Happiness Revisited: Ontological Well-Being as a Theory-Based Construct of Subjective Well-Being
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The current model of subjective well-being (SWB) has been operationalized as the unity of affective and cognitive dimensions concerning the evaluation of one’s life, called emotional well-being and life satisfaction, respectively. There has been no theoretical framework, however, by which the unity is explained. The present paper offers a new construct of subjective well-being in an attempt to show that the cognitive and affective dimensions of SWB can be unified using the concept of goal. The concept of goal refers to the life as a project when the concern is the evaluation of life as a whole. The evaluation of the whole life, moreover, should take a whole-time perspective into account if it is supposed to be ‘whole’. Ontological well-being (OWB) construct is structured in a theoretical framework by which the cognitive and affective components of the current conceptualization of SWB are reframed and interpreted in a whole time perspective. By taking as base the historical and philosophical resources of the affective and cognitive dimensions of subjective well-being, this new construct defines subjective well-being as one’s evaluation of life in both past and future time perspectives in addition to the present.