Research & Studies

Theoretical and methodological considerations for research on quality of life and well-being

A brand new article was released in Hungarian Statistical Review written by László Kulcsár.


The study aims to formulate questions about the concept of well-being (quality of life) from theoretical and methodological (non-technical) points of view, and to raise doubts based on results of various research. It begins with a critical review of literature by examining the concepts of quality of life and well-being that are treated as synonymous by the author. The scientific literature is characterized by conceptual confusion, consequently a multitude of misinterpretations can be observed in the empirical research of quality of life and well-being. To overcome this, several ‘solutions’ have emerged in the international literature and in the practice of international organizations (OECD, EU, UN). However, each has been confronted not only with the question of what is the difference between ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’ as well as ‘social’ and ‘individual’ well-being but also with the international cultural context. There has long been a general agreement that economic indicators do not give good prediction of people’s well-being but there is no consensus on what dimensions ‘beyond GDP’ and what measures would be appropriate. This suggests that there is currently no paradigm by which conceptual and methodological difficulties could be (at least partly) eliminated. The study attempts to outline a new model for studying well-being (quality of life).

Keywords: quality of life, well-being, methodology, social and economic inequalities, social policy, culture


The article is available HERE in Hungarian.