Basic Concepts in Positive Psychology

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Basic Concepts in Positive Psychology

Basic Concepts in Positive Psychology

“Subjective well-being defined as life satisfaction, the presence of positive affect, and a relative absence of negative affect” (Baumgardner, Crothers, 2009, p. 18). In other words, subjective well-being is how people evaluate their lives. It has been measured simply by national surveys given to tens of thousands of people. The survey questions asked how happy they were, and how satisfied they are with their lives. People were also asked to choose from a series of faces to describe their level of happiness. More present research to measure SWB indicated three primary components. Life satisfaction is how satisfied a person is with their life. Positive affect refers to how much and how often a person experiences feel good emotions, such as happiness. Negative affect, on the other hand, refers to how often a person experiences unpleasant emotions, such as depression or anger.

Although the idea of being in a constant state of happiness is tempting, I would have to decline the offer. I believe that I am the person I am today because of the difficult life experiences I have gone through in my life. A person cannot grow if all they know is happiness. You would never be able to understand or even fathom what another person is going through if you have no sense of sadness, heartbreak, sorrow, or even anger. No one likes to go through hard times, but in the end it makes us who we are. It strengthens us and makes us whole.

The two concepts of happiness, hedonic and eudaimonic, may appear to be similar, but are in fact quite different. Hedonic happiness is based on the belief that increased pleasure and decreased pain leads to happiness. On the other hand, eudaimonic happiness is based on the notion that people find happiness when they experience life purpose, challenges and growth.


Baumgardner, S. R., Crothers, M. K. (2009). Positive...
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