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Table 2 Subjective well-being terms in surveys by type/connotation and question

From: Surveying happiness in China: comparing measures of subjective well-being

Term Type/connotation Survey question (example) Surveys
幸福 xingfu (happiness) Overall Evaluation/one’s life is going well as relating explicitly to relationships with family and friends; mood; health; material comfort; respect Asiabarometer 2006. All things considered, would you say that you are happy these days? Very happy, Quite happy, Neither happy nor unhappy, Not too happy, Very unhappy 总体来讲,你觉得自己最近幸福吗?(限选一项)非常幸福, 比较幸福, 一般, 不太幸福, 很不幸福 WVS 1995, Asiabarometer 2006, CGSS (2003/2013, 2012), Spiritual Life 2007, Blessed Happiness 2016
满意 manyi (satisfaction) Overall Evaluation/met expectations; material comfort; can also refer to satisfaction about specific things or issues Spiritual Life 2007. Do you feel satisfied with the way your life has been going recently? Very dissatisfied, very satisfied 请问您对自己近来的生活满意吗?非常不满意, 非常满意 Pew 2009, WVS (1990, 1995, 2001, 2007)
好生活 haoshenghuo (good life) Overall Evaluation/comfortable life Blessed Happiness 2016. Do you think you currently have a good life? Very good, Good, Not so good, Very bad 您觉得您现在过的生活算是好的生活吗?非常好, 比较好, 不太好, 非常不好 BH 2016
快乐 kuaile (happy) Positive Emotion/cheerful, untroubled, lighthearted CHNS 2011. I am as happy now as I was younger. 我和年轻时一样快乐 CHNS 2006, WVS (1990, 2007)
享受生活 xiangshou shenghuo (enjoying life) Positive Emotion/carefree, blissful; “this is the life” Asiabarometer 2006. How often do you feel you are really enjoying life these days? Often, sometimes, rarely, never 最近您每隔多长时间会感到自己是真正的在享受生活? 经常, 有时, 很少, 从不 Asiabarometer 2006
愉快 yukuai (happy) Positive Emotion/pleased, content WVS 2007, 2012. [recoded] Taking all things together, would you say you are Very happy, Rather happy, Not very happy, Not at all happy 将所有的情况都考虑进来,目前您生活得愉快吗?(读出选项) 很愉快, 愉快, 不太愉快, 一点都不愉快, 不知道 WVS (2007, 2012)
生活的阶梯 shenghuo de jieti (ladder of life) Career/"up” is better while “down” is worse Pew 2010. Here is a ladder representing the “ladder of life.” Let’s suppose the top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you; and the bottom, the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder do you feel you personally stand at the present time? “以下有一条梯子代表“生活的阶梯”,让我们假设梯子的最高处10分代表对您来说可能是最好的生活,而底部0分则代表对您来说可能是最差的生活。您个人觉得您现在是在这个梯子的哪一级呢?* Pew (2002, 2005, 2007, 2010)
意义 yiyi (meaning) Meaning/sense of significance Blessed Happiness 2016. Do you think your life is meaningful? Very meaningful, Meaningful, Not so meaningful, Meaningless 您觉得人生有意义吗?非常有意义, 比较有意义, 不太有意义, 非常没有意义 BH 2016