The Eudaimonics of the True Self

  • Rebecca J. SchlegelEmail author
  • Joshua A. Hicks
  • Andrew G. Christy
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)


This chapter reviews our research program on the true self-concept and how it serves as a hub of meaning in people’s lives. In this work, we adopt a lay theories approach and investigate the pervasiveness of a “true-self-as-guide” lay theory of decision making that suggests people should use their true self as a compass when the make decisions. This lay theory indirectly suggests that choices that express the true self are meaningful for that reason alone and need no further justification. As such, the true self-concept is able to imbue other aspects of life (e.g. one’s career, relationships, hobbies) with meaning. Our research demonstrates how pervasive this lay theory is and the resulting strong link between the true self-concept and judgments of meaning. Specifically, when people feel more “in touch” with their true self, they perceive more meaning in their lives and are more satisfied with their decisions. This meaning is an important part of eudaimnoic well-being.


Happiness Well-being Eudaimonia True self Identity 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca J. Schlegel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joshua A. Hicks
    • 1
  • Andrew G. Christy
    • 1
  1. 1.Texas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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