• Andreja Bubić Chair of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Split
  • Nikola Erceg Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb



beliefs, happiness, implicit theories, values


Pursuit of happiness represents one of people’s most valued personal goals that has, in recent decades, gained a lot of at- tention among researchers interested in discovering factors that influence and may increase people’s happiness levels. While numerous studies addressing this topic have focused exclusively on identifying the objectively important correlates of happiness, the present study explored individuals’ lay beliefs regarding the causes of happiness using The Causes of Happiness Question- naire and their association with basic personal values. The study was conducted on a sample consisting of 401 students of various social sciences and humanities in Croatia. In addition, the pres- ent study investigated the relevance of lay beliefs regarding the causes of happiness and values for the current levels of happi- ness. The results of the conducted factor analysis of The Causes of Happiness Questionnaire revealed its five‒factor structure, in- dicating life achievements, access to luxury, social support, per- sonal strengths as well as health and security as potential causes of happiness that were moderately correlated with individuals’ values. Finally, the results of the hierarchical regression analysis indicated openness to change as a basic personal value and so- cial support as a cause of happiness as predictors of current hap- piness levels. These findings support and extend previous results in this field, indicating that lay beliefs of the causes of happiness and values both contribute, albeit not prominently, to individuals’ current happiness.


Metrics Loading ...


Anić, P. i Tončić, M. (2013). Orientations to happiness, subjective well‒being and life goals. Psihologijske teme, 22(1), 135‒153.
Argyle, M. (2013). The psychology of happiness. Hove, UK: Routledge.
Bilsky, W., & Schwartz, S. H. (1994). Values and personality. European Journal of Personality, 8(3), 163–181. doi:10.1002/per.2410080303
Brdar, I. i Anić, P. (2010). Životni ciljevi, orijentacije prema sreći i psihološke potrebe adolescenata: Koji je najbolji put do sreće. Psihologijske teme, 19(1), 169‒187.
Brislin, R. W. (1970). Back‒translation for cross‒cultural research. Journalof Cross– Cultural Psychology, 1(3), 185–216. doi:10.1177/135910457000100301
Byrne, B. M. (2001). Structural equation modeling with AMOS: Basic concepts, ap- plications, and programming. New York, NY: Psychology Press.
Caunt, B. S., Franklin, J., Brodaty, N. E., & Brodaty, H. (2012). Exploring the causes of subjective well‒being: A content analysis of peoples’ recipes for long‒ term happiness. Journal of Happiness Studies, 14(2), 475‒499. doi:10.1007/ s10902‒012‒9339‒1
Chiasson, N., Dube, L., & Blondin, J. (1996). Happiness: A look into the folk psychol- ogy of four cultural groups. Journal of Cross–Cultural Psychology 27, 673–691. doi:10.1177/0022022196276002
Cohen, J., & Cohen, P. (1983). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Costello, A. B., & Osborne, J. W. (2005). Best practices in exploratory factor analy- sis: Four recommendations for getting the most from your analysis. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 10(7), 1‒9.
Delle Fave, A., Brdar, I., Freire, T., Vella‒Brodrick, D., & Wissing, M. (2011). The eudaimonic and hedonic components of happiness: Qualitative and quan- titative findings. Social Indicators Research, 100(2), 158‒207. doi:10.1007/ s11205‒010‒9632‒5
Delle Fave, A., Brdar, I., Wissing, M.P., Araujo, U., Solano, A.C, Freire, T., . . . Soosai‒ Nathan, L. (2016). Lay definitions of happiness across nations: The primacy of inner harmony and relational connectedness. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 30. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00030.
Diener, E. (2000). Subjective well‒being: The science of happiness and a proposal for a national index. American Psychologist, 55(1), 34–43. doi:10.1037/0033‒2909.95.3.542
Diener, E., & Seligman, M. E. (2002). Very happy people. Psychological Science, 13(1), 81–84.
Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well‒be- ing: Three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125(2), 276–302. doi:10.1037/0003‒066X.55.1.34
Epstein, S.(1994). Integrationofthecognitiveandthepsychodynamicunconscious.
American Psychologist, 49(8), 709–724. doi:10.1037/0003‒066X.49.8.709 Ferić, I. (2007). Univerzalnost sadržaja i strukture vrijednosti: Podaci iz Hrvatske.
Društvena istraživanja, 16(1‒2 (87‒88)), 3‒26.
Ferić, I. (2008). Sustav vrijednosti kao odrednica dominantnih političkih prefer- encija. Društvena istraživanja, 4–5(96‒97), 615‒629.
Ferić, I. (2009). Vrijednosti i vrijednosni sustavi: Psihologijski pristup. Zagreb: Alin- ea.
Franc, R., Šakić, V. i Ivičić, I. (2002). Values and value orientations of adoles- cents: Hierarchy and correlation with attitudes and behaviours. Društvena istraživanja, 11(2‒3 (58‒59)), 215–238.
Furnham, A., & Cheng, H. (2000). Lay theories of happiness. Journal of Happiness Studies, 1(2), 227–246. doi:10.1023/A:1010027611587
Furnham, A., Cheng, H., & Shirasu, Y. (2001). Lay theories of happiness in the East and West. Psychologia, 44(3), 173–187. doi:10.2117/psysoc.2001.173
Gilovich, T., Griffin, D., & Kahneman, D. (Eds.). (2002). Heuristics and biases: The psychology of intuitive judgment. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Haidt, J. (2001). The emotional dog and its rational tail: A social intuition- ist approach to moral judgment. Psychological Review, 108(4), 814–834.
Haslam, N., Whelan, J., & Bastian, B. (2009). Big Five traits mediate associations between values and subjective well‒being. Personality and Individual Differ- ences, 46(1), 40–42. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2008.09.001
Headey, B. W. (2008). Life goals matter to happiness: A revision of set‒point theory. Social Indicators Research, 86(2), 213–231. doi:10.1007/s11205‒ 007‒9138‒y
Helliwell, J. F., Layard, R., & Sachs, J. (2014). World happiness report 2013. Earth Institute, Columbia University.
Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covari- ance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 6(1), 1–55. doi:10.1080/10705519909540118
Hui, C. H., & Triandis, H. C. (1985). Measurement in cross‒cultural psychology: A review and comparison of strategies. Journal of Cross–Cultural Psychology, 16(2), 131–152. doi:10.1177/0022002185016002001
Huppert, F. A. (2009). Psychological well‒being: Evidence regarding its causes and consequences. Applied Psychology: Health and Well–Being, 1(2), 137– 164. doi:10.1111/j.1758‒0854.2009.01008.x
Inglehart, R., & Welzel, C. (2010). The WVS cultural map of the world. Preuzeto sa: cle_base_54
Koštrun, S. (2004). Hedonisticki i eudemonisticki aspekt psiholoske dobrobiti: Adap- tacija dvofaktorske skale. Zagreb: Filozofski fakultet.
Lu, L. (1999). Personal or environmental causes of happiness: A lon- gitudinal analysis. Journal of Social Psychology, 139(1), 79–90. doi:10.1080/00224549909598363
Lu, L., & Gilmour, R. (2004). Culture and conceptions of happiness: Individual ori- ented and social oriented SWB. Journal of Happiness Studies, 5(3), 269–291. doi:10.1007/s10902‒004‒8789‒5
Lu, L., Gilmour, R., & Kao, S. F. (2001a). Cultural values and happiness: An East‒West dialogue. Journal of Social Psychology, 141(4), 477‒493. doi:10.1080/00224540109600566
Lu, L., Gilmour, R., Kao, S. F., Weng, T.‒H., Hu, C. H., Chern, J. G., … Shih, J. B. (2001b). Two ways to achieve happiness: When the East meets the West. Personality and Individual Differences, 30(7), 1161–1174. doi:10.1016/ S0191‒8869(00)00100‒8
Lu, L., & Shih, J. B. (1997). Sources of happiness: A qualitative approach. The Jour-
nal of Social Psychology, 137(2), 181–187.
Lyubomirsky, S., Sheldon, K. M., & Schkade, D. (2005). Pursuing happiness: The architecture of sustainable change. Review of General Psychology, 9(2), 111– 131. doi:10.1037/1089‒2680.9.2.111
McDonald, J. D. (2008). Measuring personality constructs: The advantages and disadvantages of self‒reports, informant reports and behavioural assess- ments. Enquire, 1(1), 1–18.
O’Connor, B. P. (2000). SPSS and SAS programs for determining the number of components using parallel analysis and Velicer’s MAP test. Behavior Re- search Methods, Instrumentation, and Computers, 32, 396‒402. doi:10.3758/ BF03200807
Paulhus, D. L., & Vazire, S. (2007). The self‒report method. In R. W. Robins, R. C. Fraley, & R. F. Krueger (Eds.), Handbook of research methods in personality psychology (pp. 224–239). New York: Guilford Press.
Peterson, C., Park, N., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2005). Orientations to happiness and life satisfaction: The full life versus the empty life. Journal of Happiness Stud- ies, 6(1), 25–41. doi:10.1007/s10902‒004‒1278‒z
Pflug, J. (2009). Folk theories of happiness: A cross‒cultural comparison of con- ceptions of happiness in Germany and South Africa. Social Indicators Re- search, 92(3), 551–563. doi:10.1007/s11205‒008‒9306‒8
Raboteg‒Šarić, Z., Šarić, J. i Zajc, M. (1997). Ispitivanje sustava terminalnih i in- strumentalnih vrednota adolescenata. Društvena istraživanja, 6(6 (32)), 775‒785.
R Core Team (2013). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. Preuzeto sa: http:// www.R‒
Roccas, S., Sagiv, L., Schwartz, S. H., & Knafo, A. (2002). The Big five personality factors and personal values. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28(6), 789–801. doi: 10.1177/0146167202289008
Rokeach, M. (1973). The nature of human values. New York, NY: Free press. Rokeach, M. (2008). Understanding human values. New York, NY: Free press.
Sagiv, L., & Schwartz, S. H. (2000). Value priorities and subjective well‒being: Direct relations and congruity effects. European Journal of Social Psychology, 30(2), 177‒198. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1099‒0992(200003/04)30:2<177::AID‒ EJSP982>3.0.CO;2‒Z
Schreiber, J. B., Nora, A., Stage, F. K., Barlow, E. A., & King, J. (2006). Reporting structural equation modeling and confirmatory factor analysis results: A review. The Journal of Educational Research, 99(6), 323–338. doi:10.3200/ JOER.99.6.323‒338
Schmitt, T. A. (2011). Current methodological considerations in exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 29(4), 304‒321. doi:10.1177/0734282911406653
Schwartz, S. H. (1992). Universals in the content and structure of values: Theoreti- cal advances and empirical tests in 20 countries. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 25(1), 1–65. doi:10.1016/S0065‒2601(08)60281‒6
Schwartz, S. H. (1994). Are there universal aspects in the structure and contents of human values? Journal of Social Issues, 50(4), 19–45. doi:10.1111/j.1540‒4560.1994.tb01196.x
Schwartz, S. H. (1996). Value priorities and behavior: Applying a theory of inte- grated value systems. In C. Seligman, J. M. Olson, & M. P. Zanna (Eds.), The psychology of values, Vol. 8 (pp. 1–24). Ontario: The Ontario Symposium.
Schwartz, S. H. (Ed.). (2003). A proposal for measuring value orientations across nations. Questionnaire Package of the European Social Survey (pp. 259–290). European Social Survey.
Schwartz, S. H. (2008). Cultural value orientations: Nature and implications of na- tional differences. Moscow, RU: Publishing house of SU HSE.
Schwartz, S. H., Melech, G., Lehmann, A., Burgess, S., Harris, M., & Owens, V. (2001). Extending the cross‒cultural validity of the theory of basic human values with a different method of measurement. Journal of Cross–Cultural Psychol- ogy, 32(5), 519–542. doi:10.1177/0022022101032005001
Sheldon, K. M. (2005). Positive value change during college: Normative trends and individual differences. Journal of Research in Personality, 39(2), 209–223. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2004.02.002
Sheldon, K. M., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2007). Is it possible to become happier? (And if so, how?). Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 1(1), 129–145. doi:10.1111/j.1751‒9004.2007.00002.x
Sotgiu, I., Galati, D., Manzano, M., & Rognoni, E. (2011). Happiness components and their attainment in old age: across‒cultural comparison between Italy and Cuba. Journal of Happiness Studies, 12, 353–371. doi:10.1007/ s10902‒010‒9198‒6
Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2014). Using multivariate statistics. Boston: Pear- son Education.
Uchida, Y., & Kitayama, S. (2009). Happiness and unhappiness in east and west: Themes and variations. Emotion, 9(4), 441–456. doi:10.1037/a0015634 Van de Vijver, F., & Hambleton, R. K. (1996). Translating tests: Some practical guide-
lines. European Psychologist, 1(2), 89–99. doi:10.1027/1016‒9040.1.2.89 Vella‒Brodrick, D. A., Park, N. C., & Peterson, C. (2009). Three ways to be
happy: Pleasure, engagement, and meaning—Findings from Austral- ian and US Samples. Social Indicators Research, 90, 165‒179. doi:10.1007/ s11205‒008‒9251‒6
Verkasalo, M., Lönnqvist, J. E., Lipsanen, J., & Helkama, K. (2009). European norms and equations for a two‒dimensional presentation of values as measured with Schwartz’s 21-item portrait values questionnaire. European Journal of Social Psychology, 39(5), 780‒792. doi:10.1002/ejsp.580
Waterman, A. S. (1993). Two conceptions of happiness: Contrasts of personal ex- pressiveness (eudaimonia) and hedonic enjoyment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64(4), 678–691.
Wilson, T. D., & Dunn, E. W. (2004). Self‒knowledge: Its limits, value, and potential for improvement. Annual Review of Psychology, 55, 493–518. doi:10.1146/ annurev.psych.55.090902.141954




How to Cite




Regular issues