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Eudaimonic and Hedonic Orientations: Theoretical Considerations and Research Findings

  • Veronika HutaEmail author
Chapter
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)

Abstract

This chapter summarizes the work of Veronika Huta and of researchers who have used her measure of eudaimonic and hedonic orientations, the HEMA (Hedonic and Eudaimonic Motives for Activities). Huta and Waterman (2014) classified definitions of eudaimonia and hedonia into four categories – orientations (priorities, values, motives, goals), behaviors, experiences (affect, appraisals), and functioning (abilities, accomplishments, healthy habits). This chapter reports preliminary analyses showing that hedonic experiences (e.g., positive affect, carefreeness) formed a separate factor from eudaimonic experiences (e.g., feelings of meaning/value, accomplishment, interest); eudaimonic and hedonic orientations also formed distinct factors. Recently, Huta developed an expanded characterization of eudaimonia and hedonia in all four definition categories, including the cell that has heretofore been neglected – healthy hedonic functioning – to complement Ryff’s (1985) theory of eudaimonic functioning. In the recently updated HEMA, eudaimonia is defined as an orientation towards four elements: authenticity, meaning/broad concerns, excellence/morality, and growth/maturity; hedonia is defined as an orientation toward pleasure/satisfaction and comfort/ease. HEMA eudaimonic and hedonic orientations have correlated with somewhat different niches of personal well-being experience, need satisfaction, health behavior, and functioning; the combination of eudaimonic and hedonic orientations has related to higher scores on well-being than either pursuit alone. Eudaimonic pursuits have been linked with more positive contributions to others, society, and the environment. Only a eudaimonic orientation has related to abstract thinking and future time perspective. Finally, only eudaimonia has related to having parents who were responsive and demanding. The chapter concludes with philosophical thoughts on why eudaimonia and hedonia are both good, and how one pursuit is higher while the other is more fundamental.

Keywords

Wellbeing Eudaimonia Hedonia 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of OttawaOttawaCanada

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