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Contemporary Perspectives on Well-Being

New Perspectives and Methods in Transport and Social Exclusion Research

ISBN: 978-1-78-052200-5, eISBN: 978-1-78-052201-2

Publication date: 20 October 2011


Purpose — This chapter presents various conceptualisations of well-being, which focus on the full breadth of hedonic and eudaimonic qualities. A case has been made for why scholars with an interest in transport mobility and transport policy should consider the use of well-being as a valuable outcome measure to complement the standard economy-based utility models currently prevalent in the transport field.

Methodology — Theoretical and empirical evidence supporting the functions and benefits of well-being was appraised. These included the broaden and build theory and the self-determination theory (SDT) of psychological needs. The limits of existing transport mobility approaches were briefly identified, and the advantages of adopting a model, which includes facets of well-being, were outlined.

Findings — Well-being serves several important functions that align with personal needs and with national policy espoused by many world leaders. However, seldom has well-being been included in transport research. This may in part be because the term ‘well-being’ has been misunderstood and its full potential unrealised by those not directly involved in well-being research. In sum, the measurement of well-being in transport mobility research would provide added utility and justification and would help guide future transport mobility initiatives to achieve added benefits to those currently being attained.


Vella-Brodrick, D.A. (2011), "Contemporary Perspectives on Well-Being", Currie, G. (Ed.) New Perspectives and Methods in Transport and Social Exclusion Research, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 45-59.



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