Correlational finding on Happiness and Attitudes to government
Subject code: P09ag01

StudyBachman et al. (1978): study US 1966
TitleYouth in Transition, Vol. VI. Adolescence to Adulthood. Change and Stability in the Lives of Young Men.
SourceInstitute for Social Research, 1978, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
PublicPublic highschool boys followed 8 years from grade 10, USA, 1966-74
Non-Response2.8% at T1, 17.2% at T2, 21.0% at T3, 28.9% at T4, 28.5% at T5
Respondents N =1628

Author's labelTrust in government
Our classificationAttitudes to government, code P09ag01
3-item index of closed questions measuring the extent 
to which the respondent trusted the government not to 
waste money, to do what is right, and to be run by 
capable people. Scale:
1.00 = low to 5.00 = high trust. Assessed at T1, T2, 
T3, T4 and T5

Observed Relation with Happiness
O-HP-g-mq-v-5-atau=+ s
            Trust in government
Happiness   T1     T2     T3     T4     T5
T1        +.23   +.19   +.15   +.19   +.10 (01)
T2        +.21   +.24   +.20   +.23   +.14
T3        +.18   +.22   +.26   +.22   +.14
T4        +.17   +.19   +.21   +.23   +.17
All tau's significant with p < .001, unless 
indicated otherwise
T1:1966, T2:1968, T3:1969, T4:1970, T5:1974

Appendix 1: Happiness measures used
CodeFull Text
O-HP-g-mq-v-5-aSelfreport on 6 questions:

" Describe the kind of person you are. Please read each sentence, then mark how often it is true for you"
1 I feel like smiling
2 I generally feel in good spirits
3 I feel happy
4 I am very satisfied with life
5 I find a good deal of happiness in life
6 I feel sad

Response options:
5 almost always true
4 often true
3 sometimes true
2 seldom true
1 never true

Summation: average
Possible range: 1 to 5

Appendix 2: Statistics used
tauGOODMAN & Kruskal's TAU
Type: descriptive statistic only.
Measurement level: Correlate: nominal, Happiness: ordinal
Range: [0; +1]

tau = 0 knowledge of the correlate value does not improve the prediction quality of the happiness rating.
tau = 1 knowledge of the correlate value enables a perfect (error-free) prediction of the happiness rating.
Ruut Veenhoven, World Database of Happiness, Collection of Correlational Findings, Erasmus University Rotterdam.