A well-being score was calculated for MIDUS respondents based on the following items: has a cheerful happy disposition; feels good about self; sees a bright future ahead; is an optimist; lives an interesting, exciting life; and enjoys the things he or she is doing. Here are the means by race/ethnicity:
Mean well-being score
*significantly higher than whites
The black mean is about three-tenths of a standard deviation higher than the white mean--a small-to-moderate difference. How are these folks so happy in such a terrible country?
According to Tellegen and Lykken, the stable part of happiness is 80% heritable.