Social conditions for human happiness: A review of research

Int J Psychol. 2015 Oct;50(5):379-91. doi: 10.1002/ijop.12161. Epub 2015 Apr 21.


Empirical research on happiness took off in the 1970s and accelerated after the emergence of positive psychology by 2000. Today this has resulted in some 23,000 research findings. In this article, I take stock of the findings on social conditions for happiness and distinguish between conditions at the macro level of society, the meso level of organisations and the micro level of individual conditions. A new review technique is applied, an online findings archive is used, in which research findings on happiness are described in a uniform way and sorted by subject.

Keywords: Cross-national; Life-satisfaction; Research synthesis; Subjective wellbeing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Happiness*
  • Humans
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Research
  • Social Conditions / trends*