Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Race and well-being

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

White 8.95
Black 9.47*
Amerindian 9.08
Asian 9.50
Mexican 9.06

*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. 


  1. silly girl9:53 AM

    It would be interesting to have a study where individuals rate themselves as in this set of data, and then have each of them rated by groups of others and see how the evaluations vary by observer.

    This is not altogether different from the "reason for black poverty" question.

    If a black girl calls herself cheerful and generous, would others? Would a white man? Black man? White woman? etc.

  2. I agree and will keep looking for data.

  3. Anonymous12:28 AM

    That whites are at the bottom is result of the race war going on against whites, directed by, well, we all know.


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