Many studies have highlighted the role that positive emotions play in promoting eudaimonic well-being, yet often fail to differentiate between discrete positive emotions (e.g. gratitude, compassion, pride, and contentment). As such, potential functional differences among positive emotions in contributing to eudaimonic well-being may have been overlooked. The present study (N = 273) differentiated communion from agency motivation as well as other-focused from self-focused eudaimonic well-being. In line with a hypothesized model, pride contributed positively to self-focused eudaimonic well-being indirectly via agency motivation, and contentment was directly linked positively to self-focused eudaimonic well-being. Compassion contributed positively to other-focused eudaimonic well-being indirectly via communion motivation and gratitude was directly linked positively to other-focused eudaimonic well-being. While several other links were observed, hypothesized links were generally stronger. These findings highlight the potential utility of adopting approaches that differentiate among positive emotions in applied and theoretical work in the field of positive psychology.
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