Presentation on theme: "Alan S. Waterman The College of New Jersey"— Presentation transcript:
1 Alan S. Waterman The College of New Jersey Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Philosophical Foundations and Theoretical PropositionsAlan S. WatermanThe College of New Jersey
2 Theoretical Foundations Personality TheoriesErikson—Identity: Youth and CrisisMaslow—Toward a Psychology of BeingMay—Love and WillPhilosophy of EudaimonismAristotle—Nichomachean EthicsNorton—Personal Destinies
3 James Marcia: Identity Status Paradigm Defining Dimensions of the Identity StatusesExploration (Crisis): The systematic consideration of alternative potential identity elementsCommitment: The formation of an unwavering investment in particular alternatives that give direction and meaning to life
4 The Identity Statuses Exploration Never in Crisis In Crisis Past CrisisPresent Foreclosure IdentityAchievementCommitmentsAbsent Identity Moratorium IdentityDiffusion Diffusion
5 “One person with a belief is equal in force to ninety-nine who have only interests.” John Stuart Mill
6 Eudaimonistic Philosophy: An Ethical Theory The ethical ideal is to recognize and live in accordance with the daimon or “true self”.The daimon refers to those potentialities of each individual, the realization of which represents the greatest fulfillment in living for that person.The daimon is an excellence toward which one strives thus it gives direction and meaning to life.
7 * Feelings of personal expressiveness EudaimoniaThe subjective state accompanying actions consistent with the daimon, that is, actions involving self-realization.* Feelings of personal expressiveness* Strength of purpose* Competence* Feelings of rightness
8 HedoniaThe subjective experience of pleasure irrespective of the source.* sensory gratification* enjoyment of material possessions* competitive advantage* schadenfreude* self-realization
10 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Propositions 1. The goal of the process of identity formationshould be to recognize one’s best potentialsand choose purposes in living consistent withthose potentials.(This is a value statement and therefore is not empirically testable.)
11 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Propositions (continued) 2. When individuals engage in activities thatinvolve the development of their best potentials and pursue related goals, they will report experiences of eudaimonia (personal expressiveness) more so than when engaged in other activities.(Schwartz & Waterman, in press; Waterman, in press; Waterman, Schwartz, & Conti, in press; Waterman et al., 2003)
12 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Propositions (continued) 3. Relationships are hypothesized between the processes used in identity formation and the likelihood of making personally expressive choices.3a. The recognition of one’s personal potentials and the forming of personally expressive commitments is more likely to occur through a process of exploration than through a process of identification. In other words, the identity achievement status should associated with eudaimonia to a greater extent than is the foreclosure status.
13 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Propositions (continued) 3b. Abdication of the task of identityformation (identity diffusion) shouldcontraindicate eudaimonia.(Schwartz, Mullis, Waterman, & Dunham,2000; Waterman, in press)
14 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Propositions (continued) 4. Experiences of eudaimonia can be used as asignifier that the activities engaged in involveone’s best (or at least better) personal potentialsand therefore it can be used as a criteria whenmaking identity choices.The test of this hypothesis using retrospectivereports is currently being undertaken.
15 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Propositions (continued) 5. Since hedonia involves experiences of happinessirrespective of source, whereas eudaimoniainvolves happiness deriving specifically from self-realization, it follows that eudaimonia is asufficient, but not a necessary, condition forexperiences of hedonia (Telfer, 1980). Therefore,it should be possible to demonstrate thateudaimonia and hedonia are two related, butdistinguishable conceptions of happiness.
16 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Propositions (continued) 5a. There should be a substantial positivecorrelation between measures of the twoconstructs.5b. Eudaimonia, in comparison with hedonia,should correlate more strongly with measuresof self-realization values, the balance ofchallenges and skills, and effort.
17 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Propositions (continued) 5c. Hedonia, in comparison with eudaimonia,should correlate more strongly with measuresof such positive subjective experiences asfeeling relaxed, excited, and content, andnegatively with such negative subjectiveexperiences as anger, anxiety, and confusion.(Waterman, 1993, in press; Waterman,Schwartz & Conti, in press)
18 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Propositions (continued) 6. Eudaimonistic identity choices are intrinsicallymotivating. A distinction should exist betweenintrinsic motivation (when both hedonia andeudamonia are present) and hedonicmotivation (when hedonia but not eudaimoniais present).(Waterman, Schwartz, & Conti, in press)
19 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Propositions (continued) 7. Increases or decreases in the predictorvariables for eudaimonia over time should beassociated with corresponding changes in theexperiences of eudaimonia.(Schwartz & Waterman, in press)