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Adaptation amidst prosperity and adversity : insights from happiness studies from around the world (English)

Some individuals who are destitute report to be happy, while others who are very wealthy report to be miserable. There are many possible explanations for this paradox; the author focuses on the role of adaptation. Adaptation is the subject of much work in economics, but its definition is a psychological one. Adaptations are defense mechanisms; there are bad ones like paranoia, and healthy ones like humor, anticipation, and sublimation. Set point theory-which is the subject of much debate in psychology posits that people can adapt to anything, such as bad health, divorce, and extreme poverty, and return to a natural level of cheerfulness. The author research from around the world suggests that people are remarkably adaptable. Respondents in Afghanistan are as happy as Latin Americans and 20 percent more likely to smile in a day than Cubans. The findings suggest that while this may be a good thing from an individual psychological perspective, it may also shed insights into different development outcomes, including collective tolerance for bad equilibrium. The author provides examples from the economics, democracy, crime, corruption, and health arenas.

Details

  • Author

    Graham,Carol L.

  • Document Date

    2011/02/01

  • Document Type

    Journal Article

  • Report Number

    77008

  • Volume No

    1

  • Total Volume(s)

    1

  • Country

    World,

  • Region

    The World Region,

  • Disclosure Date

    2013/05/13

  • Disclosure Status

    Disclosed

  • Doc Name

    Adaptation amidst prosperity and adversity : insights from happiness studies from around the world

  • Keywords

    corruption;per capita income level;gdp growth rate;crime victim;effects of corruption;victims of crime;cost of crime;standard of living;rate of change;social welfare system;informal sector worker;design of policy;high crime rate;effects of income;quality of public;negative effect;social capital;life satisfaction;defense mechanism;income gain;employment status;crime victimization;econometric technique;political regime;subsistence agriculture;petty crime;personal security;income variable;independent variable;personal freedom;individual welfare;lagged growth;Coping Mechanisms;explanatory variable;living condition;life conditions;political participation;education level;unemployment rate;proxy indicator;monetary valuation;negative correlation;safe places;health systems;institutional change;empirical evidence;personal liberty;personal asset;precautionary measure;corrective action;political support;weak tie;religious belief;corruption level;econometric analysis;high corruption;human welfare;individual level;adaptation dynamic;standard error;reward structure;macroeconomic volatility;increasing inequality;job insecurity;stable job;employment insecurity;urban migrant;urban resident;rural area;functional form;survey sample;marginal effect;abject poverty;relative income;long-term equilibrium;welfare implication;ill health;human capacity;aggregate welfare;macroeconomic level;income change;behavioral economics;income loss;positive growth;reveal preference;modern economist;panel data;observable variable;Labor Market;unobserved characteristic;regression equation;relative weight;job loss;character trait;extreme poverty;individual choice;budget constraint;individual happiness;survey data;consumption choice;welfare effect;individual value;citizen reporting;Macroeconomic Growth;Economic Studies;economic study;human race;health good;job satisfaction;democratic government;social interaction;

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Citation

Graham,Carol L.

Adaptation amidst prosperity and adversity : insights from happiness studies from around the world (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/383141468336645242/Adaptation-amidst-prosperity-and-adversity-insights-from-happiness-studies-from-around-the-world