A New Model of Subjective Well-Being
We propose a new approach to evaluation of SWB, which we specify as a combination of two states, momentary SWB and projected SWB. The former is a measure of satisfaction with transient life experiences, the latter a reflection of expected probability of satisfaction of future aspirations. These two states, independent, but complementary to each other, consist of distinct components associated with different human needs.
By postulating need satisfaction as the sole course of attainment of happiness, it allows us to define SWB through functional equations that link level of attained SWB to a need satisfaction ratio, a need ranking, and an estimated probability of future need satisfaction.
Subsequently, we present a model of SWB through the lens of our proposed algorithm of human behaviour, which demonstrates the needs satisfaction process. The algorithm consists of several interdependent phases and feedback mechanisms. The theorized feedback mechanisms result in a continuous redefinition of dominant needs due to needs satisfaction. Feedback mechanisms create dynamic and non-linear interrelations between needs, the degree of their attainment and subsequent happiness.
Through this approach, we explain such phenomena as deflation of happiness, psychological adaptation to hardship, and multiplicity of strategies to attain happiness. The proposed model allows integration of a number of existing SWB theories into a unified concept.
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