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Subjective well being - Essay Example

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Running head: Subjective well-being Subjective well being Insert Name Insert Grade Course Insert July 26, 2011 Subjective well being Introduction For more than a century, the concept of happiness has raised debates in different disciplines of study with various scholars attempting to define the term and examine what brings it…
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Download file to see previous pages It also points out to an individual’s feeling that he or she is headed to achieve the goals. Divergent views were provided by scholars, especially the philosophers, on what would lead to this happiness. There were also discussions as to whether happiness was sufficient to define the wellbeing of an individual in the society. In these earlier times, the psychologists were mainly concerned with the consequences of lack of happiness. Much focus was given to stress and depression as the negative consequences of negative emotions. The overwhelming emphasis on such negative states would later lead to a shift to focus on the positive elements of life (Diener et al, 1999, p.276). It was not until 1950s that philosophers began to focus on the positive emotions and their effects on an individual’s mental health (Hoorn, 2007, p.1). The psychologists realized that individual reports could be used shed light on the wellbeing of such individuals and their emotional states. The kind of well being that would be measured in this case is referred to as subjective wellbeing. The subjective well-being is far much broader than mere happiness. It is not only characterized by lack of negative affect (emotions) but is also characterized by the presence of positive affects. It provides an individual’s evaluation of his or her life in general, and not at a particular stage in life. It refers to considering life satisfaction in a broader perspective. This type of well being defines the individuals’ achievement of their goals and objectives in life. It provides the degree to which one is living to his expectations and to the expectation of the others. It also provides a comparison between one’s life performance and the performance of others in the society. The meaning of subjective well being Many individuals would wish to live and experience good life. The challenge that has been in existence for a long period is the description of such a “good life.” It could be thought that such a life is obtained through the love that individuals give to each other in the society or the level of pleasure that one derives from his life encounters. In deed, love could have significant contribution to good life through increased happiness, high levels of life satisfaction, and how positive emotions. An approach that has been adopted recently in defining and describing the quality of a good life is to let an individual to give his view of the worth of his life. This is termed as subjective well being (SWB) (Diener, 2000, p.34). It refers to an individual’s evaluation of his or her happiness following different dimensions of satisfaction in life. It is termed subjective because the evaluation will depend on the beholder (Institute of Subjective Well Being, n.d, para.1). What can be considered by one individual as “feeling very good” may as well be considered differently by another individual. As such, subjective well being can be observed as an alternative to global evaluation of life satisfaction. It has a distinction from a mere happiness that could refer to the absence of some negative affect. As such, it is fully defined by happiness, positive emotions with low negative emotions, and life satisfaction (Nistor, n.d, p.60). In this regard, subjective well being is considered to have two components: the cognitive component (life satisfaction) and the affective component ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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