Basic Concepts in Positive Psychology

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What do researchers mean by ‘subjective well-being’? How is this construct measured? Essentially, subjective well-being has to do with things in life that make individuals happy with their own lives, aside from material or factual things. The best analogy I can give to describe subjective well-being would be Robin Williams. Robin Williams was a man who could bring happiness to millions of people with his comedy. From anyone else’s perspective he had it all. He was wealthy, admired, and very funny. Unfortunately, he did not see himself in the same light as the rest of the world. He was not happy with his personal life, and as a result he committed suicide. On p. 18 of your textbook, the authors present the hypothetical possibility of being hooked up to an ‘experience machine’ that would guarantee a constant state of happiness and positive emotion. Would you choose to be hooked up to such a machine? Why or why not? In your response, differentiate between hedonic and eudaimonic concepts of happiness. Personally, I would not like to be hooked up to a machine that made all my troubles go away. I believe that creating artificial happiness would lead to a million other issues. Happiness needs to be authentic or it is meaningless. Hedonic happiness focuses on happiness and pleasure being the main goal in life, but this machine would miss the mark. Happiness, or at least the kind that this machine would provide, would become meaningless because all other emotions would become nonexistent. I believe that it takes the negative situations to make an individual appreciate the good, which in turn becomes happiness. It is the difference in being born with a silver spoon in your mouth verses working hard and building a thriving company that your profit from. If you’re born into money, it is something that has always been there, and so it is taken for granted. Whereas, if you work hard building a company that you profit generously from, you will appreciate the...
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