Social Indicators Research

, Volume 103, Issue 1, pp 93–108 | Cite as

Hedonic Versus Eudaimonic Conceptions of Well-being: Evidence of Differential Associations With Self-reported Well-being

  • Ethan A. McMahanEmail author
  • David Estes


Conceptions of well-being are cognitive representations of the nature and experience of well-being. These conceptions can be described generally by the degree to which hedonic and eudaimonic dimensions are emphasized as important aspects of the experience of well-being. In two studies, the prediction that eudaimonic dimensions of individual conceptions of well-being are more robustly associated with self-reported well-being than hedonic dimensions was investigated. Correlational analyses indicated that both hedonic and eudaimonic dimensions were associated with well-being, with more robust associations observed between the eudaimonic dimension and each measure of well-being. In several regression analyses, only the eudaimonic dimension significantly predicted well-being, with the hedonic dimension failing to account for unique variance in well-being beyond that predicted by the eudaimonic dimension. Results thus generally suggest that conceptualizing well-being in eudaimonic terms may be relatively more important for positive psychological functioning.


Well-being Lay conceptions Hedonism Eudaimonia Pleasure Happiness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. 3415University of WyomingLaramieUSA

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