Happiness in nations is typically measured in surveys using a single question. A common question is: ‘all things considered, how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with your life as-a-whole these days on a scale from 0 to 10?’. The responses typically follow a uni-modal distribution with highest frequencies between 5 and 8. Yet in some nations, the percentage of 10 responses stands out and is higher than the percentage of 9 responses. This is particularly present in Latin America and in the Middle East. In this paper we explore the prevalence of the ‘10-excess’ pattern and check some possible explanations. We conclude that the 10-excess phenomenon is partly due to cultural influence.

10 excess, Cultural effect, Extreme responding, Happiness, Life satisfaction
dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11205-016-1265-x, hdl.handle.net/1765/81266
Social Indicators Research: an international and interdisciplinary journal for quality-of-life measurement
Erasmus School of Economics

Brulé, G, & Veenhoven, R. (2016). The ‘10 Excess’ Phenomenon in Responses to Survey Questions on Happiness. Social Indicators Research: an international and interdisciplinary journal for quality-of-life measurement, 1–18. doi:10.1007/s11205-016-1265-x