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Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Philosophical Foundations and Theoretical Propositions Alan S. Waterman The College of New Jersey.

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Presentation on theme: "Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Philosophical Foundations and Theoretical Propositions Alan S. Waterman The College of New Jersey."— Presentation transcript:

1 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Philosophical Foundations and Theoretical Propositions Alan S. Waterman The College of New Jersey

2 Theoretical Foundations Personality Theories Personality Theories EriksonIdentity: Youth and Crisis EriksonIdentity: Youth and Crisis MaslowToward a Psychology of Being MaslowToward a Psychology of Being MayLove and Will MayLove and Will Philosophy of Eudaimonism Philosophy of Eudaimonism AristotleNichomachean Ethics AristotleNichomachean Ethics NortonPersonal Destinies NortonPersonal Destinies

3 James Marcia: Identity Status Paradigm Defining Dimensions of the Identity Statuses Defining Dimensions of the Identity Statuses Exploration (Crisis): The systematic consideration of alternative potential identity elements Exploration (Crisis): The systematic consideration of alternative potential identity elements Commitment: The formation of an unwavering investment in particular alternatives that give direction and meaning to life Commitment: The formation of an unwavering investment in particular alternatives that give direction and meaning to life

4 The Identity Statuses Exploration Exploration Never in Crisis In Crisis Past Crisis Never in Crisis In Crisis Past Crisis Present Foreclosure Identity Present Foreclosure Identity Achievement AchievementCommitments Absent Identity Moratorium Identity Absent Identity Moratorium Identity Diffusion Diffusion Diffusion 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 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 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. The daimon is an excellence toward which one strives thus it gives direction and meaning to life.

7 Eudaimonia The subjective state accompanying actions consistent with the daimon, that is, actions involving self-realization. The subjective state accompanying actions consistent with the daimon, that is, actions involving self-realization. * Feelings of personal expressiveness * Feelings of personal expressiveness * Strength of purpose * Strength of purpose * Competence * Competence * Feelings of rightness * Feelings of rightness

8 Hedonia The subjective experience of pleasure irrespective of the source. The subjective experience of pleasure irrespective of the source. * sensory gratification * sensory gratification * enjoyment of material possessions * enjoyment of material possessions * competitive advantage * competitive advantage * schadenfreude * schadenfreude * self-realization * self-realization

9 The Personally Expressive Activities Questionnaire (PEAQ) Subjective Experience Scales Subjective Experience Scales Interest (1 item) Interest (1 item) Flow (8 items) Flow (8 items) Personal expressiveness (eudamonia) (6 items) Personal expressiveness (eudamonia) (6 items) Hedonic enjoyment (hedonia) (6 items) Hedonic enjoyment (hedonia) (6 items) Predictor Scales Predictor Scales Self-determination (2 items) Self-determination (2 items) Balance of challenges and skills (2 items) Balance of challenges and skills (2 items) Self-realization values (2 items) Self-realization values (2 items) Effort (1 item) Effort (1 item)

10 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Propositions 1. The goal of the process of identity formation should be to recognize ones best potentials should be to recognize ones best potentials and choose purposes in living consistent with and choose purposes in living consistent with those potentials. those potentials. (This is a value statement and therefore is not empirically testable.) (This is a value statement and therefore is not empirically testable.)

11 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Propositions (continued) 2. When individuals engage in activities that involve 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. involve 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) (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 ones 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. 3a. The recognition of ones 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 identity 3b. Abdication of the task of identity formation (identity diffusion) should formation (identity diffusion) should contraindicate eudaimonia. contraindicate eudaimonia. (Schwartz, Mullis, Waterman, & Dunham, (Schwartz, Mullis, Waterman, & Dunham, 2000; Waterman, in press) 2000; Waterman, in press)

14 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Propositions (continued) 4. Experiences of eudaimonia can be used as a 4. Experiences of eudaimonia can be used as a signifier that the activities engaged in involve signifier that the activities engaged in involve ones best (or at least better) personal potentials ones best (or at least better) personal potentials and therefore it can be used as a criteria when and therefore it can be used as a criteria when making identity choices. making identity choices. The test of this hypothesis using retrospective The test of this hypothesis using retrospective reports is currently being undertaken. reports is currently being undertaken.

15 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Propositions (continued) 5. Since hedonia involves experiences of happiness 5. Since hedonia involves experiences of happiness irrespective of source, whereas eudaimonia irrespective of source, whereas eudaimonia involves happiness deriving specifically from self- involves happiness deriving specifically from self- realization, it follows that eudaimonia is a realization, it follows that eudaimonia is a sufficient, but not a necessary, condition for sufficient, but not a necessary, condition for experiences of hedonia (Telfer, 1980). Therefore, experiences of hedonia (Telfer, 1980). Therefore, it should be possible to demonstrate that it should be possible to demonstrate that eudaimonia and hedonia are two related, but eudaimonia and hedonia are two related, but distinguishable conceptions of happiness. distinguishable conceptions of happiness.

16 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Propositions (continued) 5a. There should be a substantial positive 5a. There should be a substantial positive correlation between measures of the two correlation between measures of the two constructs. constructs. 5b. Eudaimonia, in comparison with hedonia, 5b. Eudaimonia, in comparison with hedonia, should correlate more strongly with measures should correlate more strongly with measures of self-realization values, the balance of of self-realization values, the balance of challenges and skills, and effort. challenges and skills, and effort.

17 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Propositions (continued) 5c. Hedonia, in comparison with eudaimonia, 5c. Hedonia, in comparison with eudaimonia, should correlate more strongly with measures should correlate more strongly with measures of such positive subjective experiences as of such positive subjective experiences as feeling relaxed, excited, and content, and feeling relaxed, excited, and content, and negatively with such negative subjective negatively with such negative subjective experiences as anger, anxiety, and confusion. experiences as anger, anxiety, and confusion. (Waterman, 1993, in press; Waterman, (Waterman, 1993, in press; Waterman, Schwartz & Conti, in press) Schwartz & Conti, in press)

18 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Propositions (continued) 6. Eudaimonistic identity choices are intrinsically 6. Eudaimonistic identity choices are intrinsically motivating. A distinction should exist between motivating. A distinction should exist between intrinsic motivation (when both hedonia and intrinsic motivation (when both hedonia and eudamonia are present) and hedonic eudamonia are present) and hedonic motivation (when hedonia but not eudaimonia motivation (when hedonia but not eudaimonia is present). is present). (Waterman, Schwartz, & Conti, in press) (Waterman, Schwartz, & Conti, in press)

19 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Propositions (continued) 7. Increases or decreases in the predictor variables for eudaimonia over time should be variables for eudaimonia over time should be associated with corresponding changes in the associated with corresponding changes in the experiences of eudaimonia. experiences of eudaimonia. (Schwartz & Waterman, in press) (Schwartz & Waterman, in press)


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