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Determining Factors of Flourishing: A Qualitative Study to Identify Signature Ingredients of Flourishing

Hauschke, Finja (2021) Determining Factors of Flourishing: A Qualitative Study to Identify Signature Ingredients of Flourishing.

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Abstract:Introduction. Flourishing received considerable attention within positive psychological research. Individuals who flourish thrive, function better and are more social compared to non-flourishers. Despite growing research, there is a lack of qualitative studies aiming to learn more about factors that constitute flourishing. This study aimed to identify individual signature ingredients of flourishing, which are factors that flourishers experience as outstanding to their optimal well-being. Moreover, the current COVID-19 pandemic is restricting the life of many individuals and it is yet to be discovered whether this stressor affects flourishing. Therefore, the effects of COVID-19 on signature ingredients were investigated. Method. A qualitative design was employed, with an open question to gain idiosyncratic insight into the factors that contributed to the level of flourishing of participants from three independent samples. A of a total of 86 participants took part in the data collection, all considered as flourishing based on the MHC-SF. One sample included data from before the COVID-19 pandemic, another sample was drawn at the start of the pandemic, while a third sample was collected after one year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The data were analysed applying an inductive content analysis approach. Results. A total of 6 main categories and 21 more specific categories were found. The main categories that could be identified were type of contact, flow, personal competencies, mindset, simple joys and sense of self. One significant difference of a main category could be found between the three samples, the main category sense of self was mainly mentioned in the sample after one year of COVID-19. Moreover, only the category unexpected acts of kindness differed significantly across the three samples, it was exclusively apparent in the sample at the beginning of COVID-19. Discussion. The results confirm that overarching factors of flourishing are identifiable, thus, the idea of signature ingredients of flourishing is valid. Overarching factors were discussed in light of the current literature. Social contact was found to be a global factor, in line with conceptualizations of flourishing. Other categories established more individual behaviours that constitute flourishing. Lastly, this study found only marginal differences in signature ingredients of flourishing based on the three samples. Hence, these findings suggest that signature ingredients remain stable despite adverse events.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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