Normative theory and psychological research: Hedonism eudaimonism and why it matters.

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Normative theory and psychological research: Hedonism eudaimonism and why it matters.

This article is a contribution to the debate about eudaimonism started by Kashdan et al. and Waterman in a previous issue of The Journal of Positive Psychology [Kashdan T.B. Biswas-Diener R. & King L.A. (2008). Reconsidering happiness: The costs of distinguishing between hedonics and eudaimonia. The Journal of Positive Psychology 3(4) 219-233; Waterman A.S. (2008). Reconsidering happiness: A eudaimonist's perspective. The Journal of Positive Psychology 3(4) 234-252]. We point out that one thing that is missing from this debate is an understanding of the problems with subjective theories of well-being that motivate a turn to objective theories. A better understanding of the rationale for objective theories helps us to see what is needed from a theory of well-being. We then argue that a suitably modified subjective theory can provide what is needed and that this is the theory that ought to be favored by psychologists.

Citation: 
The Journal of Positive Psychology Vol. 5, No. 3, May 2010, 212–225

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