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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2014 Aug;40(8):998-1011. Epub 2014 Apr 29.

Beyond Self-Protection: Self-Affirmation Benefits Hedonic and Eudaimonic Well-Being.

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University of California, Riverside, USA
Seoul National University, South Korea.
University of California, Riverside, USA.


Limited work has examined how self-affirmation might lead to positive outcomes beyond the maintenance of a favorable self-image. To address this gap in the literature, we conducted two studies in two cultures to establish the benefits of self-affirmation for psychological well-being. In Study 1, South Korean participants who affirmed their values for 2 weeks showed increased eudaimonic well-being (need satisfaction, meaning, and flow) relative to control participants. In Study 2, U.S. participants performed a self-affirmation activity for 4 weeks. Extending Study 1, after 2 weeks, self-affirmation led both to increased eudaimonic well-being and hedonic well-being (affect balance). By 4 weeks, however, these effects were non-linear, and the increases in affect balance were only present for vulnerable participants-those initially low in eudaimonic well-being. In sum, the benefits of self-affirmation appear to extend beyond self-protection to include two types of well-being.


culture; eudaimonic well-being; happiness; hedonic well-being; self-affirmation

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