The importance of measures of quality of life and wellbeing, often counterpoised with indicators of economic growth, is especially evident in developing countries. They also have value among marginalised groups in North America and Europe where they highlight how material inequalities impact on experience. Understanding people's experience of their lives as a whole is a challenging and exciting task. However, a further challenge comes in attempting to measure the quality of these experiences (for example, through a self-report life satisfaction question in a household survey), interpret their evaluations, and understand the contexts in which these evaluations are made. Qualitative research plays a vital role in gaining a deeper understanding of the context of both measure administration and development, namely what people are saying about their lives when they respond positively to a measure and the assumptions that underlie the questions they are being asked.
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