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Within the past several decades, well-being has attracted considerable attention of scholars, practitioners, organizations, and governments across the globe. The interest results from recurring observations that well-being is a positive mental state, beyond the simple absence of mental illness, that leads to a wide spectrum of benefits for individuals and societies across a variety of cultural and national backgrounds (Lyubomirsky, King, & Diener, 2005a; Kaplan, Bradley, Luchman, & Haynes, 2009; Kesebir & Diener, 2008; Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2014), and thus is increasingly recognized as a better measure of national progress than GDP (Costanza, et al., 2009; Kahneman et al., 2004; Kubiszewski et al., 2013).


The current study, therefore, seeks to collect, organize, and analyze the data and information about the well-being current status among the countries along the new silk road—“one belt, one road (OBOR)” initiative. In this way, we aim to get a better understanding of the member countries’ development, not only economic but more importantly social development and progress, and seek to track the data in subsequent years to investigate the potential impact of OBOR project on them. We, currently, classify the research into three pieces—well-being levels, and inequality among OBOR countries, well-being changes among OBOR countries, and well-being comparison among OBOR countries with different global regions, and economic development status.


Before we go to the detailed studies, we first elaborate two different dimensions or pathways of well-being—emotional well-being and judgmental well-being.


The first dimension is called emotional happiness, which establishes upon positive feeling and experience. We define and identify emotional happiness with a person’s overall emotional state or condition, which is represented by frequency rather than intensity of positive experience, incorporates our emotional conditions in their entirety, including their non-conscious aspects, and does not include trivial or “peripheral” affects, like merely sensory pains and pleasures. To conclude, the emotional happiness here is constituted by one’s most prudentially important, or central, affective states, and by one’s propensities to have central affective states (Haybron, 2005).


We call the second pathway or dimension of well-being judgmental well-being, which is based on positive evaluation and is a matter of getting what individuals want (Griffin, 1986). Judgmental happiness is viewed as mainly a cognitive state, which is not taken as simply a feeling or emotion any more, but crucially as a judgment or evaluation about how the life is going.


From our definitions, we can see that although emotional and judgmental well-being tend to be interrelated, judgmental well-being might be more likely to be influenced by country economic and social status and life circumstance, and emotional well-being is more likely to be related to norms and cultures.


Costanza, R., Hart, M., Talberth, J., & Posner, S. 2009. Beyond GDP: The need for new measures of progress. The pardee papers.


Griffin, J. 1986. Well-being: Its meaning, measurement, and moral importance.


Haybron, D. M. 2005. On being happy or unhappy. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 71(2): 287-317.


Kahneman, D., Krueger, A. B., Schkade, D., Schwarz, N., & Stone, A. 2004. Toward national well-being accounts. The American

Economic Review, 94(2): 429-434.


Kaplan, S., Bradley, J. C., Luchman, J. N., & Haynes, D. 2009. On the role of positive and negative affectivity in job performance: A meta-analytic investigation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(1): 162.


Kesebir, P., & Diener, E. 2008. In pursuit of happiness: Empirical answers to philosophical questions. Perspectives on psychological science, 3(2): 117-125.


Kubiszewski, I., Costanza, R., Franco, C., Lawn, P., Talberth, J., Jackson, T., & Aylmer, C. 2013. Beyond GDP: Measuring and achieving global genuine progress. Ecological Economics, 93: 57-68.


Lyubomirsky, S., King, L., & Diener, E. 2005a. The benefits of frequent positive affect: does happiness lead to success? Psychological Bulletin, 131(6): 803.


Seligman, M. E., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. 2014. Positive psychology: An introductionSpringer.

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