Living well: a self-determination theory perspective on eudaimonia

Living well: a self-determination theory perspective on eudaimonia This article distinguishes between hedonic and eudaimonic approaches to wellness, with the former focusing on the outcome of happiness or pleasure and the latter focusing not so much on outcomes as on the process of living well. We present a model of eudaimonia that is based in self-determination theory, arguing that eudaimonic living can be characterized in terms of four motivational concepts: (1) pursuing intrinsic goals and values for their own sake, including personal growth, relationships, community, and health, rather than extrinsic goals and values, such as wealth, fame, image, and power; (2) behaving in autonomous, volitional, or consensual ways, rather than heteronomous or controlled ways; (3) being mindful and acting with a sense of awareness; and (4) behaving in ways that satisfy basic psychological needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy. In fact, we theorize that the first three of these aspects of eudaimonic living have their positive effects of psychological and physical wellness because they facilitate satisfaction of these basic, universal psychological needs. Studies indicate that people high in eudaimonic living tend to behave in more prosocial ways, thus benefiting the collective as well as themselves, and that conditions both within the family and in society more generally contribute toward strengthening versus diminishing the degree to which people live eudaimonic lives. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Happiness Studies Springer Journals

Living well: a self-determination theory perspective on eudaimonia

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Social Sciences; Quality of Life Research; Personality and Social Psychology; Economics, general; Quality of Life Research; Philosophy, general; Positive Psychology
ISSN
1389-4978
eISSN
1573-7780
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10902-006-9023-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article distinguishes between hedonic and eudaimonic approaches to wellness, with the former focusing on the outcome of happiness or pleasure and the latter focusing not so much on outcomes as on the process of living well. We present a model of eudaimonia that is based in self-determination theory, arguing that eudaimonic living can be characterized in terms of four motivational concepts: (1) pursuing intrinsic goals and values for their own sake, including personal growth, relationships, community, and health, rather than extrinsic goals and values, such as wealth, fame, image, and power; (2) behaving in autonomous, volitional, or consensual ways, rather than heteronomous or controlled ways; (3) being mindful and acting with a sense of awareness; and (4) behaving in ways that satisfy basic psychological needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy. In fact, we theorize that the first three of these aspects of eudaimonic living have their positive effects of psychological and physical wellness because they facilitate satisfaction of these basic, universal psychological needs. Studies indicate that people high in eudaimonic living tend to behave in more prosocial ways, thus benefiting the collective as well as themselves, and that conditions both within the family and in society more generally contribute toward strengthening versus diminishing the degree to which people live eudaimonic lives.

Journal

Journal of Happiness StudiesSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 29, 2006

References

  • Are psychological and ecological well being compatible? The role of values, mindfulness, and lifestyle
    Brown, K.W.; Kasser, T.

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