Gaël Brulé and Ruut Veenhoven
Psychology of Well-Being, (2014) 4 :17, Open Access
Average happiness differs considerably across nations. Much of this difference is in societal development, but average happiness differs also among developed nations. Much of that latter difference seems to be due to cultural factors and education is a main carrier of these. In that context we explored the effect of teaching styles on happiness.
In a first study on the general public in 37 developed nations we found that people feel happier in the nations where participatory teaching prevailed. Much of this difference can be explained by the effect of teaching style on psychological autonomy. Participatory teaching fosters autonomy and autonomy adds to happiness.
In a second study among high school pupils we found no correlation between average happiness and dominant teaching style in the nation, which fits the explanation that the effect of participatory teaching is in personality formation, with the consequences for happiness of which manifest in adulthood.