DAILY HAPPINESS: How well we feel most of the time

Ruut Veenhoven

EHERO working paper 2020-1

The word ‘happiness’ is commonly used in literature on emotions, but not always with the same meaning. In this chapter I will first delineate the many meanings of the term happiness as used by researchers, and then I will focus on happiness defined in the sense of ‘feeling well most of the time’. I will then review the available scientific literature on this kind of happiness and consider 1) how it is measured, 2) how well people typically feel, 3) why some people feel mostly better than other people do and 4) on the consequences of feeling good or bad most of the time. To do this I draw on the growing body of empirical research on daily mood, the results of which are gathered in the World Database of Happiness (Veenhoven 2017), which serves as an online appendix to this chapter.

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