Hedonic and eudaimonic well-being: an intervention study
Most people want to be happy. But if happiness, or well-being, comes in different forms, which one should they pursue? Some researchers do argue that the traditional hedonic view of life satisfaction and pleasant feelings are necessary but not sufficient constituents of a good life. This alternative viewpoint contains both hedonia and eudaimonia which emphasizes personal growth and engagement. With the use of participants from Lofoten Folk High School, Norway (N = 89) orientations and feelings toward hedonic and eudaimonic dimensions of well-being were investigated. An experimental priming task concerning task difficulty, as well as an intervention study was conducted. The attempt of priming the participants into different kinds of well-being orientations did not succeed. However, results revealed that eudaimonically oriented participants had a preference for engaging themselves in more challenging activities, as compared with less eudaimonically oriented individuals. During the five-day intervention study the participants focused either on expressing gratitude (hedonia) or developing a personal skill (eudaimonia). Results showed that expressing gratitude had the most positive effect on well-being; affecting mood, as well as both hedonic and eudaimonic feelings. This tells us that there might in fact be more to well-being than the traditional viewpoint indicates.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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