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The hedonic and eudaimonic validity of the orientations to happiness scale

journal contribution
posted on 2014-02-01, 00:00 authored by Luke Henderson, Therese Knight, Ben Richardson
The orientations to happiness scale (OTH) was designed to measure three routes to happiness: pleasure (hedonia), meaning (eudaimonia) and engagement (flow). Past research utilising the scale suggests that all orientations predict life satisfaction, with meaning and engagement the stronger predictors relative to pleasure. However, these findings are inconsistent with other research; one plausible explanation being that the OTH scale lacks validity. This was tested by having participants (N = 107) complete the OTH scale and the Satisfaction with Life scale, prior to completing an online diary reporting actual instances of hedonic and eudaimonic behaviour. Although meaning predicted eudaimonic behaviour, the pleasure orientation was unrelated to hedonic behaviour. Further, hedonic behaviour was more strongly related to life satisfaction than eudaimonic behaviour; inconsistent with OTH scale results. These findings challenge the validity of the OTH scale, and subsequently bring into question those conclusions drawn from past research utilising the OTH scale.

History

Journal

Social indicators research

Volume

115

Issue

3

Pagination

1087 - 1099

Publisher

Springer Netherlands

Location

Dordrecht, The Netherlands

ISSN

0303-8300

eISSN

1573-0921

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2013, Springer