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Comparative Study
. 2001;52:141-66.
doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.52.1.141.

On Happiness and Human Potentials: A Review of Research on Hedonic and Eudaimonic Well-Being

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Comparative Study

On Happiness and Human Potentials: A Review of Research on Hedonic and Eudaimonic Well-Being

R M Ryan et al. Annu Rev Psychol. .

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.

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