Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 1371–1390 | Cite as

Synergistic Paths to Happiness: Findings from Seven Countries

  • Andreja AvsecEmail author
  • Tina Kavčič
  • Aaron Jarden
Research Paper


Four individual profiles of ways toward happiness were found on a Slovene sample: Full, Empty, Pleasurable, and Meaningful life types. The present study aimed to validate these four types in samples from seven different countries (N = 3690) utilising four different languages. Participants completed the Orientation towards Happiness Scale and measures of hedonic and eudaimonic well-being, and ill-being. A two-step cluster analysis was performed with each of the seven country samples. A highly congruent, highly internally replicable four-cluster solution was found in all seven samples. Full and Empty life individuals have high and low scores on all three orientations to happiness, respectively. Pleasurable and Meaningful types reflect two traditional philosophic orientations: Pleasurable life individuals scored high on pleasure, average on engagement and low on meaning orientation, while Meaningful life individuals had high scores on meaning, average on engagement, and low scores on pleasure orientation. The four types differed in subjective happiness and psychological well-being with full life type characterized by the highest scores on subjective happiness and psychological well-being, and Empty life by the lowest scores. On the other hand, depressive symptoms were likely to be the lowest in the Full life type and the highest in the Empty life type. Meaningful and Pleasurable life types were characterized by moderate well- and ill-being, but the two types tended not to differ from each other on the measures used.


Paths to happiness Satisfaction with life Psychological well-being Depressive symptoms Typological approach 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Faculty of ArtsUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationUniversity of PrimorskaKoperSlovenia
  3. 3.Auckland University of TechnologyAucklandNew Zealand

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