Ruut Veenhoven Award Seminar 2019 overview

Optimal human functioning around the world. Winner of the Ruut Veenhoven Award 2019 shows that ‘Eudaimonic’ well-being can be measured using the international Gallup World Poll dataset.

The Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organisation (EHERO) has granted the Ruut Veenhoven Award 2019 for outstanding Happiness Research to dr. Moshen Joshanloo, Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology at Keimyung University, South Korea. He received the prize for his creative and comprehensive research on the topic of eudaimonic wellbeing. The jury prized his work for its creativity, methodological complexity and soundness, and the relevancy of his topics. Moreover, they were impressed with the scope of his work, published in scientific journals such as Personality and Individual Differences, Journal of Happiness Studies and the International Journal of Psychology.

Unfortunately, Joshanloo could not make it to the award ceremony in the Netherlands, but he prepared a video of his acceptance speech in which he presented his recent study on Eudaimonic Well-Being (EWB). This approach defines wellbeing as the positive experiences that follow from living a life of virtue, or as having optimal skills and qualities that help to deal with life. Since this definition is somewhat more complex than common life-satisfaction instruments, research on EWB has been quite difficult and small-scale up to now. However, Joshanloo showed that an index based on seven items from the large-scale, international dataset from the World Gallup Poll can be used to measure the personal and social aspects of EWB. This research therefore shows that from now on, EWB can be studied on a much more comprehensive scale.

Eudaimonic well-being (EWB; i.e., optimal psychosocial functioning) is a largely overlooked aspect of national well-being. The study that Mohsen Joshanloo will present uses data from nearly 1,800,000 respondents from 166 countries to construct an index of EWB. EWB demonstrates moderate positive associations with other quality-of-life indicators (i.e., national life satisfaction, national prosperity, overall quality of life, and gross domestic product), indicating that it captures information not reflected by them. The distribution of EWB at national, regional, and global levels, as well as its global trend, is explored. The study also examines the relationships between EWB and a number of theoretically indvidual- and country-level variables. Finally, Joshanloo will briefly present on-going research that uses the EWB index to test new hypotheses.

Following his acceptance speech, Joshanloo answered questions from the public via Skype.

Mohsen Joshanloo.

Dr. Mohsen Joshanloo is Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology at Keimyung University, South Korea. He has published widely on cultural aspects of mental well-being using data from countries across five continents. His research interest include (1) understanding the factors that facilitate or impede well-being, (2) examining the ways in which individuals, religions, and cultures construct and interpret the meaning of well-being, (3) investigating the ecological and cross-cultural validity of comprehensive models of well-being, (4) understanding how and why people in various cultures pursue or avoid happy experiences, and (5) statistical methods for analyzing large-scale, multi-cultural, and multi-level.

You can find a list of other publications by dr Mohsen Joshanloo here and his personal website here.

Below you can find some pictures of the Ruut Veenhoven Award Seminar.