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Tov, W., Diener, E., Ng, W., Kesebir, P., & Harter, J. (2009). The social and economic context of peace and happiness. In R. S. Wyer, C-y. Chiu, & Y-y. Hong (Eds.), Understanding culture: Theory, research, and application (pp. 239-258). New York, NY: Psychology Press.


Using data from the World Values Survey and the 2006 Gallup World Poll, we examined how individual well-being was related to societal perceptions relevant for peace. Across both datasets, happy people reported greater trust and confidence in the government. Moreover, this relation was moderated by societal conditions. Happy people were particularly more trusting and confident in countries where economic inequality and violence were low. Thus, as the objective conditions for peace were met, societal perceptions were increasingly linked to well-being. We discuss the implications of well-being and cross-cultural research for informing national policies.

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