Findings on happiness in Brickman et al. (1978): study US 1977

Author(s)Brickman, P.; Coates, D.; Janoff-Bulman, R.
TitleLottery Winners and Accident Victims: Is Happiness Relative?
SourceJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1987, Vol. 36, 917 - 927
PublicLottery winners, paralyzed accident victims, and controls, Illinois USA, 1977
Survey nameNot available
SampleNot available
 1. Lottery winners: non-probability quota sample from a list of 197 major winners of Illinois State Lottery on the basis of the amount won, and proximity to other winners. 2. Accident victims: non probability sample from the fulltime patient population of a major rehabilitation institute. 3. Controls: probability random sample from 88 names, drawn from the phone book on the basis of proximity to the lottery winners.
Respondents N =73
Non Response45.5%
AssesmentInterview: face-to-face
 Structured, interview also by phone
General remarksAll accident victims interviewed in face to face situation, most winners and controls by phone.
Happiness measure(s) used
Full textSelfreport on single question: "How happy are you now (not at this moment, but at this stage of life) .....?" 0 not at all 1 2 3 4 5 very much (originally rated on horizontal line scale)
Author's labelHappiness
RemarksLottery winners: M = 4,00; Ms = 8,00 Accident victims: M = 2,96; Ms = 5,92 Controls: M = 3,82; Ms = 7,64
Finding used in
nation ranks
 On original range 0 - 5On range 0 - 10
Standard deviation

Correlational findings

Author's labelSubject Code
Subject description
Being an accident victimH02ab01cPhysical handicap
Being an accident victimL06ab02Specific current life-events, also classified as above ↑
Being an accident victimV06ab01Victim of accident, also classified as above ↑
Having won a major lotteryL18ab02Lottery winning
Having won a major lotteryL06ab02Specific current life-events, also classified as above ↑