© 2002

The Psychology of Quality of Life


Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 12)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-2
    2. M. Joseph Sirgy
      Pages 3-16
    3. M. Joseph Sirgy
      Pages 17-32
    4. M. Joseph Sirgy
      Pages 33-49
  3. Inter-Domain Strategies

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 51-52
    2. M. Joseph Sirgy
      Pages 53-68
    3. M. Joseph Sirgy
      Pages 69-76
    4. M. Joseph Sirgy
      Pages 77-88
    5. M. Joseph Sirgy
      Pages 89-99
  4. Intra-Domain Strategies

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 101-102
    2. M. Joseph Sirgy
      Pages 103-116
    3. M. Joseph Sirgy
      Pages 117-134
    4. M. Joseph Sirgy
      Pages 135-147
    5. M. Joseph Sirgy
      Pages 149-175
    6. M. Joseph Sirgy
      Pages 177-185
    7. M. Joseph Sirgy
      Pages 187-197
  5. Inter/Intra-Domain Strategies

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 199-199
    2. M. Joseph Sirgy
      Pages 201-213
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 215-281

About this book


The purpose of this book is to make an effort to bring together a body of research on the subjective aspects of quality of life ("subjective well being", "happiness", "life satisfaction", "perceived quality of life") by starting out with Wilson's (1968) theory of avowed happiness. I build on Wilson's theory by applying diverse but selected fmdings from the ever-burgeoning quality-of-life literature. Wilson's theory of happiness can be captured by two key postulates. These were summarised by Diener, Suh, Lucas, and Smith (1999). They stated that fulfilment of needs causes happiness, whereas the persistence of unfulfilled needs causes unhappiness. The degree of need fulfillment required to produce satisfaction depends on the adaptation level of the needs, which is influenced by past experience, comparisons with others, personal values, among others. Well, the literature on the subjective aspects of quality of life has grown by leaps and bounds since 1967. Diener (1984) and Diener et al. (1999) did a greatjob reviewing a small part of this voluminous and growing literature. But the literature remains quite fragmented. It needs synthesis and integration. Furthermore, the literature needs to answer the "so what" question. I make an attempt in this book to pull the literature together. I do so by providing a common theoretical language that serves to establish a nomological network.


Evaluation happiness life satisfaction psychology quality of life subjective well-being well-being

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA

About the authors

M. Joseph Sirgy is a personality/social/industrial psychologist who has written extensively on the subject of quality-of-life. He is the director of the Office of Quality-of-Life Measurement (OQOLM) and a professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the USA. He is also the executive director of the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS).

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

"The number of research papers about subjective aspects of the quality of life is increasing fast. … Sirgy succeeds in bringing synthesis and integration in the field. … The book is a rare combination of a self-help book and a review of the literature … . useful for anyone who would like to make a theory about subjective well being or who would like to write a serious self-help book. … offers the fundament for a real psychology of quality of life." (Ad Bergsma, Journal of Happiness Studies, Vol. 9, 2008)