Respected Australian researcher Winton Bates has posted an interesting graphical investigation into the relationship between international measures of freedom and well-being.
His paper concludes that the evidence supports the view that the overall relationship between freedom and well-being is positive. He further finds that increased feelings of individual agency do not seem to be associated with more selfish behaviour. “If anything, the opposite seems to be the case.”
The chart below from his paper illustrates one of the associated relationships – the percentage who have low levels of life satisfaction is much higher among those who feel that they have little ‘freedom and control’ and the percentage with high levels of satisfaction is much higher among those who feel that they have a great deal of ‘freedom and control’.
The chart is based on data for about 80,000 respondents in 57 countries from the 2005 World Values Survey.