Sustainable Well-Being: A Potential Synergy Between Sustainability and Well-Being Research

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Sustainable Well-Being: A Potential Synergy Between Sustainability and Well-Being Research. / Kjell, Oscar.

In: Review of General Psychology, Vol. 15, No. 3, 2011, p. 255-266.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publication or newspaperSpecialist publication article

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TY - GEN

T1 - Sustainable Well-Being: A Potential Synergy Between Sustainability and Well-Being Research

AU - Kjell, Oscar

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - This article outlines a potential synergy between sustainability and well-being research. Currently aims within well-being and sustainability research focus on increasing well-being. First, sustainability is defined and important concepts within it highlighted, that is, aims, interdependencies, constraints, values and balanced adaptive processes. It is suggested that positioning well-being more clearly within the sustainability framework can enhance the role of sustainability: for example, in terms of aims and monitoring progress. In turn, the sustainability framework outlined, guides the second part of the article, illustrating how it can reciprocally enhance well-being research. That is, comprehensive empirical, evolutionary, cross-cultural, and self-conceptual evidence illustrate individuals' interdependencies with other people and nature. Despite this, contemporary hedonic and eudaimonic well-being approaches and accompanying measures are demonstrated to be isolating; investigating well-being individualistically and in a decontextualized manner. This is in line with the individualistic and independent values of Western cultures. Therefore, it is suggested that employing the sustainability framework emphasizing interdependencies within well-being research can be beneficial; perhaps even resulting in an all-inclusive increase in well-being. Limitations are also raised and future research directions suggested. The author concludes that both sustainability and well-being research can benefit from the synergy toward sustainable well-being.

AB - This article outlines a potential synergy between sustainability and well-being research. Currently aims within well-being and sustainability research focus on increasing well-being. First, sustainability is defined and important concepts within it highlighted, that is, aims, interdependencies, constraints, values and balanced adaptive processes. It is suggested that positioning well-being more clearly within the sustainability framework can enhance the role of sustainability: for example, in terms of aims and monitoring progress. In turn, the sustainability framework outlined, guides the second part of the article, illustrating how it can reciprocally enhance well-being research. That is, comprehensive empirical, evolutionary, cross-cultural, and self-conceptual evidence illustrate individuals' interdependencies with other people and nature. Despite this, contemporary hedonic and eudaimonic well-being approaches and accompanying measures are demonstrated to be isolating; investigating well-being individualistically and in a decontextualized manner. This is in line with the individualistic and independent values of Western cultures. Therefore, it is suggested that employing the sustainability framework emphasizing interdependencies within well-being research can be beneficial; perhaps even resulting in an all-inclusive increase in well-being. Limitations are also raised and future research directions suggested. The author concludes that both sustainability and well-being research can benefit from the synergy toward sustainable well-being.

KW - sustainable well-being

KW - happiness

KW - sustainability

KW - interdependency

KW - balance

U2 - 10.1037/a0024603

DO - 10.1037/a0024603

M3 - Specialist publication article

VL - 15

SP - 255

EP - 266

JO - Review of General Psychology

T2 - Review of General Psychology

JF - Review of General Psychology

SN - 1089-2680

PB - American Psychological Association (APA)

ER -