Doing Better But Feeling Worse

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(3), 180–181. Reviews the book, The Quality of American Life: Perceptions, Evaluations, and Satisfactions by Angus Campbell, Philip E. Converse, and Willard L. Rodgers (see record 1977-05650-000). The research reported in this volume was based on the conviction that the relationship between objective conditions and psychological states is imperfect and complex. The first chapter presents introductory material. The next five chapters present the measures used, the way the measures relate to each other, and the way in which particular domain satisfactions related to more global senses of well-being. The next five chapters considered the most important domains, one at a time, focusing on the way in which assessments of more specific features of these domains cumulate to an overall feeling of satisfaction. The material is presented clearly and concisely. The book does have areas of shortcoming that should not be overlooked. Although the data are analyzed appropriately and extensively, there is really little theory underlying the framework. Finally, the authors raise the possibility that work of the type discussed in their book would have little relevance for policy analysis and formulation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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