People across countries vary significantly in their reported happiness levels. However, experienced happiness can sometimes be inconsistent with signaled happiness, thus making the drivers of signaled happiness an important issue to investigate. We explore when and why people signal happiness, how they signal happiness, and the impact of these signals of happiness on subsequent happiness. We suggest the answers to these questions depend on cultural and societal factors such as the collectivism-individual orientations, materialistic levels, and vertical/horizontal power structure of a country. Research on happiness signaling provides insights on what people mean when they say they are happy. It also provides practical implications for marketers on how happiness is represented in consumers’ minds. In addition, understanding the influence of signal exchanges in the context of signaling happiness sheds lights on the impacts of modern technology on people’s wellbeing. Thus, we propose to investigate signaled happiness more thoroughly, and understand how they vary across emerging markets.
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