Social Gain or Social P: Subjective Socio-Economic Status, Income and Attitudes towards Social Relations

Aistė Diržytė, Aleksandras Patapas


Social pain is usually defined as the experience of pain because of interpersonal rejection or loss. However, some research suggests that social pain could also arise from low income or subjective perceptions regarding socioeconomic status. To contribute to promoting effective public administration or social policy solutions, over the last few decades, many scientific studies were conducted worldwide. Many authors have investigated social wellbeing as it could create direct and indirect financial losses to the state. This study aimed to find out the peculiarities of attitudes towards social relations in different groups of income and perceived socio-economic status in a representative sample of Lithuanian population (n=1001). We have found that mean ranks in the lowest-income quintile, agreeing that "my relationships are supportive and rewarding", were almost twice lower than in the highest-income quintile. A similar tendency was observed with the statements "I actively contribute to the happiness and well-being of others" and “People respect me”. Mean ranks in the subjectively poorest group regarding perceived respect from people were almost three times lower than in the subjectively rich group. It appears that having low income and low subjective socioeconomic status may harm psychological wellbeing. Our study raises concern regarding societal wellbeing: we suggest that to achieve the prosperity of society, it is necessary to reduce socio-economic inequalities and through various programs and projects strengthen people’s ability to establish and maintain supportive, compassionate social contacts.


subjective perceptions; well-being; interpersonal rejection; public administration; socio-economic status


Baker, E. R., C. I. Jensen, M. Moeyaert and S. Bordoff. 2018. Socioeconomic status and early childhood aggression: Moderation by theory of mind for relational, but not physical, aggression. Early Child Development and Care, 190(8): 187-1201.

Boehm, J. K. and S. Lyubomirsky. 2009. The promise of sustainable happiness. Handbook of Positive Psychology. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Boes, S. and R. Winkelmann, 2010. The effect of income on general life satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Social Indicators Research, 95(1): 111-128.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. and I. S. Csikzsentmihalyi. 2006. A life worth living: Contributions to positive psychology (series in positive psychology), Oxford University Press, New York.

Diener, E. and M. E. P. Seligman. 2004. Beyond money: Toward an economy of well-being. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 5: 1-31.

Diener, E., D. Wirtz, W. Tov, C. Kim-Prieto, D. Choi, S. Oishi, and R. Biswas-Diener. 2009. New measures of well-being: Flourishing and positive and negative feelings. Social Indicators Research, 39: 247-266.

Dush, C. M. K. and P. R. Amato. 2005. Consequences of relationship status and quality for subjective well-being. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 22: 607-627.

Greitemeyer, T. and C. Sagioglou. 2017. Increasing wealth inequal-ity may increase interpersonal hostility: The relationship between personal relative deprivation and aggression. The Journal of Social Psychology, 157: 766-776.

Greitemeyer, T. and C. Sagioglou. 2018. Does low (vs. High) subjective socioeconomic status increase both prosociality and aggression? Social Psychology, 49(2): 76-87.

Gudmundsdottir, D. 2013. The impact of economic crisis on happiness. Social Indicators Research, 110(3): 1083-1101.

Guillen-Royo, M., Velazco, J. and L. Camfield. 2013. Basic needs and wealth as independent determinants of happiness: an illustration from thailand. Social Indicators Research, 110(2): 517-536.

Hlushchenko, N. V. 2021. Modern issues of administrative law. Legal Horizons, 14(2): 124-129.

Kapteyn, A., Smith, J. P. and A. Van Soest. 2013. Are americans really less happy with their incomes? Review of Income & Wealth, 59(1): 44-65.

Kraus, M. W. and N. M. Stephens. 2012. A road map for anemerging psychology of social class. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 6: 642-656.

Lammers, J., Stoker, J. I. 2019. Social and personal power: A closer examination: An invited commentary to Mayiwar and Lai. Social Psychology, 50(4): 270-275.

Lyubomirsky, S. and F. Kasri. 2006. Levels of private self-consciousness and mood awareness among happy and unhappy individuals. Penguin Press, New York.

Moroz, L. I., A. D. Safin and O. O. Andrusik. 2021. Influence of emotions on the effectiveness of the creative process. Scientific Bulletin of Mukachevo State University. Series “Pedagogy and Psychology”, 7(3): 87-93.

Prati, F., S. Moscatelli, P. A. M. Van Lange, N. J. Van Doesum, and M. Rubini. 2018. The central role of morality in perceived humanness and unselfish behaviors. Social Psychology, 49(6): 330-343.

Polukarov, Yu. O., N. A. Prakhovnik, O. I. Polukarov, H. V. Demchuk and O. V. Zemlyanska. 2021. Assessment of the economic effect from the implementation of labour protection measures at enterprises. Scientific Bulletin of Mukachevo State University. Series “Economics”, 8(1): 68-76.

Seligman, M. 2011. Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. Free Press, New York.

Sirgy, M. J. 2012. The psychology of quality of life. hedonic well-being, life satisfaction, and eudaimonia. Springer Science + Business Media B.V., Berlin.

Tov, W. and E. Diener. 2009. The well-being of nations: Linking together trust, cooperation, and democracy. The Science of Well-being: The Collected Works of Ed Diener. Springer, Dordrecht.

Trung, N., K. Cheong, P. Nghi and W. Kim. 2013. Relationship between socio-economic values and wellbeing: Overview research in Asia. Social Indicators Research, 111(2): 453-472.

Yaroshenko, O. M. and K. L. Tomashevski. 2021. The impact of COVID-19 on labour and social security relations: Rule-making experience of Belarus and Ukraine. Journal of the National Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine, 28(2): 211-221.

Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.33687/ijae.009.00.3960


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Aistė Diržytė

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.