Happiness strategies among Arab university students in the United Arab Emirates

Volume 2 - Issue 1
Louise Lambert D’raven Nausheen Pasha-Zaidi
Pages: 1-15 Download Count : 2395 View Count: 1428 Facebook Share on Google+ Save to Zotero Save to Mendeley

Abstract:


Research in positive psychology has recently shown that not only do conceptualizations of happiness vary by culture, but the ways in which individuals attain happiness also reflect how cultures are organized. Paralleling the dimensions of individualism and collectivism, recent research in positive psychology interventions (PPIs), activities undertaken by individuals to increase their level of happiness, has recently delineated between approaches that are ‘self’ and ‘other’ oriented. The goal of this study was to determine how members of collective societies pursued happiness and if these strategies were indeed “other” oriented. University students (N = 109) from over 12 Middle Eastern countries, considered collectivist, participated. Participants predominately used ‘other’ oriented strategies to attain happiness, but not exclusively. They reported activities such as engaging in good deeds, being of service to others and gaining social acceptability as a result reflecting a collective orientation. Religion and stable political settings were also noted as contributing factors to happiness. They also pursued happiness through goal setting and reaching accomplishments, enjoying pleasures, and asserting greater control over their personal affairs reflecting an individualist approach. A balance of self and other approaches to happiness was eviden

Keywords

  • Culture
  • positive psychology interventions
  • individualism
  • collectivism
  • happiness
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