New Paper on Human Flourishing in Cross-Cultural Settings

A new paper published by SHINE researchers investigates human flourishing in five culturally distinct populations. In this study we present two measures of human flourishing with psychometric support for their application to culturally distinct populations. Comparisons were made between states of human flourishing in Cambodia, China, Mexico, Sri Lanka, and United States. Although both measures have been shown to have satisfactory psychometic properties in the working adults population in the US they had never been tested empirically in the culturally distinct populattions, which, due to differences in cultural norms about ideal emotional states, may be source of systematic variations in reported levels of well-being.  This paper fills this gap.

With the exception of happiness and life satisfaction, respondents in the US, despite enjoying the highest financial and material stability, scored the lowest in all other domains of human flourishing. Respondents in China excelled in close social relationship and health domains. In addition to life satisfaction and happiness, character and virtue were relatively high in Cambodia. Respondents in Mexico, despite having the lowest scores in financial and material stability, had the greatest meaning and purpose to their lives. Respondents in Sri Lanka were the least happy and satisfied with life.

The researchers concluded that measurement of human flourishing – the ability of humans to thrive – has potential to inform policy and personal reflection, to guide design of interventions and to monitor societal well-being.  The researchrs believe that the Flourish Index and the Secure Flourish Index will be valuable tools for these objectives. Their psychometric properties recommend their suitability as measurement instruments. Offering unique evaluations for Sri Lanka and Cambodia, findings from this study enrich our knowledge about how humanity flourishes.

Read the full paper.