Reidel Publishing, Dordrecht/Boston Lancaster, 1984, ISBN 90-237-2279 5, 580 pages
This work gathers together empirical findings on happiness published up to 1975, and presents thern in a manner facilitating easy survey. The primary aim is to enable scierltists and policy makers to profit more from the abundant data actually available; in particular to make the comparison of findings across time, national, and social categories possible. Happiness is defined as the~overall appreciation of life. Some 2000 investigations were screened to see whether they measured the phenomenon in a valid way. Only 245 passed the test. The oldest of these stems from about 1911. More than half of the investigations were carried out in the U.S.A. and about a quarter in Western Europe. The selection procedure is summarized in Part I and the design of investigations is dealt with through standard excerpts in Part ll. Next, the correlational findings are ordered by subject and presented with information about measurement, population, and method of data gathering. This constitutes the main section of the book which closes with an enumeration of distributions of happiness in national samples in Part IV.
The book is meant for scientists in the field of quality of life. As the only book of its kind, it will be of obvious value to libraries and research institutes.