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The Implications of Two Conceptions of Happiness (Hedonic Enjoyment and Eudaimonia) for the Understanding of Intrinsic Motivation

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Abstract

The distinction between hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia was evaluated in three data sets involving use of the Personally Expressive Activities Questionnaire—Standard Form (PEAQ-S) with college student samples (n > 200 in each sample). Indices of these two conceptions of happiness were strongly and reliably related across the three samples. Differences between these two conceptions of happiness were evaluated in two ways. First, we examined and compared correlations of hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia with variables related to intrinsic motivation. Zero-order correlations involving hedonic enjoyment were significantly stronger with respect to measures of self-determination and interest than were the corresponding correlations involving feelings of personal expressiveness (eudaimonia). In contrast, correlations involving eudaimonia were significantly stronger with measures of the balance of challenges and skills, self-realization values, effort, and importance than were the corresponding correlations with hedonic enjoyment. Second, we empirically distinguished between activities for which both hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia are present (intrinsically motivated activities) and activities for which hedonic enjoyment alone is present (hedonically enjoyed activities). Intrinsically motivated activities were judged to be significantly higher with respect to measures of the balance of challenges and skills, self-realization values, effort, importance, interest, and flow experiences. No differences between the two categories of activities were found for self-determination and the frequency with which activities were performed. Given these distinguishable patterns in the two conceptions of happiness, a reconceptualization for the understanding of intrinsic motivation is proposed.
ALAN S. WATERMAN, SETH J. SCHWARTZ and REGINA CONTI
THE IMPLICATIONS OF TWO CONCEPTIONS
OF HAPPINESS (HEDONIC ENJOYMENT AND
EUDAIMONIA) FOR THE UNDERSTANDING
OF INTRINSIC MOTIVATION
ABSTRACT. The distinction between hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia
was evaluated in three data sets involving use of the Personally Expressive
Activities Questionnaire—Standard Form (PEAQ-S) with college student
samples (n> 200 in each sample). Indices of these two conceptions of hap-
piness were strongly and reliably related across the three samples. Differences
between these two conceptions of happiness were evaluated in two ways.
First, we examined and compared correlations of hedonic enjoyment and
eudaimonia with variables related to intrinsic motivation. Zero-order corre-
lations involving hedonic enjoyment were significantly stronger with respect
to measures of self-determination and interest than were the corresponding
correlations involving feelings of personal expressiveness (eudaimonia). In
contrast, correlations involving eudaimonia were significantly stronger with
measures of the balance of challenges and skills, self-realization values, effort,
and importance than were the corresponding correlations with hedonic
enjoyment. Second, we empirically distinguished between activities for which
both hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia are present (intrinsically motivated
activities) and activities for which hedonic enjoyment alone is present
(hedonically enjoyed activities). Intrinsically motivated activities were judged
to be significantly higher with respect to measures of the balance of chal-
lenges and skills, self-realization values, effort, importance, interest, and flow
experiences. No differences between the two categories of activities were
found for self-determination and the frequency with which activities were
performed. Given these distinguishable patterns in the two conceptions of
happiness, a reconceptualization for the understanding of intrinsic motivation
is proposed.
KEY WORDS: intrinsic motivation, hedonic enjoyment, eudaimonia, self-
determination, self-realization, effort.
Journal of Happiness Studies (2008) 9:4179 ÓSpringer 2006
DOI 10.1007/s10902-006-9020-7
A distinction has emerged in the psychological literature be-
tween hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia as alternative concep-
tions of happiness (Ryan and Deci, 2001; Waterman, 1993).
The central premise to be advanced here is that the differences
between these two positive subjective states have important
implications for the understanding of intrinsic motivation.
Within ethical philosophy, happiness has long been proposed
as the ultimate goal of human functioning. However, given the
differences between the two conceptions of happiness outlined
below, the nature of that goal should be interpreted quite differ-
ently. Hedonic enjoyment refers to the positive affects that
accompany getting or having the material objects and action
opportunities one wishes to possess or to experience (Kraut,
1979). The proponents of ethical hedonism, for example, Ari-
stippus of Cyrene and Jeremy Bentham, contended that such
pleasure is the sole good and that the ‘‘good life’’ consists of
maximizing such experiences. In contrast, eudaimonia has been
defined not in terms of being pleased with oneÕs life, but as the
subjective experiences associated with doing what is worth do-
ing and having what is worth having (Norton, 1976; Telfer,
1980). Eudaimonistic ethics can be traced to the work of Aris-
totle (trans. 1985) and proposes that the goal of human func-
tioning is to live in a manner consistent with oneÕs daimon, or
true self, where the daimon represents oneÕs best potentials.
‘‘Living in truth to the daimon’’ entails selecting life goals on
the basis of oneÕs inherent nature, with the pursuit of such goals
giving purpose and meaning to oneÕs life (Norton, 1976). Acting
in a manner to advance or realize those life goals and personal
potentials is held to be what is worth doing, and that which can
serve to facilitate such self-realization is taken to constitute that
which is worth having (Norton, 1976). Eudaimonia, as a sub-
jective state, refers to the feelings present when one is moving
toward self-realization in terms of the developing oneÕs unique
individual potentials and furthering oneÕs purposes in living.
Viewed in this way, the two conceptions of happiness are
both positive subjective states experienced to greater extents
when one is engaged in some activities than when engaged in
others. They are not, however, independent constructs. When
A.S.WATERMAN ET AL.
42
individuals consider the development of personal potentials
important, and when they are engaged in activities yielding
some success in realizing those potentials, then both hedonic
enjoyment and eudaimonia will be experienced. From a philo-
sophical perspective, eudaimonia has been deemed a sufficient,
but not a necessary, condition for hedonic enjoyment (Telfer,
1980). There are many things that a person may wish to have
or to do that bear no relationship to the development of indi-
vidual potentials. Engaging in activities that yield some success
in attaining goals unrelated to personal potentials would be ex-
pected to give rise to hedonic enjoyment but not to eudaimonia.
Thus, there are three conceivable categories of activities,
(a) those for which both hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia are
experienced; (b) those for which hedonic enjoyment, but not
eudaimonia, is experienced; and (c) those giving rise to neither
hedonic enjoyment nor eudaimonia. From a eudaimonistic
philosophical perspective, the category of activities giving rise to
eudaimonia but not hedonic enjoyment is a theoretical null.
The distinctions between hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia
can be considered at four interrelated levels of analysis: (a) the
instance or event, (b) the activity, (c) the individual, and (d)
groups (Larson and Delespaul, 1992; Scollon et al., 2003).
1
With
regard to the instance, at any particular point in time a person
may be engaged in activities falling within any of the three cate-
gories described above, such that either or both subjective expe-
riences may or may not be present. The study of the two
conceptions of happiness at this level may involve either diary
keeping or use of the Experience Sampling Method (ESM)
(Csikszentmihalyi and Larson, 1987; Scollon et al., 2003) as
methods to promote an idiographic understanding of what is
taking place at any given point in time for a given person.
At the level of the activity, because subjective experiences will
vary from instance to instance, evaluations of the two concep-
tions of happiness are aggregated across instances of engagement
in various activities. The goal at this level is to identify character-
istics of activity-types (e.g., social activities, service activities) that
promote hedonic enjoyment and/or eudaimonia. Such character-
istics extend beyond the domain or content of activities to include
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS 43
their motivation, conditions, and outcomes. This aggregation
across instances may be done by a researcher averaging diary or
ESM reports for a particular type of activity across occasions or
through having research respondents create a global rating of the
subjective experiences present on a typical occasion of engaging
in an activity. Waterman and colleagues (Waterman, 1993, 2004;
Waterman et al., 2003) have studied hedonic enjoyment and eu-
daimonia at the activity level using the latter approach. The
instrument employed, the Personally Expressive Activities Ques-
tionnaire (PEAQ) makes use of an idiographic-nomothetic meth-
odology (Emmons, 1999). The PEAQ is idiographic in that each
respondent identifies several activities that are personally salient,
with the nature of these activities varying from person to person.
The procedure is nomothetic in that activities with similar con-
tents or characteristics can be grouped together, across respon-
dents, and compared with respect to the two conceptions of
happiness and other measures. The particulars of the PEAQ used
in the present research are presented below.
At the level of the individual, the study of the two concep-
tions of happiness involves a distinction between hedonic
well-being and eudaimonic well-being (Ryan and Deci, 2001).
Individuals undoubtedly differ in terms of the range of activities
giving rise to either or both of these subjective states and in the
proportion of time that either or both are experienced. Thus, at
the level of the individual, a summary statement is created
regarding the extent to which the person is functioning with re-
spect to each of the conceptions of happiness. Such summary
statements can be generated by aggregating data obtained
through ESM or an idiographic-nomothetic questionnaire, or
through personality measures such as those used to assess sub-
jective well-being (Diener and Lucas, 2000). Research at the
level of the individual can be directed toward identifying the
developmental antecedents, concurrent behaviors, and conse-
quences of functioning to differing extents with respect to either
or both hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia. The creation of
individual scores with respect to well-being also affords the
opportunity for group-level comparisons, for example, in terms
of age, gender, ethnicity, or nationality differences.
A.S.WATERMAN ET AL.
44
The Purposes of the Current Study
The current study is part of a program of research using the
activity as the level of analysis. One goal of the study was to test
hypotheses concerning the nature of the relationship between
hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia at this level and to determine
whether differences between the two subjective states, in terms of
relationships to predictor and comparison variables, could be
reliably documented. On the basis of both theory and prior
research, variables associated with intrinsic motivation were
selected to test for differences between hedonic enjoyment and
eudaimonia. If the hypothesized differences were to be confirmed,
thesecondgoalherewastousethefindingstore-examinewhatit
means to say that an activity is intrinsically motivated.
Four hypotheses, grounded in eudaimonistic identity theory
(Waterman, 1990, 1992, 2004), were tested in the study reported
here:
(1) When examining the subjective experiences associated with
activities, a very strong positive correlation should exist be-
tween measures of hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia.
(2) Because activities giving rise to eudaimonia are considered
a subset of activities giving rise to hedonic enjoyment, an
asymmetry should exist with respect to the relationship be-
tween measures of the two conceptions of happiness. A sub-
stantially larger percentage of activities reported to be high
on eudaimonia will also be rated high on hedonic enjoy-
ment, compared to the percentage of activities high on he-
donic enjoyment that are also rated high on eudaimonia.
(3) Because activities giving rise to eudaimonia are considered
a subset of the activities giving rise to hedonic enjoyment,
it should be possible to identify aspects of activities for
which the correlations with eudaimonia are stronger than
are the correlations with hedonic enjoyment, while for
other aspects of activities the reverse may be the case.
More precisely, for variables associated with self-realiza-
tion the correlations with eudaimonia should be stronger
than correlations with hedonic enjoyment, whereas for
variables unrelated to self-realization, no differences in the
strength of the correlations would be expected or perhaps
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS 45
those involving hedonic enjoyment may be stronger than
correlations with eudaimonia.
(4) Demonstrating that the subjective conditions of hedonic
enjoyment and eudaimonia are reliably distinguishable pro-
vides a basis for asking the more specific question as to
whether, and what ways, activities for which both subjective
states are present differ from activities for which hedonic
enjoyment alone is present. Again, it would be predicted that
the two types of activities would differ with respect to vari-
ables associated with self-realization, whereas no differences
may be anticipated for variables unrelated to self-realization.
Eudaimonistic Identity Theory
In addressing the question as to what criteria could be used to
distinguish ‘‘better’’ from ‘‘poorer’’ choices an individual could
make in the process of identity formation, Waterman (1992,
2004) proposed that ‘‘better’’ choices were those consistent with
a personÕs inherent nature or daimon. In other words, identity
development will proceed most successfully when individuals are
able to identify their best potentials and engage in activities that
move them toward realizing those potentials. Further, Water-
man (1990, 1993) proposed that a person comes to recognize
those potentials through experiences of eudaimonia, which at
the psychological level, he termed ‘‘feelings of personal expres-
siveness’’
2
. Whereas some activities that are experienced posi-
tively are associated with hedonic enjoyment alone, other
activities give rise to both hedonic enjoyment and feelings of
personal expressiveness. From the perspective of eudaimonistic
identity theory, activities associated with both subjective states
are most likely to result in progress toward self-realization and
are most worth pursuing in a sustained manner.
Waterman (1990) first linked feelings of personal expressive-
ness with intrinsic motivation, in part because such feelings bear
a strong resemblance to the subjective states said to be associ-
ated with such motivation, specifically to CsikszentmihalyiÕs
(1975, 1990) description of flow experiences and to the descrip-
tion of interest provided by Deci and Ryan (1985) and Krapp
et al. (1992). It should be noted, however, that interest appears
A.S.WATERMAN ET AL.
46
to represent a less intense state and is more frequently experi-
enced than either flow or feelings of personal expressiveness
(Waterman et al., 2003). There may also be an asymmetry be-
tween flow experiences and personal expressiveness, with flow
experiences endorsed more frequently (Waterman et al., 2003).
It is also universally recognized that intrinsically motivated
activities are hedonically enjoyed. However, given that some
activities a person may engage in are associated with both con-
ceptions of happiness whereas others are associated with he-
donic enjoyment alone, the question can be raised as to whether
the concept of intrinsic motivation should be applied equally to
both sets of activities. For example, a person may enjoy both
successfully negotiating the twists and turns of a difficult down-
hill ski run and enjoying a fine dinner with wine by the fire
after skiing. Because both types of activities are enjoyed, both
are engaged in for the sake of the activities themselves, rather
than for any extrinsic considerations. Presumably, downhill ski-
ing is more likely to involve actualizing the individualÕs athletic
potentials and therefore more likely to give rise to experiences
of both eudaimonia and hedonic enjoyment, whereas having a
fine meal is more likely to be primarily a hedonically enjoyed
experience. Given traditional definitions of intrinsic motivation,
both activities would be characterized as intrinsically motivated.
However, the present analysis of the two conceptions of happi-
ness opens the possibility that potential benefits for the under-
standing of motivation would result from distinguishing
between activities based on the nature of the enjoyment experi-
enced. It is proposed here that the term ‘‘intrinsic motivation’’
be employed when activities are associated with both hedonic
enjoyment and eudaimonia, whereas the term ‘‘hedonic motiva-
tion’’ should be used when only hedonic enjoyment is present.
The ability to empirically investigate this proposed distinc-
tion between categories of activities with respect to their moti-
vation is contingent on the availability of measures for assessing
the two conceptions of happiness and on the demonstration of
discriminant validity for those measures. As specified in the
hypotheses previously listed, differences between two positive
subjective states of hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia are
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS 47
expected with respect to variables associated with self-realiza-
tion, with those variables more strongly associated with the lat-
ter than the former. Assuming that the two subjective states can
be reliably distinguished, it would then become possible to
investigate possible differences between intrinsically motivated
and hedonically motivated activities by establishing criteria for
when either or both forms of enjoyment is/are present.
Variables Associated with Intrinsic Motivation
Theories pertaining to intrinsic motivation, including cognitive-
evaluation/self-determination theory (Deci and Ryan, 1985,
2002), the teleonomic theory of the self/flow theory
(Csikszentmihalyi, 1990), and eudaimonistic identity theory
(Waterman, 1990, 2004) have helped to identify two types of
variables that differentiate intrinsically motivated activities from
other activities. One type involves a set of predictor variables
including (a) self-determination or autonomy in the selection of
activities (Ryan, 1993), (b) the presence of a high level of chal-
lenges balanced with a high level of skills (Csikszentmihalyi,
1988), and hence the experience of developing competence (Deci
and Ryan, 1985), (c) self-realization values (Waterman, 1990),
referring to perceptions that an activity advances the develop-
ment of personal potentials and the attainment of personally
salient goals, and (d) the level of effort invested in activities
(Waterman, 2005). The second set of variables pertains to the
subjective states present when engaged in intrinsically motivated
activities. These include (a) enjoyment (Deci and Ryan, 1985)
3
,
(b) interest (Deci and Ryan, 1985), (c) flow (Csikszentmihalyi,
1975, 1990)
4
, and (d) feelings of personal expressiveness (Water-
man, 1990).
In a series of studies, Waterman et al. (2003) documented that
the subjective experience measures of interest, flow experiences,
and feelings of personal expressiveness are strongly intercorrelat-
ed. In contrast, although the balance of challenges and skills was
significantly correlated with self-realization values, neither of
those variables was reliably related to self-determination. In
other words, engaging in personally salient activities involving a
high level of competence and that are viewed as advancing per-
sonal potentials are as likely to be perceived as constrained or
A.S.WATERMAN ET AL.
48
required as to be freely chosen. This finding, while highly repli-
cable, appears counter-intuitive, given the presumption that indi-
viduals would wish to engage in, and would autonomously
choose to perform, activities associated with flow experiences
and self-realization. The explanation for the observed pattern of
correlations involves two elements. First, a substantial number
of activities listed on the PEAQ by respondents do not entail a
balance of challenges and skills or promote self-realization yet
are hedonically enjoyed and for that reason are freely chosen,
thus serving to weaken any association of self-determination
with the balance of challenges and skills and self-realization val-
ues. Second, a substantial number of the activities listed that do
involve a balance of challenges and skills and which do foster
self-realization pertain to educational and work experiences and
are seen as constrained rather than freely chosen. This constraint
may further weaken the associations of self-determination with
other predictor variables of intrinsic motivation.
This disjunction between self-determination and other predic-
tors of intrinsic motivation is important for the understanding
of Hypotheses 3 and 4 advanced here. In Hypothesis 3 it is
predicted that eudaimonia and hedonic enjoyment will differ in
the strength of their associations with variables related to self-
realization. The strongest differences would be predicted for the
variable of self-realization values, with other significant differ-
ences anticipated for the balance of challenges and skills and
level of effort. Additionally, a difference would be expected
with regard to flow experiences given that this subjective experi-
ence variable is linked with the balance of challenges and skills
and with self-realization values. However, the fact that self-
determination is independent of the other predictor variables of
intrinsic motivation suggests that it does not have any special
relationship with self-realization for the reasons specified
above. Therefore, the correlations of eudaimonia and hedonic
enjoyment with self-determination may not differ in magnitude.
Similarly, for Hypothesis 4, it is predicted that intrinsically
motivated and hedonically motivated activities will differ with
respect to those variables linked to self-realization but not on
variables unrelated to that construct.
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS 49
It should also be noted that, although the balance of chal-
lenges and skills and self-realization values are correlated empir-
ically, the variables are conceptually distinct. A combination of
a high level of challenge and a high level of skill may be present
for a great number of activities about which a person cares
little. The observed correlation can be interpreted as a function
of the fact that the activities evaluated on the PEAQ were
selected on the basis of personal salience, a condition under
which these variables are particularly likely to be related. Simi-
larly, the level of effort invested in an activity has been
observed to be significantly correlated with both the balance of
challenges and skills and self-realization values. Here too, effort
should not be considered as equivalent to the other variables.
For example, individuals may choose to invest considerable
effort in activities for which they lack substantial talent and
or when motivated by strong extrinsic considerations. In both
instances the effort expended would be unrelated to the devel-
opment of personal potentials.
With particular relevance for the understanding of intrinsic
motivation, among the most important findings from the series
of studies reported in Waterman et al. (2003) was that the
predictor variables were reliably and significantly positively
correlated with interest, flow experiences, and personal expres-
siveness, despite the independence of self-determination from
the balance of challenges and skills and from self-realization
values.
Previous Research on the Relationship between Hedonic
Enjoyment and Eudaimonia
Waterman (1993) developed the PEAQ to assess both hedonic
enjoyment and feelings of personal expressiveness. In the initial
version of the questionnaire, two items were used to assess each
of the two subjective states. In a subsequent version, six items
were used to assess each state (see Table I for a listing of the
items on the two scales). Consistent with Hypothesis 1 in the
present study, the correlation between hedonic enjoyment
and eudaimonia was 0.71 for the 2-item version and 0.86 for
the 6-item version (Waterman, 1993). Consistent with Hypothe-
sis 2, the expected asymmetry between the two conceptions of
A.S.WATERMAN ET AL.
50
happiness was also observed in that study. For both the 2-item
and 6-item versions of the scales, significantly higher percent-
ages of activities high on eudaimonia were also reported high
on hedonic enjoyment, compared to the percentages of activities
high on hedonic enjoyment that were also reported high on
eudaimonia.
With respect to Hypothesis 3, Waterman (1993) adopted an
exploratory approach in an effort to identify variables with
differential relationships to hedonic enjoyment and to eudaimo-
nia. In those studies, for both versions of the PEAQ, signifi-
cantly stronger correlations for feelings of personal
expressiveness, in comparison to hedonic enjoyment, were
found for items pertaining to the extent to which activities
were associated with opportunities to develop oneÕs best poten-
tials, investing a great deal of effort, having clear goals, feeling
assertive, and feeling challenged. In addition, for the 6-item
TABLE I
PEAQ items assessing hedonic enjoyment and feelings of personal expres-
siveness (eudaimonia)
Hedonic enjoyment items
1. When I engage in this activity I feel more satisfied than I
do when engaged in most other activities
2. This activity gives me my strongest sense of enjoyment
a
3. When I engage in this activity I feel good
4. This activity gives me my greatest pleasure
a
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
Feelings of personal expressiveness (eudaimonia) items
1. This activity gives me my greatest feeling of really being alive
a
2. When I engage in this activity I feel more intensely involved
than I do when engaged in most other activities
3. This activity gives me my strongest feeling that this is who I really am
a
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
than I do when engaged in most other activities
6. I feel a special fit or meshing when engaging in this activity
a
Items included on the original PEAQ 2-item scales.
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS 51
scales only, significantly higher correlations were obtained for
items pertaining to having a high level of concentration and
knowing how well one was doing. In contrast, for both the 2
and 6 item versions of the scales, significantly higher positive
correlations were found with hedonic enjoyment for items per-
taining to feeling relaxed, excited, content, happy, losing track
of time, and forgetting personal problems. Significantly stron-
ger negative correlations were found between hedonic enjoy-
ment and feeling angry, restless, anxious, and confused than
between personal expressiveness and these variables. This over-
all pattern of findings substantiated the proposition that dis-
tinctions could reliably be drawn between hedonic enjoyment
and eudaimonia. Whereas several of the items for which differ-
ences were found appear relevant to intrinsic motivation, these
initial studies were exploratory and were not designed for
assessing systematic differences between the two subjective
states in terms of variables demonstrated to be associated with
such motivation.
The Present Research
Based on these initial findings of differences between the two
conceptions of happiness, and on the theoretical considerations
pertaining to intrinsic motivation presented above, the current
version of the PEAQ was developed (the PEAQ-S, for Stan-
dard). On this instrument, each participant identifies five per-
sonally salient activities and evaluates these activities on 6-item
scales for feelings of personal expressiveness and hedonic enjoy-
ment and on two additional subjective conditions associated
with intrinsic motivationinterest and flow experiences. In addi-
tion to the subjective experience measures the PEAQ-S includes
a series of scales tapping the four predictors of intrinsic motiva-
tion self-determination, the balance of challenges and skills,
self-realization values, and the level of effort invested in the
performance of the activity. Two additional potential predictor
variables deemed to be relevant but that have not been specifi-
cally associated with intrinsic motivation are also assessed: the
frequency with which the activities are enacted and their rated
importance. Frequency is a variable that is considered concep-
A.S.WATERMAN ET AL.
52
tually independent of self-realization, whereas it is anticipated
that activities promoting self-realization would be considered
more important that activities that do not.
For the research reported in this article, the PEAQ-S was
administered to samples in three institutions of higher educa-
tion: a small state university with a primarily White student
population, a large state university with a primarily minority
student body, and a private university with a primarily White
student population. Given that respondents in all three sam-
ples completed the same instrument, it would be appropriate
to combine the samples for addressing the four hypotheses
under investigation here. However, the decision was made to
analyze the datasets from the three schools separately, as this
provides a basis for determining the replicability and generaliz-
ability of the findings obtained across the three different
student populations.
METHOD
Participants and Procedures
Site 1. The College of New Jersey
Participants were 217 undergraduates (147 women, 65 men, and
five students unidentified with respect to gender) enrolled in
psychology courses. This gender distribution reflects the approx-
imate gender distribution within those courses. Approximately
90% of the student population at the school is non-Hispanic
White, about 10% other ethnic groups. The PEAQ-S was
administered to this sample in group settings. The PEAQ-S was
presented following a brief demographic instrument and prior
to a series of other measures. Participants received credit
toward the research participant requirement in their courses.
Site 2. Florida International University
Participants were 202 undergraduates (121 women, 67 men, and
14 students unidentified by gender) enrolled in psychology courses.
In terms of ethnicity, the sample was 19% non-Hispanic White,
8% non-Hispanic Black, 59% Hispanic, 4% Asian and 10%
unidentified with respect to ethnicity. These percentages are
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS 53
representative of the student body at Florida International
University. Participants were given questionnaire packets in
which the PEAQ-S was preceded only by a demographic form.
Participants completed the questionnaire packets at home over
the weekend and returned them to their instructors the follow-
ing week. They received course credit for their participation.
Site 3. Colgate University
Participants were 218 undergraduate (149 women, 68 men, and
one student unidentified with respect to gender) enrolled in two
Introductory Psychology courses. The courses sampled were
86% non-Hispanic White, 6% Asian, 4% Black, and 3% His-
panic. These proportions are similar to those of the university
as a whole. All students in both courses received an e-mail
inviting them to participate in the study. The e-mail included a
link that brought students to a website that presented the ques-
tionnaire. The web version of the PEAQ-S used the same for-
mat and response options as the paper version. Completion of
the online administration of the questionnaire partially fulfilled
a course requirement.
Instrument
At each of the three sites, the PEAQ-S was administered as part
of larger studies. The opening instructions for the PEAQ-S read
as follows: ‘‘If you wanted another person to know about who
you are and what you are like as a person, what five (5) activi-
ties of importance to you would you describe?’’ Each activity is
then evaluated in turn on a series of items/scales, each using a
7-point response format. The labeled endpoints for the items
vary from scale to scale.
Scales for Hedonic Enjoyment and Feelings of Personal
Expressiveness (Eudaimonia)
The items on the scales for hedonic enjoyment and feelings of
personal expressiveness (see Table I) were intermixed within a
set using the same response choices. The labeled end-points for
the response scale were ‘‘strongly agree’’ and ‘‘strongly dis-
agree’’.
A.S.WATERMAN ET AL.
54
Other Subjective Experience Measures of Intrinsic Motivation
Interest
Interest was assessed with one item pertaining to the usual level
of interest experienced when engaged in the activity. The re-
sponse scale ranged from ‘‘very low’’ to ‘‘very high’’.
Flow experiences
Flow experiences were measured using an eight-item scale
with items corresponding to elements identified by
Csikszentmihalyi (1990). The items were phrased as comple-
tions of a common stem: ‘‘When I engage in this activity
_________________.’’ The item completions for this scale were
the following: (a) I feel I have clear goals, (b) I feel self-con-
scious (reverse-scored), (c) I feel in control, (d) I lose track
of time, (e) I feel I know how well I am doing, (f) I have a
high level of concentration, (g) I forget personal problems,
and (h) I feel fully involved. These items were embedded
among a series of other sentence completions not specific to
flow experiences. Each item was responded to on a scale
ranging from ‘‘not at all characteristic of me’’ to ‘‘very char-
acteristic of me’’.
Predictor Measures of Intrinsic Motivation
Self-determination
Self-determination was assessed as the sum of two items adap-
ted from Graef et al. (1983). The first item read ‘‘To what ex-
tent do you usually feel that engaging in this activity is
something you are required to do or is your choice to do?’’ The
endpoints of the scale were ‘‘required to do’’ and ‘‘my choice to
do’’. The second read ‘‘When engaging in this activity, to what
extent do you wish you were doing something else?’’, with
the endpoints of the scale labeled ‘‘not at all’’ and ‘‘very much’’
(reverse scored).
Balance of Challenges and Skills
Perceived competence, in the form of the balance of challenges
and skills, was measured as the sum of two items. The first item
refers to the usual level of challenges encountered when engaged
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS 55
in the activity, and the second item refers to the level of skills
the respondent usually brings to the activity. For both items,
the scale endpoints were ‘‘very low’’ and ‘‘very high’’. High
scores on this measure can only be obtained when the level of
challenges and skills are both balanced and high, corresponding
to the condition Csikszentmihalyi (1988) termed ‘‘flow’’. Low
scores are obtained when the levels of both elements are low,
corresponding to the condition associated with apathy. Interme-
diate scores are obtained when both variables are intermediate
or when one is high and the other low, corresponding to the
conditions either for boredom or for anxiety.
Self-Realization Values
Self-realization values were assessed by two summed items
embedded within a series of items with the stem: ‘‘To what
extent does this activity provide you with each of the following
types of opportunities?’’ The relevant completions were ‘‘the
opportunity for me to develop my best potentials’’ and ‘‘the
opportunity for me to make progress toward my goals’’. Each
item was associated with a scale with the endpoints identified as
‘‘not at all’’ and ‘‘very extensively’’.
Effort
The level of effort associated with each activity was assessed by
one item reading: ‘‘What is the usual level of effort you invest
when you engage in this activity?’’ The scale ranged from ‘‘very
low’’ to ‘‘very high’’.
Measures of Frequency and Importance
Frequency
The frequency of each activity was assessed by one item read-
ing: ‘‘How often have you engaged in this activity in the past
year?’’ The endpoints of the scale were identified as ‘‘very sel-
dom’’ and ‘‘very frequently’’.
Importance
The importance of each activity was assessed by one item read-
ing: ‘‘Overall, how important is this activity to you in your
A.S.WATERMAN ET AL.
56
life?’’ The endpoints of the scale were identified as ‘‘not at all
important’’ and ‘‘extremely important’’.
RESULTS
Considerations Bearing on the Data Analysis
As indicated earlier, the unit for analysis in this study was the
activity rather than the individual. Each participant provided
evaluations for five activities. The activities for any person
could potentially vary extensively with respect to both the levels
of hedonic enjoyment and feelings of personal expressiveness
experienced, as well as on the other variables of interest. As a
result, collapsing ratings across activities to create overall scores
for each participant might have resulted in loss of information
germane to the study hypotheses. The hypotheses investigated
here were specified at the level of the activity given that hedonic
enjoyment and feelings of personal expressiveness are experi-
enced differently for each particular activity evaluated.
Data from this study were used to calculate intraclass corre-
lations as a way to determine the amount of variance explained
at the level of the individual compared with the amount of
variance explained at the level of the activity. For both the
measures of hedonic enjoyment and feelings of personal expres-
siveness, as well as the other variables under investigation, the
very substantial majority of variability (between 69% and 92%)
was accounted for at the level of the activity. As a result,
although it would be possible to use multilevel modeling
(Raudenbush and Bryk, 2002) to control for nesting of activities
within participants, the proportionally small amount of variabil-
ity accounted for at the individual level suggests that the use
of multilevel modeling would have a minimal effect upon the
results (Schwartz and Waterman, in press).
For the test of Hypotheses 1, 2, and 3, all activities generated
by respondents from each site were employed in the analyses.
For Hypothesis 4, only those activities meeting the criteria for
intrinsic motivation or hedonic motivation were used in the
analyses. In the evaluation of Hypothesis 3, comparisons of the
correlations for hedonic enjoyment and personal expressiveness
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS 57
with the other variables were conducted using t-tests for the sig-
nificance of differences between paired correlations from the
same sample (Ferguson, 1959). Because the number of activities
included in each analysis is substantially larger than the number
of participants, we included an added step to ensure that the
additional degrees of freedom did not create increased risk of
Type 1 errors. Across sites, we analyzed the data separately for
the activities in each serial position, one activity per person,
yielding five replications of each analysis. The conclusions de-
rived from this replication procedure differed little from those
derived from including all activities for a given site in the same
analysis. As a result, findings are reported using all activities in
a single analysis.
Hypothesis 1. The Relationship between Hedonic Enjoyment and
Eudaimonia
We anticipated a very strong positive correlation between the
measures for hedonic enjoyment and feelings of personal
expressiveness. This hypothesis was confirmed for all three sites.
The correlations were 0.87, 0.85, and 0.83 for Sites 1, 2, and 3,
respectively. These correlations indicate that, across samples,
these two measures share between 68% and 76% of variability
in common.
Hypothesis 2. An Asymmetry in the Relationship of Hedonic
Enjoyment and Eudaimonia
The very strong correlations between hedonic enjoyment and
personal expressiveness notwithstanding, Hypothesis 2 (regard-
ing an asymmetry in the relationship between the variables) was
supported by the data from all three sites. To evaluate this
hypothesis, activities were divided into High and Low categories
on both the scales for hedonic enjoyment and personal expres-
siveness. Categories were created using an a priori cut score
equivalent to an average item response of 6 on the 7-point
scale. This constitutes a very stringent criterion for considering
an activity to be ‘‘High’’ on hedonic enjoyment or on personal
expressiveness.
A.S.WATERMAN ET AL.
58
Evaluation of this hypothesis proceeded in two steps. In the
first step, 2 2 contingency tables were created for activities
categorized as High and Low on hedonic enjoyment and per-
sonal expressiveness (see Table II). Chi-square analyses were
highly significant at each of the three sites, with activities Low
on both indices being the most frequently listed, followed in or-
der by those High for both subjective states, those High on he-
donic enjoyment and Low on personal expressiveness, and those
High on personal expressiveness and Low on hedonic enjoy-
ment. The latter category is a theoretical null and constituted
only 24% of all of the activities listed. The few activities in
this category are likely to have been a consequence of both the
stringent criteria used as cut-points and measurement error.
The second step involved comparing (a) the proportion of
activities High on feelings of personal expressiveness that were
also rated High on hedonic enjoyment with (b) the proportion
rated High on hedonic enjoyment that were also High on per-
sonal expressiveness. At Site 1, 88.4% of the activities High on
feelings of personal expressiveness were also rated High on
hedonic enjoyment, whereas only 67.9% of activities rated High
on hedonic enjoyment were also rated High on personal expres-
siveness. This asymmetry was highly significant, v
2
(1) = 525.78,
p< 0.0001, w= 0.70. At Site 2, 81.4% of the activities High
on feelings of personal expressiveness were also rated High on
hedonic enjoyment, whereas only 61.3% of activities rated
TABLE II
Cross-tabulations of the frequency of respondents high and low on personal
expressiveness and hedonic enjoyment
Site 1 Site 2 Site 3
Hedonic
enjoyment
Hedonic
enjoyment
Hedonic
enjoyment
Personal expressiveness
Low High Low High Low High
High 28 214 33 144 25 182
Low 730 101 575 91 732 117
v
2
= 525.78* v
2
= 318.70* v
2
= 450.71*
*p< 0.0001.
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS 59
High on hedonic enjoyment were rated High on personal
expressiveness. Again, the asymmetry was highly significant,
v
2
(1) = 318.70, p< 0.0001, w= 0.56. Similarly, at Site 3,
87.9% of the activities High on feelings of personal expressive-
ness were rated High on hedonic enjoyment, whereas only
60.9% of activities rated high on Hedonic enjoyment were also
rated High on personal expressiveness. The asymmetry was
again highly significant, v
2
(1) = 450.71, p< 0.0001, w= 0.64.
The asymmetry between personal expressiveness and hedonic
enjoyment, replicated across the three sites, supports the expec-
tation that considerably more activities would give rise to high
levels of hedonic enjoyment than to high levels of personal
expressiveness. Further, the finding that over four-fifths of the
activities associated with eudaimonia were also high on hedonic
enjoyment, whereas one-third or more of the activities high on
hedonic enjoyment were not associated with eudaimonia, is con-
sistent with the proposition that eudaimonia is a sufficient, but
not a necessary condition for experiencing hedonic enjoyment.
5
Hypothesis 3: Differences in the Strength of Correlations of
Hedonic Enjoyment and Eudaimonia with Variables Associated
with Intrinsic Motivation
Zero Order Correlations
The starting point for identifying possible differences in the
strength of correlations between the two conceptions of happi-
ness with scales for variables associated with intrinsic motiva-
tion was to create a zero-order correlation table for relevant
variables from the PEAQ-S. Table III contains these correla-
tions for the data sets from all three sites. The patterns of
association obtained here replicate the findings reported by
Waterman et al. (2003).
Comparisons of Hedonic Enjoyment and Eudaimonia
The test of Hypothesis 3 involves the evaluation of the relative
strengths of the associations of hedonic enjoyment and personal
expressiveness with the four predictor variables (self-determina-
tion, the balance of challenges and skills, self-realization values,
and level of effort), with interest and flow experiences, and with
A.S.WATERMAN ET AL.
60
TABLE III
Zero order correlations among the PEAQ-S variables at three sites
Variable 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Predictor variables
1. Self-determination
Site 1 )0.14**** )0.09*** 0.05 0.62**** 0.37**** 0.44**** 0.61**** 0.00 0.11****
Site 2 0.03 )0.07 0.09** 0.45**** 0.35**** 0.35**** 0.48**** 0.08* 0.07*
Site 3 )0.17**** )0.08* 0.01 0.53**** 0.34**** 0.41**** 0.58**** 0.01 0.13****
2. Balance of challenges and skills
Site 1 0.52**** 0.63**** 0.08* 0.36**** 0.26**** 0.08* 0.03 0.16****
Site 2 0.24**** 0.28**** 0.12*** 0.27**** 0.15**** 0.10*** 0.13**** 0.10***
Site 3 0.55**** 0.62**** 0.10*** 0.34**** 0.21**** )0.03 )0.02 0.10***
3. Self-realization values
Site 1 0.47**** 0.13**** 0.39**** 0.54**** 0.34**** 0.15**** 0.50****
Site 2 0.40**** 0.21**** 0.44**** 0.53**** 0.33**** 0.19**** 0.46****
Site 3 0.45**** 0.15**** 0.45**** 0.49**** 0.21**** 0.08* 0.33****
4. Level of effort
Site 1 0.29**** 0.46**** 0.40**** 0.26**** 0.16**** 0.28****
Site 2 0.29**** 0.37**** 0.32**** 0.22**** 0.16**** 0.22****
Site 3 0.27**** 0.41**** 0.33**** 0.17**** 0.07* 0.20****
Subjective experience variables
5. Interest
Site 1 0.49**** 0.56**** 0.66**** 0.20**** 0.33****
Site 2 0.46**** 0.48**** 0.56**** 0.29**** 0.33****
Site 3 0.37**** 0.51**** 0.58**** 0.15**** 0.39****
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS 61
Table III continued
Variable 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
6. Flow experiences
Site 1 0.55**** 0.55**** 0.12**** 0.33****
Site 2 0.55**** 0.53**** 0.20**** 0.28****
Site 3 0.49**** 0.43**** 0.06 0.14****
7. Personal expressiveness (Eudaimonia)
Site 1 0.87**** 0.19**** 0.61****
Site 2 0.85**** 0.23**** 0.50****
Site 3 0.83**** 0.14**** 0.48****
8. Hedonic enjoyment
Site 1 0.18**** 0.51****
Site 2 0.21**** 0.43****
Site 3 0.11**** 0.40****
Additional predictor variables
9. Frequency
Site 1 0.42****
Site 2 0.39****
Site 3 0.41****
10. Importance
Site 1
Site 2
Site 3
*p< 0.05; **p< 0.01; ***p< 0.001; ****p< 0.0001.
a
These correlations involve using the activity as the unit of analysis, thus for each site the number of observations is n5.
A.S.WATERMAN ET AL.
62
frequency and importance. The results of t-tests for the signifi-
cance of differences between paired correlations from the same
sample are reported in Table IV. The findings can be summa-
rized as follows:
1. Significantly stronger correlations with hedonic enjoyment
than with personal expressiveness were found at all three
sites for self-determination and interest.
2. Significantly stronger correlations with personal expressive-
ness than with hedonic enjoyment were found at all three
sites for the balance of challenges and skills, self-realization
values, the level of effort expended and the self-ascribed
importance of the activity.
3. No differences in the strength of the correlations of hedonic
enjoyment and personal expressiveness were found for flow
experiences and frequency at two of the three sites. At Site
3, both variables were found to have significantly stronger
correlations with personal expressiveness.
With only minor exceptions, the pattern of results was highly
replicable across the three sites. The finding that the two con-
ceptions of happiness were differentially related to various as-
pects of intrinsic motivation reconfirms that hedonic enjoyment
and eudaimonia, while very strongly interrelated, are neverthe-
less reliably distinguishable. Further, that those aspects of
intrinsic motivation linked with self-realization were more
strongly associated with eudaimonia provides an opening for
the re-examination of our conceptual understanding of intrinsic
motivation.
Additional Analyses Relating to the Contributions of the Predic-
tor Variables to Eudaimonia and Hedonic Enjoyment
To better understand the relative contributions of the various
predictor variables to measures of the two conceptions of hap-
piness three sets of indices were calculated: (a) the square of the
zero-order correlation (an index of the variability explained by
a given predictor in the outcome measure), (b) the square of the
partial correlation (an index of the variability explained by a gi-
ven predictor when all other predictors are held constant), and
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS 63
TABLE IV
Comparisons of the strength of correlations with hedonic enjoyment (HE) and feelings of personal expressiveness (PE)
Site 1 Site 2 Site 3
HE PE tHE PE tHE PE t
Predictor variables
Self determination 0.61**** 0.44*** )13.82**** 0.48**** 0.35**** )7.90**** 0.58**** 0.41**** )12.03****
Balance of challenges
and skills
0.08* 0.26**** 13.48**** 0.10** 0.15**** 2.64** )0.03 0.21**** 14.00****
Self-realization values 0.33**** 0.54**** 15.70**** 0.33**** 0.53**** 12.76**** 0.21**** 0.49**** 19.51****
Subjective experience
variables
Interest 0.66**** 0.56**** )8.92**** 0.56**** 0.48**** )5.10**** 0.58**** 0.52**** )4.17****
Flow experiences 0.54**** 0.55**** 0.85 0.53**** 0.55**** 1.27 0.43**** 0.49**** 3.81***
Additional predictor
variables
Frequency 0.18**** 0.19**** 0.66 0.21**** 0.23**** 1.10 0.11**** 0.14**** 2.12*
Importance 0.51**** 0.60**** 5.52**** 0.43**** 0.50**** 4.20**** 0.40**** 0.48**** 5.09****
Level of effort 0.26**** 0.40**** 14.23**** 0.22**** 0.32**** 5.64**** 0.17**** 0.33**** 9.75****
*p< 0.05; **p< 0.01; ***p< 0.001; ****p< 0.0001.
A.S.WATERMAN ET AL.
64
(c) the unique variability explained (UVE) by each predictor (an
index of the variability explained by a given predictor when it is
entered into a regression equation as the last step). These indi-
ces are reported in Table V. The findings can be summarized as
follows:
1. Self-realization values and importance explain the largest
proportions of variance in eudaimonia when considered in
TABLE V
Statistics relating to the relative contributions of predictor variables to mea-
sures of eudaimonia and hedonic enjoyment
Predictor variables Eudaimonia Hedonic enjoyment
r
2
Partial
r
2
UVE r
2
Partial
r
2
UVE
Site 1
Self-determination 0.19 0.31 0.16 0.37 0.43 0.30
Balance of challenges and skills 0.07 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.00 0.00
Self-realization values 0.29 0.14 0.06 0.11 0.06 0.02
Level of effort 0.16 0.01 0.00 0.07 0.01 0.00
Importance 0.36 0.18 0.08 0.26 0.14 0.06
Frequency 0.04 0.00 0.00 0.03 0.00 0.00
Total variance explained: 63% 60%
Site 2
Self-determination 0.12 0.20 0.13 0.22 0.27 0.21
Balance of challenges and skills 0.02 0.00 0.02 0.01 0.00 0.00
Self-realization values 0.30 0.19 0.12 0.11 0.05 0.03
Level of effort 0.10 0.01 0.01 0.05 0.00 0.00
Importance 0.26 0.10 0.05 0.18 0.08 0.05
Frequency 0.05 0.00 0.00 0.04 0.00 0.00
Total variance explained: 52% 42%
Site 3
Self-determination 0.16 0.22 0.15 0.34 0.34 0.27
Balance of challenges and skills 0.04 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.00
Self-realization values 0.24 0.17 0.10 0.04 0.17 0.02
Level of effort 0.11 0.02 0.01 0.03 0.01 0.00
Importance 0.22 0.10 0.06 0.14 0.08 0.04
Frequency 0.02 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.00 0.00
Total variance explained: 52% 47%
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS 65
terms of the square of the zero-order correlation, whereas
self-determination explains the largest portion of variability
in personal expressiveness score in terms of both the square
of the partial correlation and UVE. When considering the
UVEs, only self-determination, self-realization values, and
importance make substantial independent contributions to
explaining eudaimonia.
2. Self-determination consistently explains a greater level of vari-
ability in the measure of hedonic enjoyment, whether viewed
in terms of the square of the zero-order correlation, the
square of the partial correlation, or the UVEs. Importance
and self-realization values make consistent, but more modest,
contributions to explaining variability in hedonic enjoyment.
3. With regard to the measure of eudaimonia, self-determina-
tion accounts uniquely for only about one-quarter (26%) of
the explained variability, the balance explained by the other
predictors either uniquely (31%) or in combination with
other variables (including self-determination) (43%). In con-
trast, for the measure of hedonic enjoyment, self-determina-
tion uniquely accounts for just over half (52%) of the
explained variability, whereas the other five variables ac-
count for only 15% uniquely and with the remaining third
(33%) explained by the joint contribution of various predic-
tors (including self-determination).
6
Here again, there was a high level of consistency in the findings
across sites.
Hypothesis 4: Comparisons of Intrinsically and Hedonically
Motivated Activities with Respect to the Predictor Variables
Having established that hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia can
be reliably distinguished with respect to the patterns of their
relationship with theoretically and empirically derived predictor
variables, the final set of analyses was designed to identify the
differences between activities for which both hedonic enjoyment
and eudaimonia were present versus those for which hedonic
enjoyment alone was experienced. These comparisons provide
an opportunity for making direct contrasts based on the
proposed distinction between intrinsic motivation and hedonic
A.S.WATERMAN ET AL.
66
motivation. These analyses differ from those previously
reported in that (a) activities that were characterized by neither
hedonic enjoyment nor eudaimonia and (b) those for which
eudaimonia, but not hedonic enjoyment, was present were
dropped from consideration.
First, as a manipulation check, two 2 (Motivation Cate-
gory) 3 (Site) analyses of variance of variance were conducted
to test for differences between the Intrinsic Motivation category
(High on both hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia) and the He-
donic Motivation category (High on hedonic enjoyment; Low
on eudaimonia) using scores on personal expressiveness and he-
donic enjoyment as the dependent measures. In line with the
nature of the types of activities being compared, the Intrinsic
Motivation category was significantly higher on personal
expressiveness in comparison to the Hedonic Motivation cate-
gory, F(1,843) = 1244.58, p< 0.0001, g
2
= 0.60. Neither the
main effect for Site nor the Motivation Category Site interac-
tion were significant. However, contrary to the assumption that
the two conditions would be equivalent with respect to hedonic
enjoyment, the Intrinsic Motivation condition was significantly
higher on hedonic enjoyment as well, F(1,843) = 243.18,
p< 0.0001, g
2
= 0.22. The main effect for Site and the Motiva-
tion Category Site interaction were again nonsignificant. In
view of the latter finding, the level of hedonic enjoyment was
used as a covariate in the subsequent ANCOVAs so as to
equate the two conditions with respect to this variable. The ad-
justed means for each of the six predictor variables and for the
subjective experience measures of interest and flow are reported
in Table VI.
The findings from the series of 2 (Motivation Category) 3
(Site) analyses of covariance can be summarized as follows:
1. As predicted regarding main effects for Motivation Condi-
tion, the adjusted means were significantly higher for intrin-
sically motivated activities than for hedonically motivated
activities with respect to the following predictor variables:
(a) Balance of challenges and skills, F(1, 808) = 27.31,
p< 0.0001, g
2
= 0.03, (b) Self-realization values,
F(1,837) = 77.66, p< 0.0001, g
2
= 0.09, (c) Importance,
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS 67
TABLE VI
Adjusted means for the predictor variables for comparisons of intrinsically motivated and hedonically motivated activities
a
Site 1 Site 2 Site 3
Intrinsically
motivated
activities
Hedonically
motivated
activities
Intrinsically
motivated
activities
Hedonically
motivated
activities
Intrinsically
motivated
activities
Hedonically
motivated
activities
Predictor variables
Self determination 12.64 13.10 12.94 12.66 12.93 12.60
Balance of challenges
and skills
10.37 7.58 10.31 10.17 9.60 8.43
Self-realization values 11.90 9.19 11.14 9.34 11.35 9.30
Level of effort 6.34 5.07 5.86 5.77 6.08 5.18
Additional predictor variables
Frequency 6.07 5.85 6.09 5.85 6.15 5.97
Importance 6.54 6.01 6.26 5.87 6.49 6.36
a
Hedonic enjoyment scores used as a covariate.
A.S.WATERMAN ET AL.
68
F(1,842) = 16.77, p< 0.0001, g
2
= 0.02, and (d) Effort,
F(1,840) = 33.67, p< 0.0001, g
2
= 0.04.
2. The adjusted means were significantly higher for intrinsically
motivated activities than for hedonically motivated activities
with respect to the subjective experience measures of (e)
Interest, F(1,839) = 4.80, p< 0.05, g
2
= 0.01, and (f) Flow
experiences, F(1,835) = 36.02, p< 0.0001, g
2
= 0.04.
3. The adjusted means for the intrinsic motivation and
hedonic motivation conditions were not significantly
different with respect to either (g) Self-determination,
F(1,840) = 0.02, ns, or (h) Frequency, F(1,841) = 3.36, ns.
4. For these analyses, occasional significant main effects for Site
and significant Motivation Condition Site interactions were
observed, though they did not occur in any consistent pattern.
7
DISCUSSION
The two principal objectives for the research reported here
were (a) to replicate and extend the finding that hedonic enjoy-
ment and eudaimonia represent interrelated positive subjective
states that can be reliably distinguished from one another, and
(b) to explore the implications of that distinction for the under-
standing of intrinsic motivation. The four hypotheses advanced
here were each supported with three independent data collec-
tions using the PEAQ-S.
As expected, the scales measuring hedonic enjoyment and
eudaimonia were very highly correlated. Because the intercorre-
lations between the two indices of happiness were consistently
above 0.80, the task of demonstrating discriminant validity
between these indices becomes quite challenging.
Nonetheless, the hypothesized asymmetry between hedonic
enjoyment and eudaimonia was supported by the results. When
an activity was rated as high on eudaimonia, its probability of
receiving similarly high ratings on hedonic enjoyment was
extremely high. However, when an activity was rated high on
hedonic enjoyment, the probability of receiving comparably
high ratings on eudaimonia was substantially lower. From the
support for Hypotheses 1 and 2 in the present results, it appears
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS 69
that there are two broad classes of activities associated with
positive subjective states—those giving rise to both eudaimonia
and hedonic enjoyment, and those giving rise to hedonic enjoy-
ment but not to eudaimonia. The category of activities high on
eudaimonia but low on hedonic enjoyment has been considered
a theoretical null within philosophy, and it approached an
empirical null in the research reported here.
Working with the proposition that hedonic enjoyment and
eudaimonia involve differing, though interrelated, subjective
experiences, it should then be possible to demonstrate reliably
differing patterns of association in the variables correlated with
these two subjective conditions (as was proposed via Hypothesis
3). Such an expectation was supported, with consistent findings
indicating significantly stronger zero-order correlational associa-
tions of self-determination and interest with hedonic enjoyment
and significantly stronger associations of the balance of chal-
lenges and skills, self-realization values, importance, and effort
with eudaimonia. Although this pattern is consistent with the
findings obtained by Waterman (1993), the present study
extends prior research by establishing the presence of differences
specifically on a series of variables with documented relevance
to intrinsic motivation.
Intrinsic Motivation Reconsidered
In the Introduction the following rhetorical question was posed:
Should successfully negotiating the twists and turns of a diffi-
cult downhill ski run and enjoying a fine dinner with wine by
the fire after skiing both be considered as intrinsically motivated
activities, when both give rise to enjoyment and both are
engaged in for the activities themselves, rather than for extrinsic
considerations? It is highly probable that most people who
engage in these activities would describe them as personally
chosen (i.e., self-determined), given that neither is likely to
involve obligations nor any rewards beyond the experiences
themselves (professional skiers aside). However, the two activi-
ties will almost certainly differ in the level of balance of
challenges and skills involved and, for some, will differ as well
with respect to the involvement of self-realization values. While
A.S.WATERMAN ET AL.
70
some people would say they ‘‘live to ski’’, for others skiing may
represent nothing more than an enjoyable diversion, even when
they are very good at it. In the latter instance, such feelings
could be considered similar to those typically associated with
consuming a fine meal with wine. Note also that an activity like
skiing that requires a greater expenditure of effort, involves a
higher level of competence, and promotes the development of a
personÕs potentials is likely to be interpreted as more important
than is an activity like fire-side dining that does not.
It was hypothesized that a meaningful division can be created
within the category of activities that has traditionally been
termed ‘‘intrinsically motivated’’, that is, activities that are
enjoyed in and of themselves rather than because of extrinsic
considerations. The division proposed here corresponds to the
distinction between (a) those activities giving rise to both hedonic
enjoyment and eudaimonia and (b) those giving rise to hedonic
enjoyment alone. The former can be said to be intrinsically moti-
vated, the latter were termed hedonically motivated. Consistent
with Hypothesis 4, when comparisons were undertaken between
activities in these two categories, across sites and controlling for
the level of hedonic enjoyment present, intrinsically motivated
activities were found to be associated with higher scores for four
variables linked to self-realization: the balance of challenges and
skills, self-realization values, level of effort, and importance.
Intrinsically motivated activities were also rated as higher on
interest and flow experiences. No differences were found for the
indices of self-determination or frequency.
As the results obtained here indicate, the role of self-determi-
nation with respect to intrinsic and hedonic motivation appears
complex. According to Deci and Ryan (1985, 2002), self-deter-
mination or autonomy in the choice of activities is an important
requirement for intrinsic motivation. Such a conclusion contin-
ues to be applicable when the distinction is made between
intrinsic and hedonic motivation. The zero-order correlations
of the measure of self-determination with measures of both
hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia were very strong, and the
partial correlations and UVEs indicated that this variable was
the strongest independent predictor of both types of subjective
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS 71
experiences. The t-test comparisons regarding the strength of
the zero-order correlations for the two subjective experience
indices revealed significantly stronger associations with hedonic
enjoyment at all three sites. However, when comparisons were
made between intrinsically motivated and hedonically motivated
activities, controlling for the level of hedonic enjoyment experi-
enced, the difference between the categories with regard to self-
determination was nonsignificant. Based on this evidence, it can
be suggested that self-determination should be viewed as a nec-
essary, but not sufficient, condition for intrinsic motivation,
when such motivation is considered as entailing both hedonic
enjoyment and eudaimonia. It is worth noting that the particu-
lar measure of self-determination employed here was adapted
from the work of Csikszentmihalyi and differs from the locus of
causality focus employed by Deci and Ryan. In future research
it would be useful to establish whether parallel findings would
be obtained for self-determination when questions based on the
Deci and Ryan measure are employed.
When past experiences indicate that particular types of
activities are enjoyed, whether in terms of hedonic enjoyment
alone or in combination with eudaimonia, those activities are
likely to be enacted in the future in anticipation of continued
enjoyment. Such activities can be said to be intrinsically moti-
vated, in the original sense used by Deci and Ryan (1985)
because it is the pleasure associated with activity itself, rather
than extrinsic consideration, that gives rise to its continued
performance. However, when activities are required, or when a
person feels otherwise constrained to engage in them because of
extrinsic considerations, much of that pleasure may be under-
mined. The presence of psychological reactance (Brehm, 1966),
involving a desire to restore lost autonomy (choice), may
contribute to this lost enjoyment for activities once experienced
with pleasure.
When making conceptual use of the theoretical and empirical
distinctions between hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia, the
essential role of self-determination continues to be applicable.
Hedonically motivated activities are motivated solely by, and
are autonomously chosen because of, the hedonic pleasure with
A.S.WATERMAN ET AL.
72
which they are associated. The introduction of extrinsic consid-
erations or constraints undermines the enjoyment experienced
and hence the hedonic motivation for the activities. For intrin-
sically motivated activities, in the narrower sense proposed
here, the motivation for their selection is not only hedonic plea-
sure, but also eudaimonia, that is, the association of the activ-
ity with feelings of self-realization. Consistent with expectations
drawn from eudaimonistic identity theory, activities that are
intrinsically motivated are not only enjoyed but are also char-
acterized by four variables with links to self-realization: (a) a
balance of challenges and skills, (b) perceptions that they entail
the development of oneÕs best potentials, (c) the willingness to
invest considerable effort in their performance, and (d) the be-
lief that they are important. Like hedonically motivated activi-
ties, were intrinsically motivated activities to become required
rather than self-selected, the nature of their motivation would
be fundamentally changed. Requiring or constraining an activ-
ity does not change its association with self-realization, that is,
it would still continue to involve a balance of challenges and
skills and the same set of potentials would still be present.
However, the hedonic enjoyment with which it is experienced
would be disrupted, taking with it experiences of eudaimonia.
Given that the category of activities that is high on eudaimonia
but low on hedonic enjoyment is a theoretical null, and
approaches an empirical null, requiring the performance of an
activity associated with self-realization may have the effect of
moving it from the category for which both hedonic enjoyment
and eudaimonia are present to the category for which neither is
present.
This observation also helps to explain the counterintuitive
finding, replicated here, that self-determination was statistically
unrelated to the other predictors of intrinsic motivation,
including self-realization values. Although the substantial num-
ber of activities in the category involving high levels of both
hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia is consistent with the
expectation that people will choose to engage in activities that
promote self-realization, it is also true that are many circum-
stances under which activities entailing those same potentials
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS 73
will be perceived as required or as performed for extrinsic
considerations. Work and education are two domains of activ-
ity in which such circumstances are particularly likely to apply
(Csikszentmihalyi, 1997) and in the present research respon-
dents listed activities in those domains on the PEAQ-S with
considerable frequency.
The data presented here indicate that interest, flow experi-
ences, personal expressiveness, and hedonic enjoyment are all
inter-related subjective states. This pattern of findings has impli-
cations for the understanding of intrinsic motivation. Hedonic
enjoyment in the absence of feelings of personal expressiveness,
would constitute evidence that an activity was hedonically moti-
vated, whereas personal expressiveness in conjunction with
hedonic enjoyment would be required to conclude that intrinsic
motivation was present. For the zero-order correlations interest
was more strongly associated with hedonic enjoyment than with
eudaimonia, whereas flow experiences showed the opposite pat-
tern, significant for only one of the three sites. However, when
intrinsically and hedonically motivated activities were compared
directly, controlling for hedonic enjoyment, levels of both inter-
est and flow experiences were significantly higher for intrinsi-
cally motivated activities. This is consistent with the view that
intrinsically motivated activities are associated with a more
complex and differentiated set of subjective experiences than are
hedonically motivated activities.
As noted above, within eudaimonistic identity theory (Water-
man, 1990), particular significance is attached to personal
expressiveness as a criterion for making identity choices.
Whereas there are many things a person may enjoy doing in a
hedonic sense, for only a subset of those will eudaimonia be
experienced. When making life choices, sustained involvement
within that subset is likely to prove more durable and more
rewarding than the pursuit of activities for which eudaimonia is
lacking.
The findings obtained here regarding the distinctions be-
tween the eudaimonia and hedonic enjoyment have important
implications for operational definitions of intrinsic motivation.
In most studies of intrinsic motivation, either of two
A.S.WATERMAN ET AL.
74
approaches has been taken with respect to an operational defi-
nition: (a) task continuation beyond that specified by the re-
search conditions, and/or (b) questions pertaining to whether
an activity engaged in under various experimental conditions
was enjoyed or found to be interesting. However, a task may
be continued either because it gives rise to both eudaimonia
and hedonic enjoyment or because only hedonic enjoyment is
present. Similarly, asking about enjoyment does not afford the
opportunity to distinguish between the two conceptions of
happiness that may or may not both be present, and asking
about interest does so only when controlling for the level of
hedonic enjoyment present. A practical implication of the re-
search reported here is that when studying intrinsic motiva-
tion, measures of both hedonic enjoyment and personal
expressiveness should be employed.
A second area of application concerns interventions direc-
ted toward increasing levels of sustained happiness (Lyubomir-
sky et al., 2005). Techniques designed to increase subjective
well-being or the average levels of hedonic enjoyment experi-
enced over time will likely be quite different from those de-
signed to increase average levels of personal expressiveness
related to the activities enacted. For example, Schwartz et al.
(2005) found that an intervention based on eudaimonistic
identity theory promoted the identification of, and engagement
in, personally expressive activities. Consistent with this, Shel-
don et al. (2002) reported that an intervention to increase
goal attainment and well-being was only effective in the pres-
ence of a fit between the participantsÕgoals and their interests
and values.
As was indicated in the Introduction, the present research
was conducted using the activity as the unit of analysis. In
future research, the observed distinctions between hedonic
enjoyment and eudaimonia can be extended in the direction of
studying instances of such experiences and studying individual
differences in the extent of such functioning. The use of ESM,
incorporating measures for both conceptions of happiness,
should permit the identification of contextual variables that dis-
tinguish not only what is happening when individuals are happy
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS 75
and when they are not, but also whether, when happy, they are
intrinsically or hedonically motivated. When studying well-being
at the level of the individual, attending to the distinctions
between the two conceptions of happiness creates the possibility
of identifying the developmental antecedents of the differing
types of well-being and assessing the consequences that follow
from the pursuit of hedonic pleasures alone versus seeking eu-
daimonic self-realization.
NOTES
1
Larson and Delespaul (1992) and Scollon et al. (2003) discuss three levels
for the analysis of data that could be derived from Experience Sampling
Method (ESM): the event, the subject, and the group. The level of the activ-
ity, not described by these authors, involves comparisons among different
activities aggregated across instances of each type of activity. While ESM
data were not collected in the current research, the issue of level of analysis
these authors raise is relevant to the methodology applied here.
2
The term eudaimonia originated within philosophy and is used here when-
ever a philosophical reference is intended. It will also be used here whenever
the focus is on the contrast of the two conceptions of happiness, that is,
hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia. The term ‘‘feelings of personal expres-
siveness’’ is intended as a synonym for eudaimonia when the level of analysis
is strictly psychological. It was selected because it has wider recognition than
does eudaimonia and conveys more about the nature of the subjective experi-
ences present. The scales on the PEAQ-S will be referred to here as measures
of hedonic enjoyment and personal expressiveness.
3
In this context, Deci and Ryan (1985) did not explicitly differentiate the
subjective states of hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia.
4
Csikszentmihalyi (1975, 1990) uses the term ‘‘flow’’ in two ways: (a) as a
label for the condition under which the levels of challenges present for an
activity and the level of skills brought to it are both high and (b) as a
description of the subjective state present when such a condition is present.
In this article the term ‘‘balance of challenges and skills’’ will be used to re-
fer to former condition, whereas the term ‘‘flow experiences’’ will be used to
refer to the subjective state.
5
The percentage does not approach 100% in part because of the stringent
criteria set for labeling an activity as high on personal expressiveness. There
were many activities with ratings above the midpoint of the scale that were
not included in the category of High on personal expressiveness.
6
Given the substantial zero-order correlations among the balance and chal-
lenges and skills, self-realization values, and level of effort, and minimal cor-
relations each has with self-determination, the reduced size of the partial
A.S.WATERMAN ET AL.
76
correlations and UVEs for these variables is likely due to the shared involve-
ment in self-realization.
7
Copies of the full set of ANCOVA tables are available upon request.
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Address for correspondence:
ALAN S. WATERMAN
Department of Psychology
The College of New Jersey
P.O. Box 7718
08628-0718, Ewing, NJ
USA
E-mail: water@tcnj.edu
TWO CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS 79
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Purpose The COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations to adopt telework, many of the organizations without any prior preparation, influencing not only daily organizational routines but also workers' happiness. Happiness is important for organizations because happy and fulfilled workers are a key to achieving organizational success. Organizational culture is a critical factor to implement telework, because that may influence the workers' attitudes toward this model of work and workers' happiness. This study aimed to test the moderating role of organizational culture (clan, adhocracy, market and hierarchical) in the relationship between attitudes toward teleworking and happiness. Design/methodology/approach To meet the objectives, the authors collected data from 265 teleworkers. Findings The results revealed that only market culture moderated the relationship between attitudes toward teleworking and happiness, such that this relationship became stronger in the presence of a goal-oriented culture. No other dimension of organizational culture significantly moderated the relationship between telework and happiness. Practical implications These results prove to be fundamental for a better understanding of organizational and individual factors when organizations want to implement telework as a work arrangement. Originality/value Considering the mainstream literature in telework, to the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to date to integrate the moderating role of organizational culture in the relationship between telework and happiness.
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This article, using a controlled design, reports the results of an exploratory study to investigate the impact of two types of intervention strategies (cognitively vs. emotionally focused) on two types of identity processes (self-construction and self-discovery) in a culturally diverse sample of 90 emerging adult university students. A quasi experimental design was used to evaluate the relative impact of the cognitively focused self-construction and emotionally focused self-discovery strategies. Quantitative and qualitative results indicated that cognitively focused intervention strategies were most efficacious in affecting self-constructive identity processes, whereas emotionally focused intervention strategies were most efficacious in affecting self-discovery identity processes. This pattern of differential effects suggests that programs intended to broadly affect identity development should include both types of intervention strategies and should target both self-constructive and self-discovery processes.
Book
I: Background.- 1. An Introduction.- 2. Conceptualizations of Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination.- II: Self-Determination Theory.- 3. Cognitive Evaluation Theory: Perceived Causality and Perceived Competence.- 4. Cognitive Evaluation Theory: Interpersonal Communication and Intrapersonal Regulation.- 5. Toward an Organismic Integration Theory: Motivation and Development.- 6. Causality Orientations Theory: Personality Influences on Motivation.- III: Alternative Approaches.- 7. Operant and Attributional Theories.- 8. Information-Processing Theories.- IV: Applications and Implications.- 9. Education.- 10. Psychotherapy.- 11. Work.- 12. Sports.- References.- Author Index.
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L'A. oppose a la maniere aristotelicienne de considerer la vie heureuse la sienne propre. Aristote insiste sur les criteres objectifs et rigoureux de ce qui constitue l'eudaimonia, tandis que ceux que l'A. utilise sont, tel le sentiment, plus subjectifs et flexibles.
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The question of motivation — of what makes people behave the way they do — has always been a primary concern. Since Thorndike's Law of Effect was published in 1911, the reasons for and the prediction of human (and animal) behaviour has been extensively researched. The purpose of this paper is to expand motivational research by applying a newly developed research technology to an area of human behaviour that has so far not been studied systematically, namely, everyday experiences. Specifically, we are interested in exploring two basic questions about motivation: 1. how often do people describe their everyday experiences as being free and intrinsically motivating; and 2. what is the relationship between intrinsically rewarding experiences and psychological well-being, or the overall sense of satisfaction with one's life?