Eudemonic and hedonic happiness

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The concept of happiness is the core of positive psychology's assumptions. In many cases, happiness is defined by the idea that an individual is progressing toward essential life goals as a result of happy and negative experiences. It has proven difficult to pinpoint the components that lead to happiness. According to research, there are several factors connected with happiness, including money, health, social ties, and moral values. Two views are involved in the pursuit of understanding the manner of happiness. The viewpoints on happiness center on hedonic and eudemonic theories. Hedonic happiness is that which is based on the subjective notion well being of an individual. Subjective wellbeing refers term that is commonly used to denote good or happy life. According to hedonic happiness and well being, decreased pain and increased pleasure contributes to happiness. It is composed of the cognitive component that brings satisfaction to life and an effective component.

Eudaimonic happiness on the other hand actively relies on the ideas of Maslow on self-actualization. Eudaimonic happiness is that which is based on the premise that individuals only feel happy the only f they experience purpose in life, life challenges, and growth. The theory of eudaimonic happiness adopts the approach of self-determination in contextualizing happiness. The theory of self-determination suggests that is related to the fulfillment of competence and autonomy. Through the perspective and engagement in eudaimonic pursuits, subjective happiness and well being occurs as a by-product.

Reliable measures for hedonic happiness and eudaimonic view of happiness

Happiness is one of the key interests of positive psychology since the conception od school of thought in the 21st century. Several debates have been carried out to understand happiness and its measurability. One issue that is a concern is whether its reflected how people enjoy their lives rather than something else.

The modern view of Hedonic happiness is the Subjective Wellbeing theory that is measured by its three components. The three components include life satisfaction, the absence of negative mood, and presence of positive mood. While working together, all the three components are summarized as hedonic happiness. Hedonic happiness is evaluated by using self-report measures such as both negative and positive scale and satisfaction with life scale. According to several past studies, it is revealed that people are only happy and subjective well being is constant or stable when their happiness qualifies to be a stable individual trait. It has been reflected by several studies that despite peoples attempt to react to every positive or negative event; they first need to adapt and quickly switch back to their original happiness levels.

Another claim made by the individuals in subjective theory is that a person's health is influenced positively by indirect and direct well being. Empirical evidence reveals that the connection may be more complex than as claimed. Persons with poor health report high subjective well-being as compared to persons to persons with low subjective well-being due to t poor health.

Unlike hedonic happiness, eudaimonic happiness is much more complex. Rather than being measured through pleasure, the eudaimonic theory can be measured through personal growth and competence. Life course and socioeconomic correlations of well being are subject to examinations to underscore eudemonic happiness.

Two types of happiness and wellbeing

Well being refers to a complex construct that is about optimal experiences and functioning. Current research on wellbeing is derived from the perspective of hedonic and eudaimonic happiness. According to the hedonic approach gives focus to happiness and defines wellbeing about pain avoidance and pleasure attainment. On the other side, eudaimonic approach gives focus to self-actualization and gives the definition of wellbeing to the extent to which the person is functioning (Richard & Edward, 2001).

Hedonic Happiness and Wellbeing

Wellbeing and hedonic happiness have been equated for a long time. According to Aristippus, a Greek philosopher, he told people that life goal was experiencing the maximum amount of pleasure and that happiness is the totality of an individual's hedonic moments. Psychologists who have agreed with the hedonic approach of wellbeing must, therefore, focus on the wider conception including pleasures and preferences of the mind and body. According to the psychologists, hedonic well-being is composed of subjective happiness and is an issue of pleasure and displeasure. Both the pleasure and displeasure are construed to involve judgements about bad and good aspects of life (Richard & Edward, 2001).

Given the definition of well being regarding pain versus pleasure, psychology utilizes intervention that makes use of human happiness. Although there are ways of evaluating pleasure, the new research asses hedonic wellbeing to consist of three elements that include positive mood, satisfaction in life and absence of negative events.

Eudaimonic happiness and well being

Despite the existence of hedonic well being, several philosophers have denigrated happiness as the core criterion of well being. The term eudaimonia is significant since it refers to well being distinct from that arising from pleasure as a form of happiness. The theory emphasizes that not all desires and outcomes yield to well being upon achievement (Ethan, 2011). Even though the achievements seem pleasurable, some outcomes are not good thus do not promote wellness. The eudaimonic concept of well-being calls upon individuals to live according to their daimon or their true identity. According to Waterman, he suggested that eudaimonia takes place in scenarios where events are congruent with values that are held. According to eudaimonic view, well-being is explored in the context of making lifespan theory. Well, being is described not simply as the attainment of pleasure but rather as striving for perfection to realize an individual’s potential. The distinct aspects of actualization that contributes to well being include autonomy, life purpose, self-acceptance, positive relationships, mastery and personal growth (Richard & Edward, 2001).

Positive emotions and happiness

The relationship between happiness and positive emotions is fairly stable and reflects a personality trait show’s an individual’s ability to adapt to the changing circumstances. Happiness about emotions has multiple facets that include global life (Michael et al., 2011). Unlike negative emotions, positive emotions refer to evolved adaptations that work to build lasting resources. Positive emotions produce a range of thoughts and actions that are considered critical to the safety of the person.

Evidence reveals that positive emotions widen the thought-action of an individual. Positive emotions that are induced produce wider visual research sequences as thoughts are more inclusive in social groups. According to the utilitarian philosophers, self-interests and maximum pleasure produce positive emotions in the promoting the well being of individuals. In this case, hedonic happiness is derived from the attainment of goals outcomes that are valued in varied realms.

Evidenced-based relationship between positive emotions and actions

Emotions refer to short-lived experiences that result in coordinated changes in individual thoughts and actions. Several emotion theorists have explained the coordination of changes with the construct of specific tendencies. In cases of positive emotions, specific actions are infused in the body and mind to simultaneously narrow that urges of individual action (Barbra & Christine, 2005). While the body is mobilized for appropriate support for such actions, specific actions are also invoked.

Even though research on emotions has flourished, the recent investigations express that positive emotion remains few and far between. The lack of differentiation among the positive emotions is seen in various components of the emotion process. While looking at the facial component, for example, specific negative emotions are depicted to have a specific facial configuration that assigns them a universally recognized value. By contrast, positive emotions also appear to have none of a different signal value but rather, a "Duchene smile" that is characterized by raised lip corners with contracted eye muscles. There are also other actions that dilute the positive action as depicted by Duchene smile and they include those without muscle contraction in the muscles surrounding the eye (Barbara, 1998).

The positive emotions are not produced as a result of autonomic responses but rather the lack of its activation. While we recall unpleasant experiences, individual reports from people reveal subjective experiences that show differences among the negative emotions. In contrast, when recalling unpleasant situations, the subjective experiences reveal inter-correlations among different positive emotions offering a greater opportunity for blending. Besides, the appraisal procedures that start emotions look less differentiated for positive emotions compared to negative emotions (Barbara, 1998).


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April 19, 2023

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