From Perma To Permaig©: Happiness Instrument Development

  • Idaya Husna Mohd
  • Abdul Kadir Othman
  • Nor Hafizah Ibrahim
  • Norlida Jaafar
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 739)


Measuring the Happiness Index has become a crucial part of higher learning institutions’ strategic planning and policy making in paving the future. Therefore, developing and measuring the happiness instrument however is critical as it must be relevant to the context of the study in its own setting. Based on previous study, Seligman’s PERMA model was often adopted as a measurement of happiness index in the higher learning institutions. The PERMA Model, which was developed by Seligman in 2011 consist of Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationship, Meaningful and Accomplishment. This article will explain further on the development of the happiness instruments used to determine the happiness index in a public organisation based on the KJ Method and Seligman’s PERMA Model. A focus group study was conducted using the staff of a public organisation in Malaysia. Therefore, by using Seligman’s PERMA model as a guide, the result of the focus group entails seven elements of measurements. The seven elements are Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationship, Meaningful, Accomplishment, Infrastructure and Gratitude.


Happiness Index PERMA Model Positive Emotions Engagement Relationship Meaningful Accomplishment Infrastructure 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Gerdtham, U. G., & Johannesson, M.. The relationship between happiness, health, and socio-economic factors: results based on Swedish microdata. The Journal of Socio-Economics30(6), 553-557 (2001).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kawamoto, R., Yamada, A., Okayama, M., Tsuruoka, K., Satho, M., & Kajii, E.. Happiness and background factors in community-dwelling older persons. Nihon Ronen Igakkai zasshi. Japanese journal of geriatrics36(12), 861-867 (1999).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Musikanski, L., Cloutier, S., Bejarano, E., Briggs, D., Colbert, J., Strasser, G., & Russell, S. Happiness Index methodology. Journal for Social Change, 8, 4–31. (2017).
  4. 4.
    Argyle, M., Martin, M., & Crossland, J. Happiness as a function of personality and social encounters. Recent advances in social psychology: An international perspective, 189-203 (1989).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Applasamy, V.; Gamboa, R. A.; Al-Atabi, M.; Namasivayam, S. Measuring Happiness in Academic Environment: A Case Study of the School of Engineering at Taylor’s University (Malaysia). Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences v.123,p. 106-112, (2014).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Musikanski, L. Happiness in public policy. Journal of Social Change, 6, 55–85 (2014).
  7. 7.
    Musikanski, L. Measuring happiness to guide public policy making: A survey for instrument and policy initiative. Journal of Social Change, 7, 39–55 (2015).
  8. 8.
    Musikanski, L., & Polley, C. Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness: Measuring what matters. Journal of Social Change, 7, 48–72 (2016).
  9. 9.
    Cloutier, S., Jambeck, J., & Scott, N. The sustainable neighborhoods for happiness index (SNHI): A metric for assessing a community’s sustainability and potential influence on happiness. Ecological Indicators, 40, 147–152 (2014).
  10. 10.
    Pfeiffer, D., & Cloutier, S. Planning for happy neighborhoods. Journal of the American Planning Association, 83, 267–279 (2016).
  11. 11.
    Zidanšek, A. Sustainable development and happiness in nations. Energy, 32, 891–897. (2007).
  12. 12.
    Frey, B., & Stutzer, A. The use of happiness research for public policy. Social Choice and Welfare, 38, 659–674 (2011).
  13. 13.
    Scupin, R. The KJ method: A technique for analyzing data derived from Japanese ethnology. Human organization, 56(2), 233-237 (1997).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hanington, B., & Martin, B. Universal methods of design: 100 ways to research complex problems, develop innovative ideas, and design effective solutions, Rockport Publishers (2012).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Shimura, K. Compare and contrast of grounded theory and KJ method (2005).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Swanson, R. A., & Falkman, S. K. Training delivery problems and solutions: Identification of novice trainer problems and expert trainer solutions. Human Resource Development Quarterly8(4), 305-314 (1997).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Spool, J. M. The KJ-technique: A group process for establishing priorities. User interface engineering, (2004).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Idaya Husna Mohd
    • 1
  • Abdul Kadir Othman
    • 1
  • Nor Hafizah Ibrahim
    • 2
  • Norlida Jaafar
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Business ManagementUniversiti Teknologi MARAShah AlamMalaysia
  2. 2.Registrar’s OfficeUniversiti Teknologi MARAShah AlamMalaysia

Personalised recommendations