Integrating philosophical and psychological approaches to well-being - The role of success in personal projects

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Abstract

Interdisciplinary research on the relation of well-being to personality, virtue and life experience is impeded by lack of agreement about the nature of well-being. Psychologists tend to reduce well-being to various subjective evaluations (e.g., life satisfaction or sense of meaning in life). Philosophers tend to reject these reductions but often do not agree among themselves. We believe most conceptions of well-being can agree that well-being involves success in one’s personal projects and that personal projects should be a central construct for well-being assessments. Here we provide some initial evidence that traditional psychological approaches to well-being are commensurable with our personal projects approach, by demonstrating in a longitudinal sample that success in current personal projects predicts various forms of subjective well-being, even when controlling for past levels of well-being and project success.