If there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’, what does that mean for wellbeing measurement?

]Why public policy for wellbeing needs more than one approach‘Mid-level theories’ was recently proposed by Anna Alexandrova in her book A Philosophy for the Science of wellbeing’. Alexandrova argues that a one-size-fits-all grand theory of wellbeing is not imminent, so taking an inclusive approach to finding one might be a waste of time.

Instead we should develop many theories and metrics of wellbeing to suit specific policy areas. Mental health is a salient issue in social policy, for example, but less relevant to infrastructure spending, where wellbeing might pertain to sustainability.An advantage of building mid-level theories is that by breaking wellbeing public policy up into chunks it becomes more manageable and democratisable. The development of wellbeing public policy does not need to be a top-down enterprise driven by government, academic experts, and national statistical agencies. It can be delegated to line areas to develop theories and metrics that suit their work. Read more

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