Pur Suit Of Happiness Essay

1049 words - 5 pages



Pursuit of Happiness

PSY/220
August 14, 2016

Pursuit of Happiness

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. His perspective one’s happiness can be traced back to ancient world philosophers such as Socrates, Aristotle, ...view middle of the document...

g., China, Japan, Korea), the Middle East (e.g., Pakistan), Africa, and Latin America (e.g., Venezuela, Columbia, Mexico)” (Baumgardner & Crothers, 2009, p.117). The American and Asian perspective of happiness, differ in many ways such as, their individual sense of subjective well-being or cultural ideals, emotional expressiveness, and sense of group pride and individual pride.
While the American perspective of happiness and pursuit to positive well-being is an on-going individual effort, the Asian perspective of happiness and pursuit to positive well-being is a group effort. “North Americans show a pervasive tendency to perceive themselves as “better than average” in comparisons to others, to exaggerate the amount of control they have over life events, to see only a rosy future ahead that mostly excludes the occurrence of negative events, and to engage in self-serving explanations for behavior” (Baumgardner & Crothers, 2009, p.119). Individualistic cultures such as American, view happiness, and life satisfaction as very important, while collective cultures such as Asians do not. 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 &...

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