Since the 1980s, several polls in Russia included questions about happiness. The responses to these questions were quite similar. Average happiness was low in comparison to other nations and declined over time. Ten years after the fall of communism Russians are less happy than during the communist period. There are doubts about the validity of these self-reports. One source of doubt is that these data may not reflect Russians self-appraisals adequately, due to distortions in translation and a differential response bias. A second misgiving is that true discontent could be rather superficial, and be largely due to unfavorable comparison with the West and folklore of negativism. These qualms are checked in this article. It appears that the Russians are as unhappy as they say they are, and that they have good reasons to be so. The current unhappiness is not due to the Russian national character, but has more to do with the troublesome transitions taking place in Russian society.

Additional Metadata
Keywords cross-cultural, happiness, life-satisfaction transition society, national character, subjective well-being
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/8772
Journal Journal of Happiness Studies: an interdisciplinary forum on subjective well-being
Citation
Veenhoven, R. (2001). Are the Russians as Unhappy as They Say They Are?. Journal of Happiness Studies: an interdisciplinary forum on subjective well-being. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/8772