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Happiness and goal pursuit in adulthood : the role of hedonic and eudaimonic components

Schröter, Marleen (2015) Happiness and goal pursuit in adulthood : the role of hedonic and eudaimonic components.

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Abstract:In current literature on well-being, two different perspectives exist: the hedonic tradition describes well-being as the presence of positive emotions, the absence of negative emotions and an evaluation of life satisfaction. The eudaimonic tradition focuses on self-actualization, personal growth and optimal functioning. There is continued debate about the usefulness of distinguishing between the two traditions. This study aimed to examine the role of hedonic and eudaimonic components in peoples´ lives, thereby providing new insights to the continuing debate from the lay persons´ perspective. The study formed part of the Eudaimonic and Hedonic Happiness Investigation project (EHHI), a mixed-method, cross-national approach which aims to explore hedonic and eudaimonic components of happiness. Data was collected among 260 Dutch participants, aged between 30 to 60. In particular, the study focused on happiness definitions, with happiness being part of the hedonic tradition and goal pursuit and underlying motives as a component traditionally associated with the eudaimonic tradition, using open-ended questions. Results revealed that the hedonic and eudaimonic construct overlap in the life domain Family, being frequently referred to in happiness definitions as well as goal content, but show discrepancies in the domains Interpersonal Relationships and Work. Happiness definitions, goals and motives were stated in both hedonic and eudaimonic terms, with eudaimonic components playing a significantly more prominent role, as indicated by paired-sample t-tests. Within their answers, participants tended to separate between the two components, referring to either hedonic or eudaimonic components, rather than a combination of both. Findings highlight the need to recognize the inherent value of hedonia and eudaimonia in specific contexts of peoples´ lives, rather than contrasting the two traditions and emphasize the importance of jointly investigating hedonic and eudaimonic components of well-being, thereby doing justice to their different, but interrelated contributions to well-being. Keywords: Happiness-Future Goals-Goal Content-Goal Motive-hedonia-eudaimonia-well- being-life domains-mixed-method
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/68495
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