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The Behavioural Paths to Wellbeing: An Exploratory Study to Distinguish Between Hedonic and Eudaimonic Wellbeing From an Activity Perspective

  • Shijiang Zuo (a1) (a2), Shun Wang (a1) (a2), Fang Wang (a1) (a2) and Xiafei Shi (a1) (a2)
Abstract

Hedonic wellbeing and eudaimonic wellbeing are two prevailing approaches to wellbeing. However, remarkably little research has distinguished them from an activity perspective; the knowledge of behavioural paths for achieving these two wellbeings is poor. This study first clarified the behavioural contents of the two approaches through a bottom-up method and then analysed the representativeness of activities to indicate to what extent activities contributed to wellness. We found that the paths to hedonic wellbeing and eudaimonic wellbeing overlapped and differed from each other. Furthermore, this study explained why hedonic activity differed from eudaimonic activity by analysing activity characteristics. We found that people reported higher frequency, sensory experience, and affective experience in hedonic activity, whereas they reported higher intellectual experience, behavioural experience, and spiritual experience in eudaimonic activity. Finally, we explored the behavioural pattern of wellbeing pursuit in both an unthreatening situation and a threatening situation. We found that the overlap between the two approaches increased in the threatening situation. Moreover, people in the threatening situation tended to score lower on all characteristics except frequency relative to those in the unthreatening situation. It seemed that the behavioural pattern in the threatening situation was less effective than its equivalent in the unthreatening situation.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Fang Wang, School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China. Email: fwang@bnu.edu.cn
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