Building on a decade-long comparative database of the European Social Survey the present study targets general aspects of satisfaction across larger regions of Europe with special regard to the socioeconomic changes in the recent decades. Conventionally cultivated measures like central tendency are supplemented by structural parameters of distribution based on a conceptual scheme distinguishing consensus and tightness of opinions. Dispersion-like indicators point to a stronger polarization of public mood under worse off contexts and, to a certain degree, conditions of vulnerability to economic downturn. A more rigid juncture of various mood components is also observable under less favourable circumstances. Disparities of income position in the first place, but features of cultural and ideological-political differentiation as well are intertwined with satisfaction polarization in a kind of stress syndrome exhibiting substantial divergences in both the East/West and the North/South regards.
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