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Literature Review on Research Methodology

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SECTION B:        LITERATURE REVIEW

Developing a conceptual model for student happiness (subjective well-being) within a tertiary  education institution.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION        4

LITERATURE REVIEW        4

PROBLEM STATEMENT        8

METHODOLOGY        9

CONCLUSION        10

REFERENCE LIST        11


INTRODUCTION

Researchers who prepared five of the journals that I selected to work on the conceptual model for student happiness with in a tertiary education institution were mainly looking at the meaning of happiness.

There are various variables that I picked up from the journals namely: Life satisfaction, meaningfulness, engagement, subjective well-being, Pleasure and social relationships. All of these variables do affect the happiness of a student on how he will perform and adapt in the tertiary environment.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Happiness

Happiness has a lot of meanings, it can also be called joy or self-actualization or the feeling of fulfilment once one has reached a goal (Ryff 1989). Research was done to identify the components of happiness using the two techniques the quantitative and qualitative research. It was done using 666 participants from Australia, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and South Africa. Descriptive questions were used and response were asked to define happiness and also how they have experienced it. The results which came out mostly were that family and social relations were linked to people being happy and meaningfulness of life. The Orientations to happiness framework which was designed by Seligman and others ( Seligman, 2002; Peterson and Seligman 2004) which mentioned that the three pathways to happiness are pleasure, engagement and meaning. Is was also concluded that someone with the high level of the three components had an excellent life satisfaction than the one with less orientation. Even though is it stressed that engagement and meaning are the most significant factors that influence happiness as compared to pleasure. ( Peterson et al. 2005; Vella- Brodrick et. al. 2009). I do not think that is true because most research methods used for happiness are scale rated which requires figures instead of giving respondents the room to give detailed explanations and ideas and feedback. As for the above research it is all taken for granted that all in the first world countries must be applied to each and every country in the world which is incorrect. Cultures and back grounds do affect different setting ( Christopher and Hickinbottom 2008). That would also apply to South Africa in the different institutions since we have different provinces and cultures .For example for a student who will transfer from Limpopo were the facilities are limited to Witwatersrand University in Gauteng his happiness level will be different due to availability of resources and the service quality.  Service


quality can also be a problem to explain and measure. (Dale, 2003). Improve service which lead to student happiness could be as a result of the institute's approach on accepting feedback and students' opinions and can be used as a tool to understand the needs of students and developmental areas (Hyland, 2000)

Life Satisfaction

An online survey was done by adults in twenty-seven countries to find happiness through pleasure, engagement and meaning for life satisfaction. (Park et al. 2009). The results came up as follows; Northern European citizens are happier than African and Eastern European countries. As for South Americans even though they are poor, they were happier as compared to rich East Asian people who are less happy. The factors that affect happiness in different countries were the quality of the education system, Are the people getting adequate information and does the education  system  matches  international  standards  and  are  students  accessing information and equipped to compete at an international level .The cost of living and  opportunities  are  they  readily  available  to  the  individuals  and  are  they accessing commodities and information and work easily. The type of government rule  does  play  a  great  role  as  well  whether  it  is democratic  or  monopoly  or dictatorship. Does it allow freedom of expression. That in turn can affect student happiness if they will be able to demonstrate when there are issues that needs to be resolved. The environment in South Africa is very conducive this was evident when Students of Cape Town University were not happy with racism which was affecting the institution and they ended up having demonstrations and sit ins at the campus. Does the country have respect for human rights and also if they are too or less religious. Nations differ in happiness levels because we are faced with different        challenges        due        to        technological        advancement        and        beliefs        and environments that we grew up in.

In 2005 Peterson, Park and Seligman designed a questionnaire which was supposed to measure way pleasure, engagement and meaning were ranked or highly regarded on attaining happiness. It came up that all were all linked to life satisfaction whilst in search of happiness. Peterson , Ruch , Beermann, Park and Seligmann(2009) analyzed the US and Swiss results. There was a distinct note in the US and Germany-speaking Swiss results. US respondents had very high scores on meaning which was linked to life satisfaction which could be as a result of the level of spirituality of the two nations, which plays a great part in a person's purpose and meaning in life.


Life satisfaction also plays a great role in a student's happiness at college whilst they chase their dream of a perfect degree and career. That is also affect by how the student values his or her purpose in life and meaning of life and what he is trying to achieve. Meaning on a student will be looking at life and the studies at a bigger picture. Having that positive attitude would contribute to a student's happiness.

Subjective well-being

Subjective well-being is a blanket name given to the way people explain their personal experience and evaluation of their lives subjectively. Some of these evaluation would have the good and bad aspects which would incorporate their feelings and reservations on life satisfactions, our they tackle life events like happy moments and predicaments, work contentment, relations, physical well-being and their meaning and purpose of life in general ( Diener).

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