EVOLUTION OF WELLBEING THEORY
The theory of well-being has evolved from 3 different recent perspectives which interestingly are backed by ancient Indian scriptures.
HAPPINESS & SATISFACTION
1. Life satisfaction. This is the cognitive aspect of subjective wellbeing and involves a judgement about how satisfied the individual is with their life. This construct is generally measured by items such as "So far I have gotten the important things I want in life" and "if I could live my life over, I would have it the same way".
2. Positive affect. The positive affective component involves measuring the degree to which individual experience positive emotions, such as happiness, joy and excitement (e.g. I often feel happy).
3. Negative affect. The negative affective component involves measuring the degree to which individuals experience negative emotions (e.g. I feel upset about things, or I worry a lot)..
HAPPINESS -> NEEDS
(Move away from Happiness to Needs)
1. Psychological needs such as a sense of meaning in their lives, autonomy, connectedness to others and a sense of control, and that if these are met then the individual can achieve a sense of wellbeing.
2. Accomplishment needs such as skills, talents and strengths
The eudemonic concept of wellbeing questions the hedonic model highlighting that people need to satisfy a whole range of needs to achieve wellbeing beyond just the need to experience happiness and avoid negative emotions.
THE BIRTH OF PERMA THEORY
Martin Seligman's PERMA Theory of Wellbeing is a hybrid of both the Hedonic and Eudemonic Wellbeing approaches thereby attempting to bring back HAPPINESS into the wellbeing equation.
In earlier iterations of Seligman's wellbeing theory, such as that described in his 1999 book "Authentic Happiness" he talked about happiness and used life satisfaction as the key outcome measure. However, in his later work he describes the word happiness as an unscientific term and moves away from the hedonic approach by incorporating other constructs that are important for wellbeing even if they do not increase happiness.
In his 2000 review paper, he discusses three different aspects of happiness: 1) the pleasant life, 2) the engaged life, and 3) the meaningful life. Later still he recognises that this model is incomplete because some people strive to achieve for the sake of it, even if this does not produce happiness or meaning in their life and if it is not particularly engaging. At this point, Seligman incorporates an Accomplishment factor into his model. Finally, in line with many of the other eudemonic theories, a factor recognising the importance of relationships is added to the theory wellbeing model.
ANCIENT INDIAN PHILOSOPHY
DESIGNING THE WELLBEING METRICS
If you would like to discuss a potential alignment with your Wellness Initiatives - please feel free to call Ajay Mahajan at +91 96548 89815.