Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 475–493 | Cite as

Eastern Conceptualizations of Happiness: Fundamental Differences with Western Views

  • Mohsen Joshanloo
Review Article


The purpose of this review is to compare and contrast western and eastern conceptualizations of happiness and optimal functioning. Towards this end, accounts of happiness and optimal functioning provided in western philosophy and scientific psychology are compared with those in some eastern schools of thought (namely, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Sufism). Six fundamental differences in western and eastern conceptualizations of the good life are identified and discussed in the context of broader psychological theory. It is hoped that this theoretical analysis will stimulate more culturally informed research among happiness researchers.


Happiness The good life Optimal functioning Culture Eastern traditions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Victoria University of Wellington & Centre for Applied Cross-Cultural ResearchWellingtonNew Zealand

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