Associate Professor and Deputy Director (Centre for Leadership and Change)
Jindal Institute of Behavioral Sciences
O.P. Jindal Global University
1. Describe your background, experience, and research as it relates to Quality-of-life studies. Feel free to describe this in detail.
I am a psychologist by training and a teacher and researcher by passion. My research interest lies in the field of Positive Psychology, mainly Subjective Well-Being.
I completed my doctoral research as a Teaching Assistant from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, India. My doctoral dissertation was in the area of Subjective Well-Being (SWB), where I explored the concept of SWB in the Indian context using both qualitative as well as quantitative research methods. The objectives of this study were: to explore the factors that determine SWB amongst Indians, conceptualize the concept and identify domains enhancing or reducing SWB; to develop and standardize a measure to map individual well being and to propose an index for SWB. The purpose of this research was to enable individuals understand themselves better and contribute to the social well being by being happier and more satisfied.
Post my Ph.D. experience, I am happy to have tried different career streams like freelance consulting, academic teaching and administration, mentoring research scholars, working in a corporate set-up, and training students, teachers, and professionals. I am happy to have had explored these varied experiences as they have all added immense value in my learning journey. I truly believe that you should do what your heart wishes to. In my current position, I am responsible for capacity building and my course and training sessions on subjective well-being are what provides meaning to my work and add value to my sense of purpose.
2. What initially attracted you to the field of quality-of-life studies?
I have always wanted to contribute toward the betterment of society through research. My aspiration has ever been to work in the area of social development and propose a Social Development Index. For my Ph.D. (back in 2003), I started with Social Development Indicators. Wanting to do something new and original, I was exploring emerging constructs in the field, which offered lot of research scope. It was then that I read on SWB and I knew this is where I wished to begin. In addition, it was interesting to study the concept in the Indian context assuming that the parameters that defined the concept in the West, may not necessarily define them in the East. My research supports that culture has an important role to play in the field. The other attraction is that QOL studies are applicable to all human beings, irrespective of age, gender, community, income groups, so and so forth. It has been a wonderful experience to interact with thousands of individuals with varied backgrounds and understand their concept of well-being. No book can teach fieldwork and better your interviewing skills more than the field itself!
3. What are some areas of quality-of-life studies you feel are lacking attention? Any advice for future QoL researchers?
I believe that as QOL researchers we need to focus on systematic longitudinal studies more. Measuring and documenting the QOL of different age levels (both objectively and subjectively) could be a useful tool in predicting the happiness levels of future generations and intervention strategies could be formulated to improve QOL at age appropriate levels. In addition, more of QOL research on ethnic groups and minorities to be integrated into main stream QOL research, and some showcase researches are required to get a buy-in of governments of the world (not just few countries but as many as possible) to take this up for Nation Building.
4. How long have you been a member of ISQOLS? Why did you choose to be a member of ISQOLS? How has your involvement in ISQOLS impacted your career/research/advancement in your knowledge of QoL studies?
ISQOLS has played a vital role in help me grow as a researcher. I first became a member of ISQOLS in 2010 during its annual conference held in Bangkok. I had been interacting with Professors in the field, referring to their work and there was a chance to meet them through this conference. I realized during the Conference that there was substantial work going on in the field and the researchers community of ISQOLS is a happy oneJ. I knew that I have to be member of this Society and found myself self-motivated to keep on contributing in the field. I found that the senior members of this Society are very encouraging in grooming junior researchers. I have attended pre-workshops on publications, which are very inspiring and informative. It feels great to be a part of ISQOLS, for it serves as an excellent learning platform. It is where I have met my favorite authors and researchers in the field. ISQOLS gave me my academic mentor in Prof. Sirgy. ISQOLS has given me opportunity to connect with like-minded researchers who want to make a difference to people’s lives and given opportunities to collaborate on research projects across the globe.
What is very fascinating about the Society is its interdisciplinary nature. It is about quality-of-life in the true sense. All perspectives (for example, economical, sociological, besides many more) are equally featured in and given importance to. That helps develop a holistic understanding of the field and enables collaboration.
5. Feel free to include any other important comments or things you'd like to share with the ISQOLS community.
ISQOLS is a thriving community of scholars who believe in spreading happiness and contributing towards better lives. These are individuals who have a sense of purpose and love what they do. It is my absolute pleasure to be a member of the Society.
Read Tithi's member blog, The Beauty of Cultural Diversity", originally posted on the ISQOLS website in 2016: