Correlational finding on Happiness and subject: Relative income

StudyBerkman (1971): study US Alameda County, California 1965
TitleLife Stress and Psychological Well-Being: A Replication of Langner's Analysis in the Midtown Manhatten Study.
SourceJournal of Health and Social Behavior, 1971, Vol. 12, 35 - 45
PublicAdults, general public, Alameda County, USA, 1965
Respondents N =6928

Author's labelSelf-evaluated com- parative financial status
Page in Source 41
Our classificationRelative income
3-item index of closed questions on present financial 
situation compared with:
- former expectations
- present situation compared with what
  it used to be
- situation of most relatives and
Trichtomized into:
1: worse
2: intermediate
3: better

Observed Relation with Happiness
  proportion happy:
0: worse           25.3%     AR= .42
1: intermediate    39.0%     AR= .50
2: better          35.8%     AR= .56
Unaffected by S.E.S.
The average ridits (AR) were calculated with 
the distribution of the total sample as reference

Appendix 1: Happiness measures used
CodeFull Text
A-BB-u-mq-v-3-aSelfreport on 8 questions:

"Here is a list that describes some of the ways people feel at different times. How often do you feel each of these ways?"
A Very lonely or remote from other people
B Depressed or very unhappy
C Bored
D So restless you couldn't sit long in a chair
E Vaguely uneasy about something without knowing why
F On top of the world
G Particularly excited or interested in something
H Pleased about having accomplished something

Answer options:
0 never
1 sometimes
3 often
Positive Affect Score (PAS): summed scores on F, G, H
Negative Affect Score (NAS): summed scores on A, B, C, D, E
Affect Balance Score (ABS): PAS minus NAS

Possible range -15 to +9
Transformed to a 7 point scale, where 1 is all or almost all positive feelings and 7 is all or almost all negative feelings.
1 = neg 0-1 and pos 7-9
2 = neg 0-1 and pos 4-6
2 = neg 2-3 and pos 7-9
3 = neg 0-1 and pos 3
3 = neg 2-3 and pos 4-6
3 = neg 4-5 and pos 7-9
4 = neg 0-1 and pos 0-2
4 = neg 2-3 and pos 3
4 = neg 4-5 and pos 4-6
4 = neg 6-15 and pos 7-9
5 = neg 2-3 and pos 0-2
5 = neg 4-5 and pos 3
5 = neg 6-15 and pos 4-6
6 = neg 4-5 and pos 0-2
6 = neg 6-15 and pos 3
7 = neg 6-15 and pos 0-2

Name: Berkman modified variation of Bradburn's `Affect Balance Scale'

Appendix 2: Statistics used
Type: test statistic
Measurement level: Happiness ordinal
Range: [0; +1]

Mr < .50: average happiness in this subgroup lower than in the larger population
Mr = .50: average happiness in this subgroup the same as in the larger population
Mr > .50: average happiness in this subgroup higher than in the larger population

'Ridit analysis' compares the distribution of happiness scores in subgroups to its distribution in the entire sample ("Relative to an Identified Distribution")

Testing for significance can be performed through a "BROSS Confidence Interval" (BCI). If all values the BCI for a subgroup are above/below 0.500, the subgroup is significantly more/less happy than the larger population.
Ruut Veenhoven, World Database of Happiness, Collection of Correlational Findings, Erasmus University Rotterdam.