question for the experts
Alison Clack Mallard (CMSPSY02@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU)
Tue, 22 Aug 1995 16:12:41 EDT
I am going to try this again, b/c I don't think I did such a hot job the first
time asking this question. I think some of you will be intrigued by these
findings, and I hope you can shed some light on them for me.
Background: some think that overall life satisfaction (OLS) results from
the sum of the satisfaction a person experiences in his/her life domains (e.g.,
religion, education, family, health). This is known as a bottom-up theory b/c
the effect of the satisfaction in life facets has an upward influence on OLS.
-others argue that the relationshp between OLS and life facet satisfaction
(LFS) is top-down in that one's disposition influences the extent to which
one is happy with life facets. In other words, people tend to be happy or
unhappy or somewhere in the middle. This is the top-down model.
-the third model says that it is both, OLS influences LFS and LFS influences
OLS. THis is known as the bidirectional model.
I compared the fit of these three models for 28 countries (I used
LISREL, and if you are interested I will provide more info on how I did this).
For 25 of the 28 countries, the bidirectional model fit best. For Belgium,
Jordan, and Sweden, however, the top-down model fit best. My first question
is "why would these three countries fit best with the top-down model when
the rest of the countires were bidirectional?" I must add that all data were
collected with college students in the target coutntries (go ahead, slam me!).
Part two: for only the 25 countries in the bidirectional group, I did furhter
analyses. There were 11 life facets (satisfaction with health, family,
finances, paid employment, religion, recreation, education, housing,frienships
transportiton, and living partner. I coded each facet's relationship with
OLS: 100 if the facet had a significant bottom-up relationship with OLS
010 if the facet had a significant top-down relationship with OLS
001 if the facet had a significant bidirectional relationship with OLS
000 if the facet had no significant relationship with OLS
Note: although all of these countries are considered bidirectional countries,
not all facets had bidirectional relationship with OLS. They had one of the
I performed a cluster analysis according to the codes for each facet, and I
came up with the following clusters:
Cluster 1: Austria, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand. All countries in
this cluster had Bottom-up relationships between living partner and OLS
Bottom-up relationships between education and OLS
Top-down relationships bewteen family and OLS
Cluster 2: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Puerto Rico, Spain. None of the countriesqin
this cluster had common relationships (bottom-up, top-down, or bidirectional)
between any life facet and OLS.
Cluster 3: Brazil, Norway, and Tanzania. All coutnries in this cluster had
Bidirectional relationships between living partner and OLS
Bidirectional relationships between religion and OLS
Cluster 4: Cameroon, Canada, and United States. All countries in this cluster
had Bidirectional relationships between finances and OLS
Bidirectional relationships between family and OLS
Bidirectional relationships between friends and OLS
Top-down relationshiops between transportation and OLS
Cluster 5: Egypt, Japan, and Korea. All countries in this cluster had
Bidirectional relationships between health and OLS
Bidirectional relationships between finances and OLS
Bottom-up relationships between family and OLS
Top-down relationships between transportation and OLS
Cluster 6: Finland, Israel, Thailand, and Turkey. All countries in this
cluster had Top-down relationships between religion and OLS
Cluster 7: Greece, Philippines, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia (data were
collected a few years ago). All countries in this cluster had
Bidirectional relationships between paid employment and OLS
Top-down relationships between housing and OLS.
My second question is why are these countries different in their
relationships between these life facets and OLS? I realize this is a big
paper in of itself, but any insight would be greatly appreciated.
Who knows, maybe it will turn into a collaborate paper.
I apologize for the length of this posting, but I want to be as clear as
possible (I have no idea if this mission has been accomplished, but I hope
so). Thank you so much for your time and effort, and I will summarize your
responses. I will also reply to those of you who have asked me questions
Alison G. C. Mallard
Dept. of Psychology