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Alan S. Waterman The College of New Jersey

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

2 Theoretical Foundations
Personality Theories Erikson—Identity: Youth and Crisis Maslow—Toward a Psychology of Being May—Love and Will Philosophy of Eudaimonism Aristotle—Nichomachean Ethics Norton—Personal Destinies

3 James Marcia: Identity Status Paradigm
Defining Dimensions of the Identity Statuses 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

4 The Identity Statuses Exploration
Never in Crisis In Crisis Past Crisis Present Foreclosure Identity Achievement Commitments Absent Identity Moratorium Identity 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 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
Eudaimonia The 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 Hedonia The subjective experience of pleasure irrespective of the source. * sensory gratification * enjoyment of material possessions * competitive advantage * schadenfreude * self-realization

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

10 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Propositions
1. The goal of the process of identity formation should be to recognize one’s best potentials and choose purposes in living consistent with those potentials. (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. (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 identity formation (identity diffusion) should contraindicate eudaimonia. (Schwartz, Mullis, Waterman, & Dunham, 2000; Waterman, in press)

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

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

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

17 Eudaimonistic Identity Theory: Propositions (continued)
5c. Hedonia, in comparison with eudaimonia, should correlate more strongly with measures of such positive subjective experiences as feeling relaxed, excited, and content, and negatively with such negative subjective experiences 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 intrinsically motivating. A distinction should exist between intrinsic motivation (when both hedonia and eudamonia are present) and hedonic motivation (when hedonia but not eudaimonia is present). (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 associated with corresponding changes in the experiences of eudaimonia. (Schwartz & Waterman, in press)

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