society is as idealistic Utopia,

Utopia is a socialist concept.

strong government, which is guarding its rules and eliminates the monopolies

Govt create monopolies. They don't eliminate them.

Sep 09, 2014
Socialism at work:
"So who are the major corporate-welfare queens? The biggest grant recipients were General Electric ($380 million), followed by General Motors ($370 million), Boeing ($264 million), Archer Daniels Midland ($174 million), and United Technologies ($160 million)."
http://www.theadv...mpanies/


Sep 09, 2014
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Sep 09, 2014
centrally planned communism was always considered an evil even in infinitesimal form.

It is evil.
Why do you think it is not evil?
It's ideological thing,

No,it's observational. Free markets are based upon the observations of human nature and have been proven to be the best method to accommodate that nature in the self-interest of all.

Socialism/communism/fascism/'liberalism'/'progressivism'/....all promote the use of force to make people act against their nature because the socialist believes he is more intelligent and omniscient than the rest of us. Just ask one.

Sep 09, 2014
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Sep 09, 2014
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Sep 09, 2014
The primary trait of human nature is to cheat the others in emergent selfish manner

No, it's not.

Sep 09, 2014
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Sep 09, 2014
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Sep 09, 2014
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Sep 10, 2014
The study is based on 100% subjective assessments. However you define happiness, some way of measuring it that does not include subjects judging themselves, please.

People rating themselves can't help but be influenced by a complex mix of external influences, making it confusing to understand what exactly is being measured in the study.

Sep 10, 2014
Such an idealism is what already killed the communism.

That's not what killed communism.

It is not in anyone's long term self-interest to cheat.

Self-interest is not a synonym of selfish.

It is selfish for the looters in Fergsuson or Watts to loot local business. It is not in their self-interest as most wise businesses won't reopen.

Sep 10, 2014
It seems almost impossible for such a "study" to have credibility. For one thing, the "researchers" did not appear to state their own political affiliation. For another, as already mentioned, "happiness" can only be qualitative and an emotionally subjective variable.

For example, since this is a 'study' conducted by phycologists, perhaps they will understand this analogy,........ the government can indeed medicate the masses by domesticating them with welfare and free stuff ,... but this is an induced and artificial happiness.

Progressive liberals and central planning are the social engineering "phycologists" who prescribe medication and lobotomies to the masses, in order to placate them into submission. A cursory glance at history demonstrates that this is a fraud because it is counter to human nature,..... while Capitalism has demonstrated to be successful and purely responsible for existing standard of living... which is the proper quantitative measure of happiness.

Sep 10, 2014
,..... whether you are a liberal or not, you have benefited tremendously from free market Capitalism. The industrial revolution and the current standard of living was never planned centrally in advance by government, ....but instead evolved from the Pursuit of Happiness, via the naturally intrinsic individualistic desire to better ones condition.

Any definition of happiness that relies upon subjective and very relative personal experience, deliberately avoids the quantitative definition provided by Standard Of Living, as compared to past generations. It also avoids quantifying historical happiness when central planning was taken to its natural conclusion,.... like in communist Russia where millions died very unhappily.

Sep 10, 2014
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Sep 10, 2014
One living in 1435 on dirt floors working on a farm with no education and a life expectancy of 42, may very well think he is as happy as one living in air conditioning in a 4,000 sq ft home would think or more so. Such a personal assessment of happiness is subjective and relative,.... while the quantitative measure of Standard of Living has continuously improved over generations. History proves this was due to egoism, liberty, and capitalism. This is a fact ignored in the above bias fraud of a study.

To properly asses form of government , one must examine long term effects upon the population, not very short term polls of relative personal experience. History already is proof and is patently clear which system, ....central planning or capitalism/liberty, ....has done more for mankind.

Sep 10, 2014
On the other hand, conservatives rate their well-being higher than liberals because conservatives more readily support and rationalize the status quo, thus, believing that socioeconomic hardships are a result of individual shortcomings.


To equate conservatives with advocating for "status quo" is to deliberately conflate the common use term "conservative" with the "political philosophy of conservatism" for an bias agenda. There is little more that is revolutionary and of constant change than the Standard of Living and the progress of economic capitalism.

Sep 10, 2014
he people will not cheat from long term perspective only if someone will warn and check them - i.e. the government.


Not true.
People learn to cheat from the govt.
Free markets are quick and viscous at punishing cheats and frauds.
Only those protected by the state are allowed to perpetuate frauds. Madoff was one example of how the state enabled his fraud.

Sep 10, 2014
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Sep 10, 2014
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Sep 10, 2014
You're living in abstract world

No, I am not.

contemporary business world is giant and incomprehensible for individuals.

Speak for yourself.

invent and pay the specialized organizations similar to governmental agencies, which would do the very same job -


Already exist and do a much better job than the govt, because they are NOT the govt. They have a financial incentive (self-interest) to do their job.
One excellent organization is the IIHS who test auto safety to standards higher than the govt. Auto manufactures redesign their vehicles to pass IIHS standards.
And then there is the NSF, (National Sanitary Foundation), ISO,UL, BBB,....all non-govt with self-interested incentives to provide objective service to their clients.


Sep 10, 2014
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Sep 10, 2014
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Sep 10, 2014
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Sep 10, 2014
global scope of competence

NSF is global.
ISO is global.

I can recognize them by their smell at distance.

Aren't you special!

GMO company Monsanto pretends, it brings the savings for its customers,

And you are not a biased socialist? This phrase reeks of bias.

Sep 10, 2014
Yes, the Coddled Rich have made it so they do not pay taxes on their Capital Gains or their stocks, leaving the costs of their brutal Bush Wars for the Decent Working Folk to pay.

"Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties." --discussing the Iraq war with Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson in 2003, as quoted by Robertson

Sep 10, 2014
Fienstein, Dodd, Biden, Lieberman, Landrieu, John Kerry, Harry Reid, Clinton, Schumer all voted 'yes'.

"Following is an alphabetical listing by state of how each senator voted on President Bush's Iraq resolution. A "yes" vote was a vote to grant President Bush the power to attack Iraq unilaterally. A "no" vote was a vote to defeat the measure. Voting "yes" were 29 Democrats "

http://www.washin...1002.htm

Sep 10, 2014
The Democrats let you do it???

Try that one in front of the International Criminal Court.

It did not work at Nuremberg.

Sep 10, 2014
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Sep 10, 2014
Now Obama is going to attack Syria and Iraq.
Along with Libya, this will be Obama's war

Sep 10, 2014
Rygg does not understand wars are the Wildfires of Humanity, and once started, they burn until everything good is gone. If Rygg had served in wartime, perhaps he would know. I suspect he has not.

We are fighting the war started by Reagan and Bill Casey in the 1980's.

Sep 10, 2014
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Sep 10, 2014
Dubya:

"You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror."

--interview with CBS News' Katie Couric, Sept. 6, 2006

Sep 10, 2014


"I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office."

--George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

-------------------------

Did the conservative goobers really get outsmarted by this guy?

Sep 10, 2014
Aligo says: " I know quite well about his pro-muslim attitudes. "

----------------------

Really? Don't you think he is just tired of all the killing?

Aren't you?

Sep 10, 2014
the war started by Reagan

Which is what?

Sep 10, 2014
Look up "Blowback from the Afghan Battlefield", and check the date. Many of us Vietnam War vets tried and tried to tell you SCARED and hateful conservatives the dangers of organizing the rag-tag Mujahadeen goat herders into well-trained and superbly-armed disruptors of societies.

Reagan and Casey turned them into genuine killers then turned them against us.

Perhaps YOU should have served, then you would know.

Sep 10, 2014
No.
Mohammed started that war centuries ago.

As for Afghanistan, had Congress not cut and run, as it did in Vietnam, Afghanistan might have turned out differently.

Sep 10, 2014
Nope. Casey did it. We warned them, but the stay-at-home conservative "patriots" who HID when it was their turn to serve needed to have others do their killing for them. Reagan invented the Taliban, al Qaeda and ISIS.

Did YOU fall for Reagan and Bush?

Then, you can pay for them.

Sep 10, 2014
"As for Afghanistan, had Congress not cut and run, as it did in Vietnam,"

Were YOU there?

I was in the war, and I saw it differently.

Let's discuss where we each got our information.

Sep 10, 2014
rygg, it is important you know there was no "winning" in Vietnam. When I got in the war, early late 1967, it was obvious most Vietnamese were nationalists, not buying our attempt to tell them who sits in the Presidential Palace. We were just the last of the thousand years of occupation, mostly by their ancient enemies, the Chinese.

They are at last free.

Sep 10, 2014
They are at last free.

Really?

"Vietnam has fluctuated within the lower ranks of the "mostly unfree" economies for two decades, constrained by key institutional shortcomings. Although measurable progress has been made in enhancing the rule of law, the weak judiciary continues to be vulnerable to political influence, and corruption remains widespread."
http://www.herita.../vietnam

Sep 10, 2014
"the war in Vietnam was lost on the propaganda front, in great measure due to the press's pervasive misreporting of the clear U.S. victory at Tet as a defeat. "
"The Tet offensive was Hanoi's desperate throw of the dice to seize South Vietnam's northern provinces using conventional armies, while simultaneously triggering a popular uprising in support of the Viet Cong. Both failed."
"When its re-equipped army launched a massive attack in 1975, Congress refused to redeem Nixon's pledges of military support for the South. "
"Southeast Asia entered the era of the "killing fields," exterminating in a brief few years an estimated two million people -- 30% of the Cambodian population."
http://online.wsj...67646059

Sep 10, 2014
They are at last free.

Really?

"Vietnam has fluctuated within the lower ranks of the "mostly unfree" economies for two decades, constrained by key institutional shortcomings. Although measurable progress has been made in enhancing the rule of law, the weak judiciary continues to be vulnerable to political influence, and corruption remains widespread."
http://www.herita.../vietnam


The corruption of the South Vietnamese government at all levels that I witnessed during my three years in Vietnam is one reason I knew the North would eventually conquer the South.

Sep 10, 2014
The truth of govt regulations:

" In Milwaukee, they argue that they have a legal right to be shielded from competition at the expense of taxpayers, consumers, and entrepreneurs. "
"taxi permits were not a property right. Rather, the system was a gift from lawmakers at the expense of consumers -- and one that violated the Wisconsin constitution, a court has found. The lawsuit is akin to "the last gasp of the gaslight industry trying to hold off electricity 100 years ago," Milwaukee alderman Bob Bauman told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel."
http://www.realcl...070.html

Sep 11, 2014
The importance of money:
" With its evolving networks and patterns of exchange, the free-market economy is perhaps the best-known example of spontaneous order. However, the extensive division of labor common in advanced market economies (and thus often taken for granted) itself rests on another self-organizing and self-perpetuating system. You can find evidence of that system every time you open your wallet.
A commonly accepted medium of exchange, what we call "money," is necessary for the division of labor in a given society to progress beyond the most rudimentary level. "
"Without capital to facilitate the division of labor, labor productivity—and thus wages and living standards—remains abysmally low. Advanced, capital-intensive economies cannot exist without money serving as the standard that guides profit-seeking entrepreneurs."
http://www.fee.or...of-money

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