Studies of New Zealand and Croatia

Study by Maree Roche from Waikato Institute of Technology, Hamilton, New Zealand

Self Determination Theory (SDT) emphasizes that the nature of the aspiration that a person pursues will support or detract from well-being. Intrinsic aspirations (growth, affiliation, community contribution), and extrinsic aspirations (wealth, image and fame) differ in the likely well-being consequences of goal pursuit. Testing aspirations towards subjective well-being of 386 leaders from over 200 organizations with data split in two waves (1) aspirations and (2) well-being outcomes, found that intrinsic aspirations were positively related, and extrinsic were negative related, to well-being (life satisfaction, positive affect, negative aff ect, and subjective well-being).

The Conceptions of Happiness and Well-Being Across Life Domains

Ingrid Brdar from University of Rijeka, Department of Psychology, Rijeka, Croatia

This study focuses on people´s conception of happiness and things they consider meaningful in their present life. Participants from seven countries (N=666) were asked to define happiness, to list three things that they considered most meaningful in their present life and to rate happiness and meaningfulness across 11 life domains.

The first aim was to find out which participants include a specific component in their conception of happiness – those who are not happy in the corresponding life domain or those who have already achieved happiness. The findings indicate that individuals who experienced higher happiness and/or meaningfulness in domains such as family, interpersonal relationships, religion/spirituality and standard of living included these components in their definition of happiness.

The second aim was to examine whether the congruence between the conception of happiness and things considered to be most meaningful is relevant for individual well-being. The results show that the congruence is linked with higher levels of happiness and meaningfulness for all life domains, except for leisure and life in general. These findings suggest that conceptualization of happiness is an important aspect of well-being, because it determines ways to strive for happiness.

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