PROJECT NAME: Defining and measuring psychological well-being
Positive psychology is gaining momentum in Sweden and internationally. There is a big interest about what makes people feel well, and how this correlates with more classic psychological fields and questions. Well-being research is a young science and suffers from a lack of solid definitions and measures. The purpose of this project (or PhD paper) is to define psychological well-being and to develop a multi-dimensional scale which can measure psychological well-being extensively and accurately.
Well-being research study what makes people feel well, in contrary to clinical psychology which study psychological problems and disorders. Both fields are of course important in understanding mind and behavior. Clinical psychology offer a massive amount of problem and disorder definitions (like DSM), while positive psychology only have some commonly used scales (like the SWB) to rely on. The reason to this difference is the classic assumption that “a lack of problems makes people feel well”. Well-being has therefore been left out to philosophers, who actually have discussed “the good life” since Platon and Aristotle. With an increasing interest in positive psychology, individual differences, psychological strengths and the concept of well-being, there is a need to summarize the concepts and creating a multidimensional scale which can measure well-being extensively and accurately. Such a scale can be useful when determining effects of treatments, examining psychological development and studying individual differences.
This paper will be written in four steps:
The first step deals with the concept of well-being, from philosophical roots to popular current theories and assumptions.
The second step deals with defining and creating the new well-being scale (hexagon of well-being).
The third step will test the dimensions of the scale.
The fourth step will correlate the scale with other popular measures, both positive and negative.
The last three steps should each produce a high-quality article which can be published internationally.
Step One – Summarizing
- The Concept of Well-Being
- Clinical psychology – lack of diagnose or problem makes you feel well?
- A state of mind?
- The sum of anxiety and happiness?
- Two-tailed well-being theory
- The Concept of Well-Being
- Philosophical Roots
- Eudemonia (Aristotle)
- Hedonism (Epicurus)
- Emergence of positive psychology
- Current theories on happiness and well-being
- Goal-oriented vs Pleasure-oriented
- Automated vs Conscious
- Subjective vs Objective
- Measures and scales
- Satisfaction with life scale
- Positive and negative affect scale
- Multidimensional scales
- Limitations with current definitions and scales
- Too much focus on emotions
- Too much focus on subjective well-being
- Most scales are one-dimensional
- Lack of definitions when creating scales
Step Two – The Hexagon of Well-being
- What is well-being?
- From concept to definitions
- What is well-being?
- Can well-being be measured?
- Objective vs. subjective measures
- Are there multiple dimensions of well-being?
- Genes and heritability
- Mind, emotions and thoughts
- Environment and behavior
- Defining the hexagon of well-being scale
- Social well-being
- Behavioral well-being
- Occupational well-being
- Emotional well-being
- Subjective well-being
- Existential well-being
- How can the hexagon of well-being scale be used in research?
- Correlational research with risk and protective factors
- Positive outcomes and treatment effectiveness
- Well-being index
- Problems and limitations with the hexagon of well-being scale
- Cultural differences
Step Three – Testing the hexagon of well-being
- Test-retest reliability
- Internal consistency (Cronbach´s alpha)
- Correlation tests of the six dimensions – are all dimensions needed? Do all dimension seem to represent something unique as assumed by theory?
Step Four – Well-being at a Swedish university
- Well-being and academic stress
- Well-being and student economy
- Well-being and academic achievement
Step Four – Treating anxiety disorders – outcomes on well-being
- Comparing the effects of self-help treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, medicine and coaching on well-being in people with anxiety disorders.
- Collecting relevant books and articles on well-being. Writing an introduction and further planning of the research.
- Writing Step One.
- Writing Step Two.
- Collecting and summarizing data.
- Analyzing data and writing Step Three.
- Writing Step Three and Four.
- Writing Step Four.
- Finishing up the PhD paper.
Bargh, J. A. & Chartrand, T. L. (1999). The unbearable automaticity of being. American Psychologist, 54, 462-479. [17pp]
Bech, P., Olsen, L. R., Kjoller, M. & Rasmussen, N. K. (2003). Measuring well-being rather than the absence of distress symptoms: a comparison of the SF-36 mental health subscale and the WHO-Five well-being scale. Int J Methods Psychiat Res, 12, 85-91. [7pp]
Brickman, P., Coats, D. & Janoff-Bulman, R. (1978). Lottery winners and accident victims: Is happiness relative. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36, 917-927. [11pp]
Chamberlain, K. & Zika, S. (1988). Measuring meaning in life: An examination of three scales. Personality and Individual Differences, 9, 589-596. [7pp]
Chekola, M. (2007). Happiness, rationality, autonomy and the good life. Journal of Happiness Studies, 8, 51-78. [28pp]
Christopher, J. C. & Hickinbottom, S. (2008). Positive psychology, ethnocentrism, and the disguised ideology of individualism. Theory and Psychology, 18, 563-589. [17pp]
Crawford, J. R. & Henry, J. D. (2004). The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS): construct validity, measurement properties and normative data in a large non-clinical sample. Br J Clin Psychol, 43, 245-265. [20pp]
Diener, E. & Diener, C. (1996). Most people are happy. Psychological Science, 7, 181-185. [5pp]
Diener, E. (2000). Subjective well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 34-43. [10pp]
Diener, E., Emmons, R., Larsen, R. J. & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71-75. [5pp]
Diener, E., Sapyta, J. J. & Suh, E. (1998). Subjective well-being is essential to well-being. Psychological Inquiry, 9, 33-37. [5pp]
Easterlin, R. A. 2005. “Building a Better Theory of Well-Being.” In Economics and Happiness: Framing the Analysis, ed. Luigino Bruni and Pier Luigi Porta, 29-64. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [35pp]
Eid, M., & Larsen, R. J. (2008). The Science of Subjective Well-Being. [170pp]
Fave, A., Brdar, I., Freire, T., Vella-Brodrick, D. & Wissing, M. (2011). The Eudaimonic and Hedonic Components of Happiness: Qualitative and Quantitative Findings. Social Indicators Research, 100, 185-207. [23pp]
Fredrickson, B. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56, 218-226. [9pp]
Furnham, A. & Cheng, C. (2000). Lay theories of happiness. Journal of Happiness Studies, 1, 227-246. [20pp]
Haybron, D. M. (2000). Two Philosophical Problems in the Study of Happiness. Journal of Happiness Studies, 1, 207–225. [18pp]
Haybron, D. M. (2003). What Do We Want from a Theory of Happiness? Metaphilosophy, 34, 305-329. [24pp]
Idler, E. L. & Benyamini, Y. (1997). Self-rated health and mortality: a review of twenty-seven community studies. J Health Soc Behav, 38, 21-37. [17pp]
Jensen, L. A. (2008). Through two lenses: A cultural-developmental approach to moral psychology. Developmental Review, 28, 289-315. [26pp]
Kahneman, D., Kahneman, D., Diener, E. & Schwarz, N. (1999). Objective Happiness. Well-Being: The Foundations of Hedonic Psychology, 3-25. [22pp]
Kashdan, T. B., Biswas-Diener, R. & King, L. A. (2008). Reconsidering happiness: The costs of distinguishing between hedonics and eudaimonia. Journal of Positive Psychology, 3, 219-233. [15pp]
Kasser, T. & Ryan, R. M. (1993). A dark side of the American dream: Correlates of financial success as a central life aspiration. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 410-422. [12pp]
Keyes, C. L. M. (2007). Promoting and protecting mental health as flourishing: A complementary strategy for improving national mental health. American Psychologist, 62, 95-108. [13pp]
Larsen, R. J., Fredrickson, B. L., Kahneman, D., Diener, E. & Schwarz, N. (1999). Measurement Issues in Emotion Research. Well-Being: The Foundations of Hedonic Psychology, 40-60. [20pp]
Lu, L. & Gilmour, R. (2004). Culture and conceptions of happiness: Individual oriented and social oriented subjective well-being. Journal of Happiness Studies, 5, 269-291. [23pp]
Lucas, R. E., Diener, E. & Suh, E. (1996). Discriminant validity of well-being measures. J Pers Soc Psychol, 71, 616-628. [12pp]
Martin, M. W. (2007). Happiness and virtue in positive psychology. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 37, 89-103. [15pp]
Martin, M. W. (2008). Paradoxes of happiness. Journal of Happiness Studies, 9, 171-184. [14pp]
McDowell, I. (2010). Measures of self-perceived well-being. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 69, 69-79. [10pp]
Morgan, J. & Farsides, T. (2009). Measuring meaning in life. Journal of Happiness Studies, 10, 197-214. [18pp]
Pavot, W. & Diener, E. (1993). Review of the satisfaction with life scale. Psychological Assessment, 5, 164-172. [8pp]
Peterson, C., Park, N. & Seligman, M. E. P. (2005). Orientations to happiness and life satisfaction: The full life versus the empty life. Journal of Happiness Studies, 6, 25-41. [16pp]
Rojas, M. (2005). A conceptual-referent theory of happiness: Heterogeneity and its consequences. Social Indicators Research, 74, 261-294. [33pp]
Ross, David (1925). Aristotle The Nicomachean Ethics: Translated with an Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [100pp]
Ryan, M. & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68-78. [10pp]
Ryan, R. M. & Deci, E. L. (2001). On happiness and human potentials: A review of research on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 141-166. [25pp]
Ryff, C. D. & Keyes, C. L. (1995). The structure of psychological well-being revisited. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 69, 719-727. [8pp]
Ryff, C. D. & Singer, B. (1996). Psychological well-being: Meaning, measurement, and implications for psychotherapy research. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 65, 14-23. [9pp]
Ryff, C. D. & Singer, B. H. (2006). Best news yet on the six-factor model of wellbeing. Soc Sci Res, 35, 1103-1119. [16pp]
Ryff, C. D. & Singer, B. H. (2008). Know thyself and become what you are: A eudaimonic approach to psychological well-being. Journal of Happiness Studies, 9, 13-39. [26pp]
Ryff, C. D. (1989). Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 57, 1069-1081. [12pp]
Ryff, C. D. (1989). In the eye of the beholder: Views of psychological well-being among middle-aged and older adults. Psychology & Aging, 4, 195-210. [15pp]
Schwarz, N., Strack, F., Kahneman, D., Diener, E. & Schwarz, N. (1999). Reports of Subjective Well-Being: Judgmental Processes and Their Methodological Implications. Well-Being: The Foundations of Hedonic Psychology, 61-84. [24pp]
Seligman, M. E. P. & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55, 5-14. [10pp]
Şimşek, Ö. F. (2009). Happiness revisited: Ontological well-being as a theory-based construct of subjective well-being. Journal of Happiness Studies, 10, 505-522. [17pp]
Springer, K. W. & Hauser, R. M. (2006). An assessment of the construct validity of Ryff’s Scales of Psychological Well-Being: method, mode, and measurement effects. Soc Sci Res, 35, 1080-1102. [22pp]
Springer, K. W., Hauser, R. M. & Freese, J. (2006). Bad news indeed for Ryff’s sixfactor model of well-being. Soc Sci Res, 35, 1120-1131. [11pp]
Waterman, A. S. (1993). Two conceptions of happiness: Contrasts of personal expressiveness (eudaimonia) and hedonic enjoyment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 678-691. [13pp]
Waterman, A. S., Schwartz, S. J., Zamboanga, B. L., Ravert, R. D., Williams, M. K. & Bede Agocha, V. (2010). The Questionnaire for Eudaimonic Well-Being: Psychometric properties, demographic comparisons, and evidence of validity. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 5, 41-61. [20pp]
Veenhoven, R. (1991). Is happiness relative. Social Indicators Research, 24, 1-34. [34pp]
Veenhoven, R. (2000). The four qualities of life. Ordering concepts and measures of the good life. Journal of Happiness Studies, 1, 1-39. [39pp]