Positive Interventions That Erode the Hedonic and Eudaimonic Divide to Promote Lasting Happiness
The aim in this chapter is to outline the broad characteristics of a good life and to underscore the importance of a multi-faceted well-being framework which accurately represents how the good life is typically played out in the real world. An overview of some core positive psychology interventions designed to achieve hedonic and eudaimonic well-being will be presented and critiqued. It will be argued that divisions between eudaimonia and hedonia can be arbitrary and overly simplistic and that intervention characteristics alone are not sufficient to predict whether or not a positive intervention will be effective in the long term. The system within which the intervention is embedded is equally important. Program content, dissemination and assessment all interact to determine intervention effectiveness and should therefore be carefully considered. ‘Fit’ factors such as individual readiness, motivation and baseline levels of well-being are also important determinants of intervention effectiveness. In particular the individual experience and interpretation of a positive intervention can also influence intervention outcomes. The aim is to encourage individuals to optimise interventions by deriving all they can from the experience in terms of basic happiness, personal meaning and service to others. It is this well balanced and individually tailored mix of hedonic and eudaimonic elements, as experienced and understood by the individual, that makes for the ‘good life’.
KeywordsHappiness Wellbeing Eudaimonia Positive psychology Interventions
I would like to thank Jessie Sun and Hayley Jach for their assistance with editing this chapter.
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