The Better People Feel About Their Country, the Better
They Feel Overall02/11/11
FRIDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The more people are
satisfied with their country, the better they feel about their
lives, a new study shows.
This connection is especially strong among those who have low
incomes or live in poorer nations and non-Western countries,
according to study author Mike Morrison, a doctoral candidate at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and colleagues.
They analyzed responses collected from 130,000 people in 128
countries who took part in a Gallup World Poll that asked
participants a series of questions about their lives, including job
satisfaction, household income and their feelings about their life
The study appears in the latest issue of the journal
"You can hear politicians in any country declare, 'We live in the best country in the world!' and people cheer," Morrison said in a journal news release. He noted that anyone "can idealize their country," and this appears to be an effective option for people without much money.
The researchers also found that people in non-Western countries
are more likely to identify strongly with a group, as opposed to
the sense of individualism common in Western nations. This could
explain why the sense of well-being among people who live in
non-Western nations is more closely associated with their
satisfaction with their country.
Among people with high incomes and those who live in Western
nations, well-being was more closely linked to personal factors
such as health, job satisfaction and standard of living.
The majority of studies on happiness have examined its link to
income, health, attitudes or temperament. "But we find here that
societal characteristics, and how they are perceived, can also be
important," said study co-author Ed Diener, a leading happiness
researcher. "What is more, societal characteristics become even
more important to happiness when one's life is not going so well.
This might explain why nationalism, the loyalty of sports fans, and
religiosity can be very strong in the toughest of times."
Mental Health America offers some tips on improving
your mental health.
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