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Journal ArticleDOI

Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being.

01 Jan 1989-Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (American Psychological Association)-Vol. 57, Iss: 6, pp 1069-1081

Abstract: Reigning measures of psychological well-being have little theoretical grounding, despite an extensive literature on the contours of positive functioning. Aspects of well-being derived from this literature (i.e., self-acceptance, positive relations with others, autonomy, environmental mastery, purpose in life, and personal growth) were operationalized. Three hundred and twenty-one men and women, divided among young, middle-aged, and older adults, rated themselves on these measures along with six instruments prominent in earlier studies (i.e., affect balance, life satisfaction, self-esteem, morale, locus of control, depression). Results revealed that positive relations with others, autonomy, purpose in life, and personal growth were not strongly tied to prior assessment indexes, thereby supporting the claim that key aspects of positive functioning have not been represented in the empirical arena. Furthermore, age profiles revealed a more differentiated pattern of well-being than is evident in prior research.
Topics: Life satisfaction (56%), Happiness (56%), Psychological well-being (54%), Personal development (53%), Self-esteem (52%)
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
Kirk Warren Brown1, Richard M. Ryan1Institutions (1)
TL;DR: Correlational, quasi-experimental, and laboratory studies show that the MAAS measures a unique quality of consciousness that is related to a variety of well-being constructs, that differentiates mindfulness practitioners from others, and that is associated with enhanced self-awareness.
Abstract: Mindfulness is an attribute of consciousness long believed to promote well-being. This research provides a theoretical and empirical examination of the role of mindfulness in psychological well-being. The development and psychometric properties of the dispositional Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) are described. Correlational, quasi-experimental, and laboratory studies then show that the MAAS measures a unique quality of consciousness that is related to a variety of well-being constructs, that differentiates mindfulness practitioners from others, and that is associated with enhanced selfawareness. An experience-sampling study shows that both dispositional and state mindfulness predict self-regulated behavior and positive emotional states. Finally, a clinical intervention study with cancer patients demonstrates that increases in mindfulness over time relate to declines in mood disturbance and stress. Many philosophical, spiritual, and psychological traditions emphasize the importance of the quality of consciousness for the maintenance and enhancement of well-being (Wilber, 2000). Despite this, it is easy to overlook the importance of consciousness in human well-being because almost everyone exercises its primary capacities, that is, attention and awareness. Indeed, the relation between qualities of consciousness and well-being has received little empirical attention. One attribute of consciousness that has been much-discussed in relation to well-being is mindfulness. The concept of mindfulness has roots in Buddhist and other contemplative traditions where conscious attention and awareness are actively cultivated. It is most commonly defined as the state of being attentive to and aware of what is taking place in the present. For example, Nyanaponika Thera (1972) called mindfulness “the clear and single-minded awareness of what actually happens to us and in us at the successive moments of perception” (p. 5). Hanh (1976) similarly defined mindfulness as “keeping one’s consciousness alive to the present reality” (p. 11). Recent research has shown that the enhancement of mindfulness through training facilitates a variety of well-being outcomes (e.g., Kabat-Zinn, 1990). To date, however, there has been little work examining this attribute as a naturally occurring characteristic. Recognizing that most everyone has the capacity to attend and to be aware, we nonetheless assume (a) that individuals differ in their propensity or willingness to be aware and to sustain attention to what is occurring in the present and (b) that this mindful capacity varies within persons, because it can be sharpened or dulled by a variety of factors. The intent of the present research is to reliably identify these inter- and intrapersonal variations in mindfulness, establish their relations to other relevant psychological constructs, and demonstrate their importance to a variety of forms of psychological well-being.

8,335 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Research suggesting that certain illusions may be adaptive for mental health and well-being is reviewed, examining evidence that a set of interrelated positive illusions—namely, unrealistically positive self-evaluations, exaggerated perceptions of control or mastery, and unrealistic optimism—can serve a wide variety of cognitive, affective, and social functions.
Abstract: Many prominent theorists have argued that accurate perceptions of the self, the world, and the future are essential for mental health. Yet considerable research evidence suggests that overly positive selfevaluations, exaggerated perceptions of control or mastery, and unrealistic optimism are characteristic of normal human thought. Moreover, these illusions appear to promote other criteria of mental health, including the ability to care about others, the ability to be happy or contented, and the ability to engage in productive and creative work. These strategies may succeed, in large part, because both the social world and cognitive-processing mechanisms impose niters on incoming information that distort it in a positive direction; negative information may be isolated and represented in as unthreatening a manner as possible. These positive illusions may be especially useful when an individual receives negative feedback or is otherwise threatened and may be especially adaptive under these circumstances. Decades of psychological wisdom have established contact with reality as a hallmark of mental health. In this view, the well-adjusted person is thought to engage in accurate reality testing, whereas the individual whose vision is clouded by illusion is regarded as vulnerable to, if not already a victim of, mental illness. Despite its plausibility, this viewpoint is increasingly difficult to maintain (cf. Lazarus, 1983). A substantial amount of research testifies to the prevalence of illusion in normal human cognition (see Fiske& Taylor, 1984;Greenwald, 1980; Nisbett & Ross, 1980; Sackeim, 1983; Taylor, 1983). Moreover, these illusions often involve central aspects of the self and the environment and, therefore, cannot be dismissed as inconsequential. In this article, we review research suggesting that certain illusions may be adaptive for mental health and well-being. In particular, we examine evidence that a set of interrelated positive illusions—namely, unrealistically positive self-evaluations, exaggerated perceptions of control or mastery, and unrealistic optimism—can serve a wide variety of cognitive, affective, and social functions. We also attempt to resolve the following para

7,237 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Richard M. Ryan1, Edward L. DeciInstitutions (1)
TL;DR: This review considers research from both perspectives concerning the nature of well-being, its antecedents, and its stability across time and culture.
Abstract: ▪ Abstract Well-being is a complex construct that concerns optimal experience and functioning. Current research on well-being has been derived from two general perspectives: the hedonic approach, which focuses on happiness and defines well-being in terms of pleasure attainment and pain avoidance; and the eudaimonic approach, which focuses on meaning and self-realization and defines well-being in terms of the degree to which a person is fully functioning. These two views have given rise to different research foci and a body of knowledge that is in some areas divergent and in others complementary. New methodological developments concerning multilevel modeling and construct comparisons are also allowing researchers to formulate new questions for the field. This review considers research from both perspectives concerning the nature of well-being, its antecedents, and its stability across time and culture.

7,097 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
James J. Gross1, Oliver P. John2Institutions (2)
TL;DR: Five studies tested two general hypotheses: Individuals differ in their use of emotion regulation strategies such as reappraisal and suppression, and these individual differences have implications for affect, well-being, and social relationships.
Abstract: Five studies tested two general hypotheses: Individuals differ in their use of emotion regulation strategies such as reappraisal and suppression, and these individual differences have implications for affect, well-being, and social relationships. Study 1 presents new measures of the habitual use of reappraisal and suppression. Study 2 examines convergent and discriminant validity. Study 3 shows that reappraisers experience and express greater positive emotion and lesser negative emotion, whereas suppressors experience and express lesser positive emotion, yet experience greater negative emotion. Study 4 indicates that using reappraisal is associated with better interpersonal functioning, whereas using suppression is associated with worse interpersonal functioning. Study 5 shows that using reappraisal is related positively to well-being, whereas using suppression is related negatively.

6,910 citations


Cites background from "Happiness is everything, or is it? ..."

  • ...In terms of Ryff’s (1989) domains of well-being, they also had higher levels of environmental mastery, personal growth, self-acceptance, and a clearer purpose in life....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
Sonja Lyubomirsky1, Laura A. King2, Ed Diener3Institutions (3)
TL;DR: The results reveal that happiness is associated with and precedes numerous successful outcomes, as well as behaviors paralleling success, and the evidence suggests that positive affect may be the cause of many of the desirable characteristics, resources, and successes correlated with happiness.
Abstract: Numerous studies show that happy individuals are successful across multiple life domains, including marriage, friendship, income, work performance, and health. The authors suggest a conceptual model to account for these findings, arguing that the happiness-success link exists not only because success makes people happy, but also because positive affect engenders success. Three classes of evidence--crosssectional, longitudinal, and experimental--are documented to test their model. Relevant studies are described and their effect sizes combined meta-analytically. The results reveal that happiness is associated with and precedes numerous successful outcomes, as well as behaviors paralleling success. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that positive affect--the hallmark of well-being--may be the cause of many of the desirable characteristics, resources, and successes correlated with happiness. Limitations, empirical issues, and important future research questions are discussed.

5,104 citations


Cites background from "Happiness is everything, or is it? ..."

  • ...Happiness is one of life’s goods, but it exists in the context of a variety of other goods (Ryff, 1989; Ryff & Singer, 1998)....

    [...]

  • ...…Wong, 1989a 123 MUNSH Cognitive jealousy .08 Pfeiffer & Wong, 1989a 123 MUNSH Emotional jealousy .24 Pfeiffer & Wong, 1989a 123 MUNSH Behavioral jealousy .17 Ryff, 1989 321 Life Satisfaction Index Personal growth .38 Schimmack et al., 2004a (Study 1) 136 SWLS Self-rated assertiveness .21 Schimmack…...

    [...]

  • ..., in press), and a sense of personal mastery and control (Csikszentmihalyi & Wong, 1991; Grob, Stetsenko, Sabatier, Botcheva, & Macek, 1999; Lyubomirsky et al., in press; Ryff, 1989)....

    [...]

  • ...…2000; Schimmack, Oishi, Furr, & Funder, 2004; Tarlow & Haaga, 1996), optimism (Campbell, 1981; Lyubomirsky et al., in press), and a sense of personal mastery and control (Csikszentmihalyi & Wong, 1991; Grob, Stetsenko, Sabatier, Botcheva, & Macek, 1999; Lyubomirsky et al., in press; Ryff, 1989)....

    [...]


References
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Journal ArticleDOI
Julian B. Rotter1Institutions (1)
Abstract: The effects of reward or reinforcement on preceding behavior depend in part on whether the person perceives the reward as contingent on his own behavior or independent of it. Acquisition and performance differ in situations perceived as determined by skill versus chance. Persons may also differ in generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. This report summarizes several experiments which define group differences in behavior when Ss perceive reinforcement as contingent on their behavior versus chance or experimenter control. The report also describes the development of tests of individual differences in a generalized belief in internal-external control and provides reliability, discriminant validity and normative data for 1 test, along with a description of the results of several studies of construct validity.

20,553 citations


Book
21 Apr 1965-

20,078 citations


Posted Content
Ed Diener1Institutions (1)
TL;DR: The literature on subjective well-being (SWB), including happiness, life satisfaction, and positive affect, is reviewed in three areas: measurement, causal factors, and theory.
Abstract: The literature on subjective well-being (SWB), including happiness, life satisfaction, and positive affect, is reviewed in three areas: measurement, causal factors, and theory. Psychometric data on single-item and multi-item subjective well-being scales are presented, and the measures are compared. Measuring various components of subjective well-being is discussed. In terms of causal influences, research findings on the demographic correlates of SWB are evaluated, as well as the findings on other influences such as health, social contact, activity, and personality. A number of theoretical approaches to happiness are presented and discussed: telic theories, associationistic models, activity theories, judgment approaches, and top-down versus bottom-up conceptions.

9,015 citations


"Happiness is everything, or is it? ..." refers background in this paper

  • ...On a more general level, increased interest in the study of psychological well-being follows from the recognition that the field of psychology, since its inception, has devoted much more attention to human unhappiness and suffering than to the causes and consequences of positive functioning (Diener, 1984;Jahoda, 1958)....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
William W. K. Zung1Institutions (1)
TL;DR: The general depression scales used were felt to be insufficient for the purpose of this research project and the more specific scales were also inadequate.
Abstract: The fact that there is a need for assessing depression, whether as an affect, a symptom, or a disorder is obvious by the numerous scales and inventories available and in use today. The need to assess depression simply and specifically as a psychiatric disorder has not been met by most scales available today. We became acutely aware of this situation in a research project where we needed to correlate both the presence and severity of a depressive disorder in patients with other parameters such as arousal response during sleep and changes with treatment of the depressive disorder. It was felt that the general depression scales used were insufficient for our purpose and that the more specific scales were also inadequate. These inadequacies related to factors such as the length of a scale or inventory being too long and too time consuming, especially for a patient

7,703 citations


Book ChapterDOI
Ed Diener1Institutions (1)
Abstract: The literature on subjective well-being (SWB), including happiness, life satisfaction, and positive affect, is reviewed in three areas: measurement, causal factors, and theory. Psychometric data on single-item and multi-item subjective well-being scales are presented, and the measures are compared. Measuring various components of subjective well-being is discussed. In terms of causal influences, research findings on the demographic correlates of SWB are evaluated, as well as the findings on other influences such as health, social contact, activity, and personality. A number of theoretical approaches to happiness are presented and discussed: telic theories, associationistic models, activity theories, judgment approaches, and top-down versus bottom-up conceptions.

7,554 citations


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No. of citations received by the Paper in previous years
YearCitations
20225
2021856
2020837
2019714
2018669
2017733