Issues and Subjective Wellbeing

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The topic of subjective wellbeing has been the topic of research for almost 40 years. This research explores the relationship between subjective wellbeing (happiness) with extreme political views. The question is if extreme political views have a positive or negative correlation on happiness and wellbeing, if there is a positive correlation, is it possible to predict happiness off of the extremeness of political beliefs in an individual. We are looking to see if people that have stronger or extreme political views, one side or the other, are happier or less happy than those who are more moderate in their political beliefs. We hypothesized that there would be a positive correlation between extreme political views and happiness. Through a voluntary, online survey asking 22 political questions with the options of strongly agree to strongly disagree questions such as "planned parenthood should get more funding." Other questions included the percentage of likeliness of attending a protest of a certain political view. The study measured happiness in an individual using the Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener, et al. 1985) and the Subjective Happiness scale (Lyubomirsky & Lepper 1999). Preliminary results show that there is a strong correlation between some political questions and happiness, we are also able to predict with higher precision the level of happiness. There is an interesting finding that suggest the more extreme a person's belief the overall life satisfaction is better but the more immediate happiness is lower, these questions include opinions and views concerning border control and school safety.

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Doug Peterson

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