Deconstructing Lay Definitions of Happiness: Sources, Emotions, Rationale, Essence

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The aims of this study are to investigate definitions and explanations of the concept of happiness, and to introduce a model to classify lay definitions of happiness. This study is part of a longitudinal Croatian study on well-being (the CRO-WELL project). Answers to the open-ended question “What is happiness for you?” from a sample of adult Internet users (Nfemale= 1,036 and Nmale= 839; Mage=38) were analyzed. The definitions were classified regarding four perspectives based upon which question the respondents were assumed to have actually been answering, summarized as the RISE model: Rationale for Happiness – answering the question “How does happiness work?”; Impressions of Happiness – answering the question “How does it feel to be happy?”; Sources of Happiness – answering the question “What makes you happy?”; and the Essence of Happiness – answering the question “What is happiness?”

Klíčová slova:
happiness; well-being; qualitative; definition; sources of happiness; RISE

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