Graduation Year

Spring 2011

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Ketan Mhatre

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© 2011 Leanne Ringquist


American society has lost sight of one of its most valued virtues: Happiness. Research has showed that the United States is behind many other countries in the overall happiness of its citizens. Leading the world in well-being is Denmark. This paper’s aim is to explore possible factors that could be facilitating the well-being of Danish citizens, and applying them to American society. In this search, I explore universal individual factors, as well as factors that lead to the development of a culture and dispositions of its citizens. From these factors, as well as unique characteristics of both countries, I hypothesized determinates of well-being in Demark, as well as factors that are detrimental to American’s well-being. Factors for Demark include uniform cultural ideals, social equality, social programs, and unique perspectives on happiness. Conversely, the lack or low levels of these factors for Americans might attest to lower well-being. By emulating these Danish policies and ideals, the U.S. could produce happier, less stressed Americans.

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