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Two Conceptions of Happiness: Contrasts of Personal Expressiveness (Eudaimonia) and Hedonic Enjoyment

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Aristotle's concept of eudaimonia and hedonic enjoyment constitute 2 philosophical conceptions of happiness. Two studies involving combined samples of undergraduate and graduate students (Study 1, n = 209; Study 2, n = 249) were undertaken to identify the convergent and divergent aspects of these constructs. As expected, there was a strong positive correlation between personal expressiveness (eudaimonia) and hedonic enjoyment. Analyses revealed significant differences between the 2 conceptions of happiness experienced in conjunction with activities for the variables of (1) opportunities for satisfaction, (2) strength of cognitive-affective components, (3) level of challenges, (4) level of skills, and (5) importance. It thus appears that the 2 conceptions of happiness are related but distinguishable and that personal expressiveness, but not hedonic enjoyment, is a signifier of success in the process of self-realization. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Journal
of
Personality
and
Social Psychology
1993,
Vol.
64.
No.
4.
678-691Copyright 1993
by the
American Psychological Association,
Inc.
OO22-3514/93/$3.OO
Two Conceptions
of
Happiness:
Contrasts
of
Personal Expressiveness
(Eudaimonia)
and
Hedonic Enjoyment
Alan
S.
Waterman
Aristotle's concept of eudaimonia and hedonic enjoyment constitute 2 philosophical conceptions
of happiness. Two studies involving combined samples
of
undergraduate
and
graduate students
(Study
1,
N
=
209; Study 2,
N
=
249) were undertaken
to
identify
the
convergent
and
divergent
aspects of these constructs.
As
expected, there was a strong positive correlation between personal
expressiveness (eudaimonia)
and
hedonic enjoyment. Analyses revealed significant differences
between the
2
conceptions of happiness experienced in conjunction with activities for the variables
of (a) opportunities
for
satisfaction,
(b)
strength
of
cognitive-affective components,
(c)
level
of
challenges,
(d)
level of
skills,
and
(e)
importance.
It
thus appears that the
2
conceptions of happiness
are related
but
distinguishable and that personal expressiveness,
but not
hedonic enjoyment, is
a
signifier of success
in the
process of self-realization.
The qualities deemed
to
represent optimal, healthy,
or
effec-
tive psychological functioning have been
a
perennial concern
within personality psychology. However, work on optimal func-
tioning
has
generally been carried
out
within diverse theoreti-
cal systems with
few
efforts made
to
interrelate
or
integrate
concepts proposed
as
optimal within
the
different theories.
Four such constructs
are
(a)
a
sense
of
personal identity (Erik-
son,
1963,
1968—ego analytic theory),
(b)
self-actualization
(Maslow, 1968,1970—humanistic theory), (c)
an
internal locus
of control (Rotter, 1966—social learning theory), and (d) princi-
pled moral reasoning (Gilligan, 1982, Kohlberg, 1969—cogni-
tive developmental theory).
In an
analysis of the philosophical
underpinnings
of
these constructs,
I
(Waterman, 1981,
1984)
have demonstrated that they share individualistic philosophi-
cal assumptions regarding
the
role of self-realization
as a
com-
ponent
of
optimal psychological functioning.
The
philosophi-
cal theory that corresponds
to the
perspectives advanced with
regard
to
each of the four constructs,
and
that is foundational
to
claims made
for
each,
is
eudaimonism.
Eudaimonism:
A
Theory
of
Self-Realization
Eudaimonism
is
an ethical theory that calls people to recognize
and
to
live
in
accordance with
the
daimon
or
"true
self"
(Nor-
ton, 1976).
The
theory extends
at
least
as far
back
as
classical
Hellenic philosophy, where
it
received
its
most notable treat-
ment
in
Aristotle's (1985) Nicomachean Ethics.
The
daimon
refers
to
those potentialities
of
each person,
the
realization
of
which represents the greatest fulfillment
in
living of which each
is capable. These include both
the
potentialities that are shared
This study was conducted with support from
a
Distinguished
Re-
search Award to Alan
S.
Waterman. The award was part of the Gover-
nor's Challenge
to
Distinction Grant Program
at
Trenton State Col-
lege.
Correspondence concerning this article should
be
addressed
to
Alan
S.
Waterman, Department of Psychology, Trenton State College, Hill-
wood Lakes, CN4700, Trenton, New Jersey 08650-4700.
by
all
humans
by
virtue of our common specieshood
and
those
unique potentials that distinguish each individual from
all
others.
The
daimon
is an
ideal
in the
sense
of
being
an
excel-
lence,
a
perfection toward which
one
strives and, hence,
it can
give meaning and direction
to
one's life. Efforts
to
live
in
accor-
dance with the daimon,
to
realize those potentials (self-realiza-
tion),
give rise
to a
condition termed eudaimonia. Such efforts
can be said
to be
personally expressive of the individual (Water-
man, 1990a, 1990b). Extended discussions
of
eudaimonist
theory
can be
found
in
May (1969), Norton (1976),
and
Water-
man (1984,1990a).
Philosophical Perspectives
on
Happiness
The examination
of
eudaimonist philosophy
has led me to
look
for
approaches
to the
study
of
experiences
of
personal
expressiveness as
a
signifier of self-realization and, therefore,
of
optimal psychological functioning (Waterman, 1990a).
One
area of investigation with potential
to
further an understanding
of processes involved
in
self-realization
as an
aspect of optimal
functioning concerns
the
nature of happiness. Happiness
is the
usual English translation
for
eudaimonia
in
Aristotle's (1985)
Nicomachean Ethics,
and
this has raised questions
in the
philo-
sophical literature as
to
how happiness may best be understood
(Cooper, 1975; Kraut, 1979; Tatarkiewicz, 1976).
In contemporary usage,
the
term happiness
is
generally con-
sidered
to
refer
to
hedonic happiness,
a
subjective experience
that includes "the belief that one is getting the important things
one wants,
as
well
as
certain pleasant affects that normally
go
along with this
belief"
(Kraut, 1979,
p.
178).
The
most thor-
ough expression of hedonism as
an
ethical theory was advanced
by Aristippus of Cyrene
in
the third century BC, who held "that
pleasure
is the
sole good,
but
also that only one's own physical,
positive, momentary pleasure
is a
good,
and is so
regardless
of
its cause" (Tatarkiewicz, 1976,
p. 317).
Aristotle clearly rejected this Cyrenaic view
of
happiness.
"The many,
the
most vulgar, seemingly conceive
the
good
and
happiness as pleasure,
and
hence they also like the life of gratifi-
678
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS679
cation. Here they appear completely slavish, since the life they
decide on is a life for grazing animals" (Aristotle, 1985, p. 7).
Against this view of hedonic happiness, Aristotle (1985) offers
the proposition that eudaimonia (happiness) is "activity ex-
pressing
virtue"
(p.
284),
where virtue may be variously consid-
ered to be the best thing, the best within us, or excellence
(Ackrill, 1973; McDowell, 1980). According to Telfer (1980),
eudaimonia embodies the idea, not that one is pleased with
one's life, but that one has "what is
worth
desiring and worth
having in life" (p. 37). Feelings of personal expressiveness and
self-realization are thus linked to eudaimonia, where what is
considered worth desiring and having in life is the best within
us or personal excellence.
We
are thus presented with two conceptions of happiness: (a)
eudaimonia (feelings of personal expressiveness)1 and (b) he-
donic enjoyment. If the perspective on optimal psychological
functioning advanced here has merit, then it should be possible
to demonstrate empirical differences between the two concep-
tions of happiness, with specific differences occurring in a pat-
tern related to self-realization (Waterman, 1990a, 1990b).
Experiences of Personal Expressiveness
Experiences of an activity as personally expressive occur
when there
is (a)
an unusually intense involvement in an under-
taking, (b) a feeling of
a
special fit or meshing with an activity
that is not characteristic of most daily tasks, (c) a feeling of
intensely being
alive,
(d) a feeling of being complete or fulfilled
while engaged in an activity,
(e)
an impression that this is what
the person was meant to
do,
and (f)
a
feeling that this
is who
one
really is (Waterman, 1990a). Such experiences of personal ex-
pressiveness appear conceptually linked with the feelings asso-
ciated with intrinsic motivation (Deci & Ryan, 1985), flow
(Csikszentmihalyi, 1975,1988), and peak experiences (Maslow,
1964,1968; see Waterman, 1990a, for a discussion of
the
links
among these
concepts).
In line with eudaimonist philosophy, it
is expected that activities giving rise to feelings of personal ex-
pressiveness will be those in which an individual experiences
self-realization through the fulfillment of personal potentials
in the form of the development of
one's
skills and talents, the
advancement of
one's
purposes in living, or both.
Experiences of Hedonic Enjoyment
Happiness in the form of experiences of hedonic enjoyment
may be expected to arise from a wider array of activities than
does happiness in the form of experiences of personal expres-
siveness. There is no conceptual restriction for hedonic enjoy-
ment to be linked only to a particular
class
of activities,
as is
the
case for the link between personal expressiveness and self-real-
ization. Hedonic enjoyment may be expected to be felt when-
ever pleasant affect accompanies the satisfaction of needs,
whether physically, intellectually, or socially based.
Relationship of Personal Expressiveness to Hedonic
Enjoyment
On philosophical grounds it has been claimed that eudai-
monia
is
a sufficient, but not a necessary, condition for hedonic
happiness (Telfer,
1980).
That
is,
a person regularly engaging in
personally expressive activities will be happy with
his
or her life
(hedonic happiness), although there are plausibly many other
routes to hedonic happiness beside engaging in personally ex-
pressive activities. With respect to feelings arising in connec-
tion with particular
activities,
four categories are logically
possi-
ble,
although one may be considered a theoretically null cate-
gory (Waterman, 1990a,
1990b).
The
first
category
is
composed
of activities giving rise to both eudaimonia and hedonic enjoy-
ment. The second involves those activities that are hedonically
enjoyed but that do not
give
rise to eudaimonia. The third set is
comprised of activities that neither are hedonically enjoyed nor
give rise to
eudaimonia. The fourth, and theoretically
null,
cate-
gory would include any activities giving rise to eudaimonia but
that are not enjoyable in the hedonic sense of
the
term. Thus,
the first hypothesis to be evaluated here can be framed as fol-
lows:
Hypothesis
la. There will be a strong, positive correlation be-
tween reports of experiences of personal expressiveness and he-
donic enjoyment associated with activities.
The existence of a strong, positive correlation between re-
ports of experiences of personal expressiveness and hedonic
enjoyment would be due to activities falling into the first and
third categories described above. This correlation is not likely
to approach unity, however, because of the presence of activities
in the second category, that is, activities giving rise to hedonic
enjoyment but not eudaimonia. The magnitude of this correla-
tion is of importance for several reasons. If
the
correlation be-
tween the measures of personal expressiveness and hedonic
enjoyment is very high, then it will become difficult, if not
impossible, to identify differences between the nature and cir-
cumstances of the two conceptions of happiness. Under such a
circumstance, the claim that
there are two
distinguishable
expe-
riences of happiness will be brought into question. On the
other hand, if the correlation between the measures of personal
expressiveness and hedonic enjoyment is relatively low (even if
statistically significant), then Telfer's (1980) supposition that
eudaimonia is a sufficient condition for hedonic enjoyment is
doubtful.
It is possible to go further in assessing Telfer's (1980) claim.
With
measures
of each of the
two
conceptions of happiness, it
is
possible to establish cutpoints between high and low scores on
each of the scales and then compare the relative proportions of
activities that are high on one quality but low on the other.
Because there is an arbitrary element in the establishment of
such points, the category of activities high on personal expres-
' In this article the terms
eudaimonia
and feelings of personal expres-
siveness
are considered to have the same referent, although the terms
are generally used in different
contexts.
Eudaimonia
is used in discus-
sions
focused
on
philosophical conceptionsof happiness, whereas
feel-
ings
of
personal expressiveness
is used when the analysis is psychologi-
cal.
In rendering the concept of eudaimonia
in
a form amenable for use
within psychological theory and research, I have had to make a num-
ber of significant departures from the depiction of the concept in
Aristotle's (1985) writings. I have discussed these modifications in de-
tail elsewhere (Waterman, 1990a), along with the rationales for these
departures afforded by contemporary eudaimonist theorists.
680ALAN S. WATERMAN
siveness and low on hedonic enjoyment cannot be expected to
be a perfect null. Nevertheless, if Telfer (1980) is correct, the
proportions of activities that are high on one quality but low on
the other should be asymmetrical. This hypothesis can be for-
mulated as follows:
Hypothesis lb. The relative frequency of activities assessed as
being high on personal expressiveness while low on hedonic en-
joyment will be significantly lower than the frequency of activi-
ties assessed as being high on hedonic enjoyment while low on
personal expressiveness.
Relationships of Experiences of Personal Expressiveness
and Hedonic Enjoyment to the Nature of the
Opportunities for Satisfaction Arising From Activities
According to the theory advanced here, that feelings of per-
sonal expressiveness signify self-realization, such experiences
may be expected to occur specifically in connection with activi-
ties affording opportunities for individuals to develop their
best potentials, that is, further the development of their skills
and talents, advance their purposes in living, or both. Whereas
experiences of hedonic enjoyment are also expected to arise
from activities affording such opportunities, the link between
hedonic enjoyment and opportunities to develop one's best po-
tentials is not specific. Hedonic enjoyment can be expected to
vary with respect to the opportunities to achieve a variety of
other forms of satisfaction as well. For this reason, a relatively
weaker association of hedonic enjoyment and the development
of one's best potentials is expected. This gives rise to the follow-
ing hypothesis:
Hypothesis
2a.
There will be significant positive correlations be-
tween reports of experiences of personal expressiveness and he-
donic enjoyment arising in connection with activities and reports
of the extent to which those activities afford opportunities to de-
velop one's best potentials. Furthermore, the correlation will be
significantly stronger between personal expressiveness and oppor-
tunities for the development of one's best potentials than between
hedonic enjoyment and such opportunities.
A quite different type of opportunity for satisfaction that
may be provided by activities concerns the extent to which op-
portunities are afforded for the satisfaction of a person's drives,
such as hunger, thirst, sex, or relaxation. Opportunities for such
satisfaction can be expected to be strongly associated with expe-
riences of hedonic enjoyment. There are no grounds for expect-
ing that activities affording this type of opportunity will be
strongly associated with self-realization and, hence, it is not
expected that the presence of such opportunities will be asso-
ciated with experiences of personal expressiveness. This por-
tion of the second hypothesis can be framed as follows:
Hypothesis
2b.
There will be a significant correlation between
reports of hedonic enjoyment and reports of the extent to which
those activities afford opportunities for the satisfaction of one's
drives,
whereas the correlation between reports of personal expres-
siveness
and such opportunities
is
not expected to
be
significant. It
follows that reported opportunities to satisfy one's drives will be
more strongly correlated with hedonic enjoyment than with per-
sonal expressiveness.
Beyond the opportunities afforded by an activity to develop
one's best potentials and satisfy one's drives, there are many
other varieties of opportunities for satisfaction that an activity
may provide. Other possibilities include opportunities to appre-
ciate beauty in any of its forms (aesthetic opportunities), to
share experiences with others (social opportunities), to satisfy
one's desire for competition, and to have spiritual experiences.
To the extent that activities afford opportunities for any of these
forms of satisfaction, there should be positive correlations with
hedonic enjoyment. Furthermore, any of these types of opportu-
nities may or may not be associated with the development of
one's skills and talents or the advancement of one's purposes in
living. For this reason it was anticipated that there would be
significant correlations between reports of the presence of op-
portunities of each type and both hedonic enjoyment and feel-
ings of personal expressiveness. However, no hypotheses were
developed with regard to the relative strength of these correla-
tions.
Relationships of Personal Expressiveness and Hedonic
Enjoyment to Accompanying Cognitive-Affective
Experiences
It is to be expected that both feelings of personal expressive-
ness and hedonic enjoyment will be experienced as a positive
cognitive-affective state. However, if these feelings are differen-
tially associated with activities affording different types of op-
portunities for satisfaction, then it appears probable that there
will be qualitative differences in the subjective experiences of
the two forms of happiness. These qualitative differences in the
subjective components of the cognitive-affective state should
occur in a pattern conceptually related to whether the activities
are providing a vehicle for self-realization. The third hypothesis
to be tested here can be formulated as follows:
Hypothesis
3.
Reports of experiences of personal expressiveness
and hedonic enjoyment will both be positively and comparably
correlated with an overall assessment of the cognitive-affective
state accompanying the activities. However, differences will be
found between personal expressiveness and hedonic enjoyment
regarding the relative contributions of specific subjective compo-
nents to the cognitive-affective state, with the differences occur-
ring in a pattern conceptually linked to the
role
played
by
self-rea-
lization in the activities.
Relationships of Personal Expressiveness and Hedonic
Enjoyment to the Concept of Flow
There is a high degree of correspondence between the con-
ceptual description of personal expressiveness provided here
and Csikszentmihalyi's (1975) description of flow (Waterman,
1990a). Flow experiences were originally studied both in terms
of the cognitive-affective state accompanying activities (similar
to the approach used with respect to Hypothesis
3
above) and in
terms of the challenges afforded by a task and the skills the
individual brings to it. M. Csikszentmihalyi and I.
S.
Csikszent-
mihalyi (1988) identified four channels of experience based on
the joint standing of the dimensions of challenges and
skills:
(a)
flow—high levels of both challenges and skills, (b) boredom
a low level of challenges and a high level of
skills,
(c) anxiety—a
high level of challenges and a low level of
skills,
and (d) apathy
—low levels of both challenges and skills.
Csikszentmihalyi (1975) tied the concept of flow to intrinsic
motivation as a source of happiness but did not address distinc-
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS681
tions among conceptions of happiness. From a eudaimonist
perspective, in which feelings of personal expressiveness are
experienced in connection with the furtherance of
one's
skills
and
talents,
it is
expected that such feelings will arise because
of
the process of self-realization occurring when the level of chal-
lenges afforded by an activity is high and the level of skills
brought to it is commensurate. There is no basis on which to
expect happiness in the form of hedonic enjoyment to
be
corre-
lated with the levels of challenges and skills associated with
activities, other than the existence of a strong, positive correla-
tion between the two conceptions of happiness.
The fourth hypothesis to be tested here can be specified as
follows:
Hypothesis
4.
There will be significant positive correlations be-
tween reports of personal expressiveness and hedonic enjoyment
arising in connection with activities and reported levels of the
challenges afforded by activities and the skills brought to them.
Furthermore, the correlations will be significantly stronger be-
tween personal expressiveness and the levels of challenges and
skills than between hedonic enjoyment and challenges and skills.
It should also be noted that the joint consideration of chal-
lenges and skills advanced by Csikszentmihalyi (1975, 1982)
leads to the conclusion that there is an inherent progressive
element to self-realization. When the levels of challenges and
skills associated with an activity are both high, the individual is
in a learning situation furthering the development of the poten-
tials that are present. As Csikszentmihalyi (1988) points out,
with repeated successes at the activity, there will be a reduction
in the level of challenges experienced and an increase in the
level of skills associated with it. The extent to which flow is
then experienced with respect to the activity
wUl
be correspon-
dingly reduced. If further experiences of flow are to be at-
tained, it is necessary for the person to develop the underlying
potentials still further by seeking out related activities with a
still higher level of
challenges,
ones more commensurate with
the newly achieved level of
skills.
In this manner, potentials for
personal excellence can be progressively actualized.
Relationship Between Personal Expressiveness and
Hedonic Enjoyment and the Frequency of Occurrence
and Importance of Activities
While it
is
probable that individuals would wish to engage in
activities giving rise to feelings of personal expressiveness and
hedonic enjoyment more frequently than they would activities
not associated with such experiences, the realities of day-to-day
living are such that people must often do things that are not
associated with either conception of happiness.
For this
reason,
no hypotheses are advanced regarding whether there would be
significant associations between the two conceptions of happi-
ness
and reported frequencies of activities or regarding the rela-
tive strength of
the
correlations.
The reported importance of an activity to an individual is
expected to be differentially related to experiences of personal
expressiveness and hedonic enjoyment. If feelings of personal
expressiveness are signifiers of self-realization, and thus opti-
mal psychological functioning, then activities giving rise to
such feelings should be rated quite high in importance. Individ-
uals should also rate activities giving rise to hedonic enjoyment
as important, in part because of the activities characterized by
both feelings of personal expressiveness and hedonic enjoy-
ment. However, because activities giving rise to hedonic enjoy-
ment but not contributing to self-realization are not likely to be
considered of the same importance as those in Category 1
above,
the overall correlation between reports of hedonic enjoy-
ment and importance of activities is not expected to be as
strong as that between feelings of personal expressiveness and
importance. Thus, the fifth hypothesis to be evaluated here can
be constructed as follows:
Hypothesis
5.
Reports of experiences of personal expressiveness
and hedonic enjoyment
will
be positively correlated with the rated
importance of the activities in the lives of the respondents, with
the correlation for personal expressiveness being significantly
stronger than that for hedonic enjoyment. (No expectations are
advanced regarding the association of the frequency of occur-
rence of activities with the two conceptions of happiness.)
Two
studies
were
carried out to test the hypotheses advanced
here.
The design of the studies was essentially the same, differ-
ing with respect to developments in the research instrument
used to assess personal expressiveness. In the first study, Hy-
potheses
1,2,3,
and
5
were tested, whereas in the second all five
hypotheses were evaluated.
Method
Participants
Participants in Study
1
were
140
undergraduate students
(107
women
and
33 men)
and
69
graduate students
(55
women and
14 men)
enrolled
in psychology courses at Trenton State
College.
In Study 2 there were
193 undergraduate students
(149
women and 44 men) and 56 graduate
students
(44
women and
12
men),
drawn from psychology and counsel-
ing courses. The female:male ratios were generally comparable to
those in the classes from which they were recruited. In Study 1, the
undergraduate students ranged in age from 18 to 23 years with a me-
dian
age
of
19
years,
and the graduate students ranged in age from
22
to
65 years, with a median age of 31 years. The corresponding
age
range
for the undergraduates in Study
2 was 18
to
46
years with a median age
of
19
years and for the graduate students it was 22 to 52 years with a
median age of
36
years.
Instrument
The Personally Expressive Activities Questionnaire
(PEAQ),
labeled
Activities Questionnaire on
the respondent's form,
was
constructed for
the purpose of collecting data for this research.2 On the cover sheet of
the questionnaire, the respondents were asked the following question:
"If you wanted another person to know about who you are and what
you are like as a person, what
Jive
(5)
activities
of
importance
to you
would you describe?" After listing the
five
activities, the participants
then responded to the same
series
of questions about each
activity.
The
items were arranged into four groups for Study
1
and five groups for
Study 2.
Measures
of
personal expressiveness
and
hedonic
enjoyment.
The
section of the PEAQ containing measures of the two conceptions of
happiness began with the following: "To what extent
do you
agree with
each of the following statements:"
2
Copies of the PEAQ are available from me on request.
682ALAN S. WATERMAN
For Study
1,
a two-item scale designed to assess feelings of personal
expressiveness was composed of the following statements:
1.
This activity gives me my greatest feeling of really being alive.
2.
This activity gives me my strongest feelings that this is who I
really am.
A two-item scale designed to assess feelings of hedonic enjoyment
was composed of the following statements:
1.
This activity gives me my strongest sense of enjoyment.
2.
This activity gives me my greatest pleasure.
Each question was answered on a 7-point scale, with the endpoints
described
as
strongly disagree and strongly
agree.
The items for the two
scales were intermixed in the
questionnaire.
For purposes of statistical
analysis, the items for each scale were summed, yielding scales with a
possible range from 2 to
14
for the two conceptions of happiness. One-
week test-retest reliabilities for the two scales averaged across the five
activities were .78 (p < .0001) for feelings of personal expressiveness
and .80 (p < .0001) for feelings of hedonic enjoyment. Coefficient
alpha for the personal expressiveness scores averaged
.77
across replica-
tions,
and the average coefficient alpha for the hedonic enjoyment
scores was .90 (see Waterman,
1991,
for additional information about
the construction and psychometric properties of the scales).
For Study 2, the scales for personal expressiveness and hedonic en-
joyment were expanded to six items
each.
The additional
items
on the
personal expressiveness scale were the following:
3.
When
I
engage in this activity
I
feel more intensely involved than
I
do in most other activities.
4.
When
I
engage in this activity I feel that this
is
what
I
was meant
to do.
5.
I feel more complete or fulfilled when engaging in this activity
that
1
do when engaged in most other activities.
6. I feel a special fit or meshing when engaging in this activity.
The additional items
on
the hedonic enjoyment scale
were
the follow-
ing:
3.
When
I
engage in this activity
I
feel more satisfied than
I
do when
engaged in most other activities.
4.
When I engage in this activity I feel good.
5.
When I engage in this activity I feel a warm glow.
6. When I engage in this activity I feel happier than I do when
engaged in most other activities.
The range of possible scores on the expanded versions of the two
scales was from 6 to
42.
One-week test-retest reliabilities for the two
scales averaged across the
five
activities were .82 (p < .0001) for feel-
ings of personal expressiveness and .84 (p
<
.0001) for feelings of
he-
donic enjoyment. Average alpha coefficients for the expanded per-
sonal expressiveness and hedonic enjoyment scales were .90 and .93,
respectively (see Waterman, 1991).
Items assessing the
opportunities
for
satisfaction
afforded by an
activity. Six items were included in the PEAQ that tapped different
types of opportunities for satisfaction that might be afforded by an
activity. The initial stem for this block of items read as follows: "To
what extent does this activity provide you with each of the following
opportunities:" The six types of opportunities described were
(a)
"the
opportunity for
me
to appreciate beauty (in
any
of
its
forms)" [aesthetic
opportunities], (b) "the opportunity for me to share experiences with
others" [social opportunities],
(c)
"the opportunity for
me
to satisfy my
desire for competition,"
(d)
"the opportunity for
me
to develop my best
potentials,"
(e)
"the opportunity for me to have spiritual experiences,"
and (f) "the opportunity for me to satisfy my drives (whether through
increasing or decreasing levels of stimulation)." The items were an-
swered on a 7-point scale with the endpoints labeled
not at
all and
very
extensively.
Items assessing the
cognitive-affective
state accompanying the
activity. A series of
24
items was constructed tapping various poss-
ible cognitive-affective components that might be experienced while
engaged in the
activity.
These items included components identified by
Maslow
(1968)
in
his
description of peak experiences and by
M.
Csiks-
zentmihalyi and I. S. Csikszentmihalyi (1988) in their description of
flow experiences. Other pleasant affect items were chosen because
they appeared not to be associated with either peak experiences or
flow. In addition, a few negative affect items presumed to be negatively
associated with both conceptions of happiness were included to re-
duce the likelihood of response sets operating during the completion
of the questionnaire.
The initial stem for this block of
items
read: "When
I
engage in this
activity
."
The item completions
were:
(a) I
feel relaxed,
(b) I
feel confident,
(c) I
feel self-conscious,
(d) I
feel excited,
(e) I
invest
a
great deal of effort, (f) I feel competent, (g) I feel angry, (h) I feel
content, (i) I lose track of
time,
(j) I feel in control, (k) I feel alert,
(1)
I
have a high level of concentration, (m) I feel restless, (n) I feel I know
how
well I
am doing,
(o) I
feel happy, (p)
1
forget my personal problems,
(q) I feel anxious,
(r)
I feel its always different for
me,
(s) I
feel confused,
(t) I
feel in harmony with my surroundings,
(u) I
feel challenged,
(v) I
feel
I have clear goals, (w) I feel assertive, and
(x)
I feel good about
myself.
Each item was responded to on a 7-point scale with the endpoints
labeled
not
at
all characteristic
of me and
very characteristic
of me.
An overall measure of the cognitive-affective state associated with
each activity was calculated, for which the negative affect item scores
were reversed. Statistical analyses
were
carried out for the overall mea-
sure and separately for each of the 24 cognitive-affective components.
Items
assessing
the
frequency
of
occurrence
of
each activity
and the
importance
of
each activity
The question concerning frequency was
phrased as follows: "How often have you engaged in this activity in the
past year?" The item was answered on a 7-point scale with the end-
points labeled
very seldom
and
very
frequently.
The question concerning the importance of the activity was phrased
as follows: "Overall, how important
is
this activity to you in your life?"
A 7-point scale was again used, with the endpoints labeled not at all
important
and
extremely
important.
On the initial version of the PEAQ, the frequency item was embed-
ded between the group of items assessing satisfaction and the group
assessing cognitive-affective state, while the importance item ap-
peared as the last in the series of questions for each activity. On the
expanded version of the instrument, the frequency and importance
items both appeared before the block of questions pertaining to the
cognitive-affective state accompanying an activity.
Items assessing the levels
of
challenges
and
skills
associated
with each
activity. For the second study, items pertaining to the level of chal-
lenges encountered in an activity and the level of
skills
brought to it
were added to assess the components involved in the concept of flow.
The question concerning challenges was phrased as follows: "What is
the usual level of challenges you encounter when you engage in this
activity?" The question pertaining to skills was phrased as follows:
"What
is
the usual level of skills you bring to this
activity?"
Both items
were answered on a 7-point scale with the endpoints labeled
very low
and
very
high.
These items were placed just before the frequency and
importance items.
Procedure
In Study 1, the undergraduate respondents were provided with a
brief description of the research project and then completed the PEAQ
and a brief background questionnaire either alone or in groups. The
graduate student respondents were provided with the description of
the project in their classes and were then given the questionnaires
to
be
completed at home and returned at a subsequent class meeting. For
Study
2,
the undergraduate students completed the research question-
naires in groups conducted outside of classtime, and the graduate stu-
dents completed the instruments during class. In both studies, some
students received points toward their course grade for their participa-
tion in the research.
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS683
Results
The PEAQ calls for respondents to describe five activities
important in their lives to obtain a range of activities differing
in their levels of reported personal expressiveness and hedonic
enjoyment. By analyzing the data separately for the activities
chosen to occupy each sequential position on the instrument, it
is possible to test each of the hypotheses five times. Having
multiple replications of the test for each hypothesis provides
evidence for the stability of
the
findings observed.
For each study, a series of preliminary analyses regarding
gender and educational level (undergraduate or graduate level)
differences in the variables studied were conducted to deter-
mine whether all respondents could appropriately be incorpo-
rated into a combined sample for the test of the hypotheses
advanced here. For Study
1,
only three of
551
test comparisons
on gender yielded significant differences, indicating that
women and men are quite comparable with respect to
how
they
perceived the activities they chose to include on their lists.
None of the differences occurred for the
scores
on the measures
of personal expressiveness and hedonic enjoyment.
For
Study
2,
13
of 65 t test comparisons on gender yielded significant differ-
ences.
None of these differences occurred for the measure of
personal expressiveness, and for only one of the five activities
was a significant difference found for the measure of hedonic
enjoyment (with women providing higher scores, on average).
For educational level in Study 1,13 of
the
55 t test compari-
sons of undergraduate and graduate students indicated signifi-
cant differences. For none of the replications was a significant
effect found for the measure of personal expressiveness. How-
ever, for two of the five replications, graduate students indi-
cated greater hedonic enjoyment associated with the activities
they listed. For Study 2, significant differences for educational
level were found for 11 of the 65 comparisons. None of the
significant effects were found for the measures of personal ex-
pressiveness and hedonic enjoyment.
Despite the presence of a modest number of gender and edu-
cational level differences regarding
the
ways
in which
the
activi-
ties included
on
the lists
were
perceived,
the
direction and mag-
nitude of the correlations used in the tests of the various hypoth-
eses under study here were generally quite similar for both
women and men and for both undergraduate and graduate stu-
dents.
It was therefore concluded that, within each study, the
conducting of a single set of analyses on the combined data for
both genders and both educational
levels
would
be
appropriate.
Table
1
Correlations
Between Levels of
Personal Expressiveness
and
Hedonic Enjoyment
for
Each
Activity:
Studies
1
and 2
Activity listed by
respondent (in
sequential order)
Study 1 Study 2
rf
Average
206
208
206
206
204
206
.71*
.79*
.76*
.74*
.71*
.74*
246
246
242
246
240
244
.77*
.78*
.83*
.86*
.85*
.82*
*
Sample sizes vary among activities due to missing data.
*p<.0001.
Table 2
Relationships
of
Personal Expressiveness
and
Hedonic
Enjoyment
to
Opportunities
for
Satisfaction
Arising From
Activities:
Study
1
r with
Activity listed by
respondent (in
sequential order)Personal
expressivenessHedonic
enjoyment
Opportunities
to
develop one's best potentials
.10
Average
30*****
.48*****
.40*****
45*****
.38*****
^2*****
.16**
.20***
.14**
.20***
6.07*****
2.24**
5.60*****
5.73*****
4.84*****
4
92*****
Opportunities
to
satisfy one's drives
Average
33****:
.41****
.31****!
43****:
40****:
3g****:
27***
.34*
.26***
.35**
.31**
1.18
1.70*
1.10
1.75*
1.40
1.51
Opportunities
to
appreciate beauty
in any of
its
forms
Average
.25*
.49*
.47*
.36*
.42*
.40*
.32*****
53*****
.51*****
42*****
4j*****
44*****
-1.39
-1.05
-0.98
-1.33
0.21
-0.88
Opportunities
to
share experiences with others
Average
.40****
.42****
.43****
.51****
.48****
.45****
.21***
4j*****
^23****
.40*****
43*****
34*****
3.85****
0.25
4.61*****
2.55**
1.07
2.43**
Opportunities
to
satisfy
the
desire
for
competition
Average
.06
.19***
.09
.21***
.18**
.15**
.10
.11
-.13*
.10
.03
.00
2.98***
1.80*
4.57*****
2.22**
3.19***
3.03***
Opportunities
to
have spiritual experiences
Average
.17**
.38*****
.38*****
.50*****
39*****
36*****
.18**
.26****
32*****
.36*****
.23****
27*****
-0.19
2.84***
1.33
3.21***
3.19***
1.92*
*p<A0. **p<.05.
***p<.0l.
****p<.001.
*****
p<.000\.
Relationship of Personal Expressiveness to Hedonic
Enjoyment
The correlations between the scale scores for reported levels
of personal expressiveness and hedonic enjoyment associated
with the activities listed in each sequential position on the
684ALAN S. WATERMAN
PEAQ for both Studies
1
and 2 are provided in Table 1. As
expected, the correlations are high and quite stable across the
sequential listing of activities, with the correlations ranging
from
.71
(p
<
.0001) to .79 (p
<
.0001) in Study
1
and from .77
(p
<
.0001) to .86 (p
<
.0001) in Study
2.
Hypothesis la is thus
Table 3
Relationships
of
Personal Expressiveness
and
Hedonic
Enjoyment
to
Opportunities
for
Satisfaction
Arising From
Activities:
Study 2
r with
Activity nstea oy
respondent (in Personal
sequential order) expressiveness
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
Hedonic
enjoyment
Opportunities to develop one's best potentials
44****
.42****
44****
.54****.
54****»
Average
.48*****
.15**
.11*
.21****
32*****
.30*****
22****
Opportunities to satisfy one's drives
39*****
44****1
43****<
^56****'
49*****
Average
.46*****
Opportunities to appreciate beauty
.29*****
29*****
;42****,
.47****'
.45*****
Average
.38*****
.34**'
.38**'
.38**'
.49**'
.46**'
***
K**
***
***
***
.41*****
7.81*****
8.83*****
7.07*****
8.06*****
8.38*****
8.25*****
1.26
1.56
1.45
2.48**
0.97
1.45
in any of its forms
.35*****
.38*****
47*****
.51*****
.48*****
44*****
Opportunities to share experiences with others
34****<
.50****'
.45****'
49****'
.42****"
Average .44*****
.25**'
.38**'
.40**"
.42**'
.35**'
***
***
***
***
***
.36*****
-1.45
-2.28**
-1.52
-1.37
-0.95
-1.72*
2.20**
3.24****
1.47
2.40**
2.16**
2.29**
Opportunities to satisfy the desire for competition
.03
.13**
.08
.15**
.09
Average
.
10
-.12*
.00
-.04
.01
-.04
-.04
Opportunities to have spiritual experiences
.18***
.36*****
.38*****
.41*****
.47*****
Average
.36*****
.19**
.28**
.36**
.45**
.37**
»**
***
K**
***
33*****
3.54****
3.14***
3.30***
4.25*****
3.78****
3.76****
-0.24
2.03**
0.57
-1.31
3.17***
0.84
confirmed: Those activities experienced as most personally ex-
pressive are also hedonically enjoyed.
To further evaluate Telfer's
(1980)
claim that eudaimonia
is a
sufficient, but not a necessary condition for hedonic happi-
ness,
cutpoints between high and
low
scores
on
the
PEAQ
scales
for personal expressiveness and hedonic enjoyment
were
estab-
lished and the proportions of activities high on one quality but
low on the other were compared. For the purposes of testing
Hypothesis
1
b,
an a priori decision was made to consider scores
in Study
1
for personal expressiveness and hedonic enjoyment
of
12
or above
as
high, and those
11
or below as
low.
Thus, to be
considered high on either conception of
happiness,
an activity
had to receive an average item score of 6 or higher. For Study 2,
the corresponding cutpoints were 36 or above vs. 35 or below.
In testing
the
hypothesis that the relative proportions of activ-
ities high on scores for one conception of happiness but
low
on
the other would be asymmetrical, the activities from the five
replications in each study were combined into
a
single
analysis.
This was done to maximize the number of activities in the
categories of concern here. Of 1,030 activities rated in Study 1,
339 were found to be high on personal expressiveness and 440
were high on hedonic enjoyment. Consistent with expectations,
16.8%
of the activities that
were
high on personal expressiveness
were
low
on hedonic enjoyment, and
35.9%
of activities high on
hedonic enjoyment were low on personal expressiveness (z =
6.87, p < .0001). Correspondingly, of
the
1,220 activities rated
in Study 2, 361 were high on personal expressiveness and 440
were high on hedonic enjoyment. Whereas 13.9% of activities
high on personal expressiveness were low on hedonic enjoy-
ment,
29.3%
of the activities high on hedonic enjoyment were
low on personal expressiveness (z = 5.90, p < .0001). These
results support Hypothesis lb and provide evidence consistent
with the view that personal expressiveness is a sufficient, but
not a necessary condition for hedonic enjoyment.3
Relationships of Personal Expressiveness and Hedonic
Enjoyment to Opportunities for Satisfaction Arising From
Activities
The correlations of scores for personal expressiveness and
hedonic enjoyment with responses for each of
the
six types of
opportunities for satisfaction for Study
1
are presented in Table
2,
and the corresponding correlations for Study
2
are presented
•p<A0. **p<.05.
***/?<.01.
****/><.001.
'p<.000l.
3 Whereas philosophers might argue that the existence of even a
single activity assessed as being high on personal expressiveness and
low on hedonic enjoyment could be taken as a refutation of Telfer's
(1980) claim, empirical demonstrations of the point require the use of
less
demanding
standards.
In the present research, the
finding
that the
category of activities high on personal expressiveness and low on he-
donic enjoyment
was
not a perfect null may be largely accounted for
by
the arbitrary element in the cutpoints established. Average item scores
of
4
or
5
(scores at or slightly above the center points of the response
scale) were nevertheless considered to be
low on
the measures for both
conceptions of
happiness.
Thus, as an example, in Study
1
an activity
with a score of
12
on personal expressiveness but
11
on hedonic enjoy-
ment would be placed in the theoretically null
category.
Furthermore,
error variance in the measures makes
it
inappropriate to apply
here
the
philosophers' exacting standards.
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS685
in Table 3. The results of
t
test comparisons for differences in
correlation coefficients for correlated samples are also included
in these tables.
As anticipated in Hypothesis 2a, there were highly signifi-
cant correlations between the reported level of personal expres-
siveness
of an activity and
the
extent
to
which
it was
perceived
as
affording opportunities for the development of one's best po-
tentials, with an average correlation across the
five
activities in
Study
1
of .42 (p
<
.0001) and an average correlation in Study 2
of
.48
(p < .0001). The correlations between reported level of
hedonic enjoyment of an activity and perceptions of this type of
opportunity averaged only .20 (p
<
.01) in Study
1
and .22 (p <
.001) in Study 2. In both studies, comparisons of the relative
strength of the two sets of correlations across the five replica-
tions for activities listed in the different sequential positions
indicated a significant difference in all five instances, in each
instance in the direction anticipated.
The
findings
obtained with respect to Hypothesis
2b
stand in
some contrast to expectations. In Study
1,
the correlations be-
tween scores for both hedonic enjoyment and feelings of per-
sonal expressiveness with opportunities to satisfy one's drives
were highly significant, averaging .31 (p < .0001) for hedonic
enjoyment and .38 (p < .0001) for personal expressiveness. In
Study
2
the corresponding correlations
were
.41
(p
<
.0001)
and
.46 (p < .0001). These differences are in the reverse direction
from that anticipated. In only one instance did the strength of
the difference between the correlations attain statistical signifi-
cance, and in two other instances nonsignificant trends were
observed.
With regard to the other four types of opportunities for
satis,
faction afforded by activities, consistent variations in the pat-
tern of outcomes were observed across the two studies. For
social and spiritual opportunities, there were significant corre-
lations with both feelings of personal expressiveness and he-
Table 4
Relationships
of
Personal Expressiveness
and
Hedonic
Enjoyment
to
Accompanying Cognitive-Affective
Experiences:
Studies
1
and 2
Activity listed by
respondent (in
sequential order)
1
2
3
4
5Average
1
2
3
4
5Average
r of overall cognitive-affective
tone with
Personal
expressiveness
Study 1
.40**
.53**
.46**
.56**
.45**
.47***
Study 2
.51***
.57**
.62**
.59**
.67**
.59**
Hedonic
enjoyment
.49***
.57***
.51***
.53***
.52***
.52***
.57***
.61***
.68***
.64***
.68***
.64***
t
-
-
-C
-
-
.93*
.06
.20
1.73
.53
.17
-1.66*
-1.21
-2.16**
-1.93*
-0.40
-1.69*
*/><.10.
**/><.05. ***/><
.0001.
donic enjoyment. When significant differences were found in
their association with the two conceptions of happiness, the
stronger correlations were with personal expressiveness. For
aesthetic opportunities there were again significant correla-
tions with both conceptions of
happiness.
The strength of the
correlations were generally comparable, but in the instance in
which a significant difference was observed, the stronger effect
was with hedonic enjoyment. For competitive opportunities,
the correlations with personal expressiveness, when significant,
were generally
low,
and with hedonic enjoyment
were
nonsigni-
ficant. However, comparisons in the strength of the correla-
tions typically indicated significant differences, with more pos-
itive correlations with feelings of personal expressiveness.
Relationships of Personal Expressiveness and Hedonic
Enjoyment to Accompanying Cognitive-Affective
Experiences
It
was
predicted that the measures of personal expressiveness
and hedonic enjoyment would both be positively and compara-
bly correlated with the overall assessment of the
cognitive-af-
fective state accompanying the activities. For both studies, the
correlations for
the
relationships of personal expressiveness and
hedonic enjoyment with the overall tone of the experience
across the
five
replications are reported in Table 4. In Study 1,
the average correlation for personal expressiveness
was .47
(p <
.0001),
and the average correlation for hedonic enjoyment was
.52 (p
<
.0001).
In only one instance did the difference between
the paired correlations approach significance, with the stronger
correlation found for hedonic enjoyment. In Study 2, the aver-
age correlation with personal expressiveness was .59 (p <
.0001),
and that with hedonic enjoyment
was .64
(p
<
.0001).
In
one instance, the difference in the strength of
the
correlations
was statistically significant and, in another two, it approached
significance.
More important, in Hypothesis
3,
differences were expected
regarding the particular components of the cognitive-affective
experience associated with personal expressiveness and he-
donic enjoyment. Because 24 components were studied using
the
PEAQ,
it
was
considered appropriate to limit the number of
statistical comparisons reported. For this reason, in Table 5,
only
the
average
correlations
across
the
five
replications
in
Stud-
ies
1
and 2 are reported. Six categories of outcomes were ob-
served: (a) components significantly correlated with both con-
ceptions of happiness, but with stronger average correlations
with personal expressiveness, (b) a component significantly
correlated with personal expressiveness but not hedonic enjoy-
ment (and where the difference was statistically significant), (c)
components significantly correlated with both conceptions of
happiness, with stronger average correlations with hedonic en-
joyment, (d) components that were negatively associated with
hedonic enjoyment but not related to personal expressiveness,
and where the differences
were
significant, or nearly
so,
(e)
com-
ponents significantly correlated
with
both conceptions of happi-
ness,
where the differences in strength were not significant, and
(f) one component that was not significantly correlated with
either conception of happiness.
The inspection of this pattern of outcomes indicates strong
support for Hypothesis
3.
Whereas the two conceptions of
hap-
piness were generally equivalent in their overall emotional
686
ALAN S. WATERMAN
Table
5
Cognitive-Affective Components Associated With Personal Expressiveness
and
Hedonic
Enjoyment:
Studies
1 and 2
Component
r with
Personal
expressivenessHedonic
enjoyment
I invest a great deal
of effort
Study 1
Study 2
I feel competent
Study 2
I have a high level of
concentration
Study 2
I know how well I am
doing
Study 2
I have clear goals
Study 1
Study 2
I feel assertive
Study 1
Study 2
Correlated with both personal expressiveness
and hedonic enjoyment, with a greater
correlation with personal expressiveness
25****
40*****
36*****
32*****
33*****
31*****
40*****
32*****
37*****
.13*
.19***
24*****
.21****
.21****
.13*
24*****
.20***
.27*****
2.45**
6.19*****
3.35***
2.99**
3.31***
3.84****
^
<j£#****
2.53**
2.79***
I feel challenged
Study 1
Study 2
Correlated with personal expressiveness
but not hedonic enjoyment
.17**
.28*****
.05
.10
2.45**
4.96*****
I feed relaxed
Study 1
Study 2
I feel excited
Study 1
Study 2
I feel content
Study 1
Study 2
I lose track of time
Study 1
Study 2
I feel happy
Study 1
Study 2
I forget my personal
problems
Study 1
Study 2
I feel in harmony with
my surroundings
Study 2
Correlated with both hedonic enjoyment and
personal expressiveness, with a greater
correlation with hedonic enjoyment
24****
17***
38*****
48*****
35*****
36*****
20***
2«*****
42*****
45*****
17**
21****
^Q*****
.35*****
.46*****
.55*****
.50*****
.52*****
.32*****
.40*****
.60*****
.64*****
.36*****
22*****
en*****
-3.24***
-5.03*****
-1.77*
-2.16**
-3.44****
-6.03*****
-2.53**
-4.30*****
-4.20****
-6.42*****
-4.10****