Questions on happiness and well-being have preoccupied human thought from time immemorial. The emancipation of the theme from the sphere of morality and religion and its entry in science however is rather recent. This evolution is illustrated by the exponential expansion of QOL-studies and the growing interest of public institutions for their findings. In this contribution we sketch our outlook on the why (evolutionary significance of QOL-research and its place in a progressive evolutionary worldview), what (a taxonomy of QOL- instruments) and how (a critique of biases in conventional instruments) of QOL- research. Based on existing literature, evidence from empirical research, and some original lines of thought, we describe a movement of integration between objective and subjective, and quantitative and qualitative research, towards more transdisciplinary ways of reasoning. Our own contribution to this evolution is the autobiographically anchored, narratively fed Anamnestic Comparative Self Assessment scale (ACSA), which addresses QOL as an individual experiential emergent construct. Several field studies suggest ACSA reduces cultural and other relativity biases of conventional instruments. We conclude that ACSA is useful particularly in combination with conventionally obtained multi-item multidimensional data.
|Ethiek en Maatschappij
|Published - May 2009