Correlational finding on Happiness and subject: Optimism in nation

StudyHills et al. (2015): study ZZ Europe 1973
TitleHistorical Analysis of National Subjective Wellbeing Using Millions of Digitized Books.
SourceIZA Discussion Paper. 2015, No. 9195< Warwick, Uk
URLhttp://ftp.iza.org/dp9195.pdf
Public15+ aged, general public, 5 EU nations, 1973-2009
SampleProbability multistage stratified area sample
Non-Response
Respondents N =119

Correlate
Author's labelValence of words used in books
Page in Source 4,5,14,17
Our classificationOptimism in nation
Operationalization
2 step rating of positiveness of words used in books in 
a language in a year:

Step1:
Rating of Intrinsic attractiveness or aversiveness of 
words. Respondents were asked to value of common words, 
such as 'abandon'. 'abbey', 'ability'... etc.. The 
number of words valued varied per nation from 1003 
words in German to 1034 words in the UK and Spain. Each 
word was rated by 20 participants per nation on the 
following scale:
   -3:: Most negative association
   -2
   -1
    0
  +1
  +2
  +3: most positive association
Ratings were recoded afterwards to range 1-9 and a mean 
per nation was computed

Step 2:
Assesment of average valence of words used in books in 
the national language using Google Book database
Observed distributionM = 5,72, SD = 0,114
Error Estimates0.35

Observed Relation with Happiness
Happiness
Measure
StatisticsElaboration/Remarks
O-SLL-u-sq-v-4-bb=+1.5 p < .01
AVERAGE happiness in nation by average valence of 
words used in books in 119 nation/year 
combinations 1973-2000
b controlled for:
- country fixed effects
- year fixed effects
- number of words covered
Set Image size:   

O-SLL-u-sq-v-4-bRČ=.90
O-SLL-u-sq-v-4-bb=+1,4 p < .01
b additionally controled for GDP
O-SLL-u-sq-v-4-bRČ=.90
O-SLL-u-sq-v-4-bb=+2.2 p < .01
b without Spain and France (N nation/year 78).
O-SLL-u-sq-v-4-bRČ=.95
(
O-SLL-u-sq-v-4-bb=+1,4 p < .01
b when years extended from 1973-2009
O-SLL-u-sq-v-4-bRČ=.90


Appendix 1: Happiness measures used
CodeFull Text
O-SLL-u-sq-v-4-bSelfreport on single question:

On the whole how satisfied are you with the life you lead?
4 very satisfied
3 fairly satisfied
2 not very satisfied
1 not at all satisfied
- Don't know


Appendix 2: Statistics used
SymbolExplanation
bREGRESSION COEFFICIENT (non-standardized) by LEAST SQUARES (OLS)
Type: test statistic
Measurement level: Correlate: metric, Happiness: metric
Theoretical range: unlimited

Meaning:
b > 0 A higher correlate level corresponds with a higher happiness rating on average.
B < 0 A higher correlate level corresponds with a lower happiness rating on average.
B = 0 Not any correlation with the relevant correlate.
COEFFICIENT of DETERMINATION
Type: test statistic
Measurement level: Correlates: all metric, Happiness: metric
Range: [0; 1]

Meaning:
RČ = 0 « no influence of any correlate in this study has been established.
RČ = 1 « the correlates determine the happiness completely.
Source:
Ruut Veenhoven, World Database of Happiness, Collection of Correlational Findings, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
https://worlddatabaseofhappiness.eur.nl