Social Indicators Research

, Volume 115, Issue 3, pp 1087–1099 | Cite as

The Hedonic and Eudaimonic Validity of the Orientations to Happiness Scale

  • Luke Wayne HendersonEmail author
  • Tess Knight
  • Ben Richardson


The orientations to happiness scale (OTH) was designed to measure three routes to happiness: pleasure (hedonia), meaning (eudaimonia) and engagement (flow). Past research utilising the scale suggests that all orientations predict life satisfaction, with meaning and engagement the stronger predictors relative to pleasure. However, these findings are inconsistent with other research; one plausible explanation being that the OTH scale lacks validity. This was tested by having participants (N = 107) complete the OTH scale and the Satisfaction with Life scale, prior to completing an online diary reporting actual instances of hedonic and eudaimonic behaviour. Although meaning predicted eudaimonic behaviour, the pleasure orientation was unrelated to hedonic behaviour. Further, hedonic behaviour was more strongly related to life satisfaction than eudaimonic behaviour; inconsistent with OTH scale results. These findings challenge the validity of the OTH scale, and subsequently bring into question those conclusions drawn from past research utilising the OTH scale.


Eudaimonia Hedonia Happiness Validity Well-being Orientations Pathways 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luke Wayne Henderson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tess Knight
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ben Richardson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of PsychologyDeakin UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.BurwoodAustralia

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