2nd Edition

Subjective Well-Being and Life Satisfaction A Social Psychological Perspective

Edited By James E. Maddux Copyright 2025
    488 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    488 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This comprehensive and updated new edition offers scholarly summaries of theory and research on the social psychological influences on subjective well-being and life satisfaction.

    Among the topics covered are types of relationships (e.g., romantic relationships, friendships, online relationships) and types of interactions with others (e.g., forgiveness, gratitude, helping behavior). It also examines broader social issues such as culture, socioeconomic status, religion, and well-being in the workplace. The latest edition includes new chapters on economic inequality, psychedelic social psychology, singlehood, social worth, and identity.

    Subjective Well-Being and Life Satisfaction: A Social Psychological Perspective is a rich and focused resource for graduate students, upper-level undergraduate students, and researchers in positive psychology and social psychology. It should also be of interest to social neuroscientists, mental health researchers, clinical and counselling psychologists, and anyone interested in the science of well-being.

    Part 1: Foundational Issues

    1. Subjective Well-Being and Life Satisfaction: Conceptions, Theories, and Controversies
    James E. Maddux

    2. Culture
    William Tov

    3. Social Neuroscience
    Begüm G. Babür & Elisa C. Baek

    4. Psychedelic Social Psychology
    Tanya K. Vannoy & Sonja Lyubomirsky

    5. Motives and Goals throughout the Lifespan
    Jutta Heckhausen, Joseph S. Kay, & Priscilla S. Yau

    6. Well-Being in the Workplace
    Nathan A. Bowling & Chelsea A. LeNoble

    Part 2: Relationships

    7. Social Relationships and Meaning in Life
    Samantha J. Heintzelman & Elif Ulutaş

    8. Love
    Beverly Fehr

    9. Friendship
    Beverly Fehr & Cheryl Harasymchuk

    10. Singlehood
    Tita Gonzolez Aviles

    11. Solitude
    Robert J. Coplan & John M. Zelenski

    Part 3: Prosocial Motivation and Behavior

    12. Helping and Prosocial Motivation
    David L. Lishner & E. L. Stock

    13. Forgiveness
    Everett L. Worthington, Jr. & Brandon J. Griffin

    14. Humility
    Everett L. Worthington, Jr., Don E. Davis, Joshua N. Hook, & Daryl R. Van Tongeren

    15. Gratitude
    Philip C. Watkins & Alexander W. Dodson

    16. Religion and Spirituality
    Joshua A. Wilt & Julie J. Exline

    Part 4: Comparing Ourselves to Others.

    17. Social Comparison Processes
    Pieternel Dijkstra, Abraham P. Buunk, & Dick P.H. Barelds

    18. Social Media Use
    Jung-Hyun Kim

    19. Economic Inequality
    Hongfei Du

    Part 5: Self and Identity

    20. Social Worth
    Adrian Rothers & J. Christopher Cohrs

    21. Impression Management
    Mary Ross & Ovul Sezer

    22. Self-Awareness and Hypo-Egoicism
    Mark R. Leary & Jennifer L. Rogers

    23. Identity
    Aleksandra Pilarska


    James E. Maddux is Distinguished University Professor Emeritus in Psychology and Senior Scholar in the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being at George Mason University, Virginia, USA. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.

    "When the first edition of this book was published it was a milestone in the field. We are now fortunate to have a second edition. James Maddux has again brought together leading experts on well-being to provide an updated and comprehensive overview of the contemporary social psychological research on what well-being is, its relationships to different facets of human experience, and how to create more of it. As with the first edition, this book promises to be the definitive volume for scholars and practitioners.”

    Stephen Joseph, PhD, Professor at the University of Nottingham, and author of ‘Authentic. How to be Yourself and Why it Matters’

    “As James Maddux and his expert collaborators amply document, subjective well-being matters—as a desirable state and as a predictor of health, achievement, relationship success, and more. Therein lies the importance of the scientific pursuit of happiness, which is expertly recapped in this evidence-based and clear reporting on its roots and fruits.”

    David Myers, Hope College, author of The Pursuit of Happiness and How Do We Know Ourselves: Curiosities and Marvels of the Human Mind.

    Praise for the first edition:
    "This excellent volume gives a much-needed overview of the rapidly growing field of subjective well-being. Its scholarly summaries bring readers up-to-date on many of the most important topics regarding happiness and life satisfaction, from perennial topics such as gratitude, humility, and forgiveness to emerging topics such as media and sexual orientation." 

    Edward F. Diener, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA