Different Pursuits to Happiness
University of Phoenix
Most people are all in the pursuit of the same thing, happiness. The want or need for happiness and positive subjective well-being is something that all human beings have had in common since the beginning of time. However, the way in which people pursue their happiness differs from culture to culture. It all depends on the values of the cultural and if they are an individualistic culture, view of self is independent, or a collective culture, view self as interdependent. “Individualistic cultures include the industrialized countries of North America (e.g., United States & Canada), Western Europe (e.g., England, ...view middle of the document...
Asians feel happiness and emotions are temporary. They feel the bad will follow the good. “The Asian cultural lesson here is that keeping one’s composure by living with “what is,” knowing that it will change, makes more sense than constantly striving to be happy or to avoid unhappiness” (Baumgardner & Crothers, 2009, p.121).
Asian culture believes in moderation and balance of emotional expressions. “Within Asian culture, excessive exuberance may be regarded as indicating a lack of maturity or refinement” (Baumgardner & Crothers, 2009, p.121), whereas excessive exuberance and major expression of emotion is common in America. Whether it is happiness, anger, or any other emotion, Americans definitely express their emotions more exuberantly than Asians. I believe part of this is in an effort by the individualistic cultures such as America to find happiness sticking out as an individual in a group, rather than the collective cultural way, like the Asians, who find happiness in blending in with a group and achievements made by the whole group. “Subjective well-being scales that ask how happy or satisfied people are with their lives may elicit moderate responses within Asian cultures because moderation in emotional expression is a culturally prescribed, normative expectation” (Baumgardner & Crothers, 2009, p.121).
Asian Americans, for the most part, find happiness or sense of positive well-being in doing for others while Americans, for the most part, find happiness or a sense of positive well-being by doing for one-self. In Asian cultures, “children are expected to learn how to adjust themselves to others so as to enhance and maintain harmonious social relationships” (Baumgardner & Crothers, 2009, p.121)....