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Redefining Success in AmericaA New Theory of Happiness and Human Development$
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Michael Kaufman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226550015

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226550299.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 05 June 2020

The Qualitative Assessment of Well-Being: An Innovation in Happiness Research

The Qualitative Assessment of Well-Being: An Innovation in Happiness Research

(p.51) Chapter 4 The Qualitative Assessment of Well-Being: An Innovation in Happiness Research
Redefining Success in America

Michael B. Kaufman

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 4 introduces a main innovation in happiness research: a qualitative method for assessing well-being using clinical life history interviews and a rigorous narrative coding procedure developed by the study using grounded theory. This method was implemented with a high level of agreement by blind, independent coders. It captures variation in participants’ brightness and darkness without obscuring the richness of their lives because it links a numeric rating with psychobiographical description. The study implemented the procedure for each participant in college and separately in late midlife in order to systematically determine longitudinal patterns of well-being. The chapter presents the resulting Scale of Intrapsychic Brightness and Darkness for the sample in college and again in late midlife, its correlation with conceptually related measures, and other evidence of its soundness. It explains the development of the measure, how it is implemented, and its conceptual building blocks.

Keywords:   well-being, happiness, qualitative, coding, narrative, grounded theory, Scale of Intrapsychic Brightness and Darkness, life history interview, narrative well-being

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