Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp 813–826 | Cite as

Pursuing the good life: A short-term follow-up study of the role of positive/negative emotions and ego-resilience in personal goal striving and eudaimonic well-being

Original Paper


Using the broaden-and-build theory (Fredrickson in Rev Gen Psychol 2:300–319, 1998) as a foundation, this research examined the role of positive emotion and ego-resilience in personal goal striving and eudaimonic well-being. Undergraduate students (N = 129; 71 % women) completed measures of ego-resilience and positive emotions, viewed either a positive emotion inducing video (amusement or awe) or a neutral (control) video, and then listed their personal goals for the upcoming 4 weeks. Four weeks later, participants completed measures of goal progress, eudaimonic well-being, positive emotions, and ego-resilience. The results of the emotion manipulation revealed that individuals in the awe condition reported significantly more personal growth goals. Self-reported positive emotions predicted increased ego-resilience supporting Fredrickson’s (Rev Gen Psychol 2:300–319, 1998) hypothesis that positive emotions ‘build’ resources. Ego-resilience partially mediated the relationship between positive emotions and eudaimonic well-being. These results suggest that positive emotions and ego-resilience jointly support well-being.


Positive emotion Ego-resilience Personal strivings Goals Eudaimonic well-being 



This research was supported by a scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada awarded to the first author.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada
  2. 2.Department of NursingUniversity of British Columbia, Okanagan CampusKelownaCanada

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