Enjoyment and Happiness

Chapter

Abstract

The chapter introduces modern perspectives on well-being, work and leisure as a context for presenting research on the importance of enjoyment for happiness and well-being, with comments on the implications for public policy. In-depth interviews show that high enjoyment , ‘optimal experience’ or ‘flow’ can occur when challenge is met with equal skill. Research using the Experience Sampling Method (ESM) shows the importance of enjoyment for well-being. A survey on happiness showing the importance of enjoyment is presented. An empirical model indicates the important role of enjoyment in well-being, linking personal and situational factors. The importance of enjoyment, visual interest and the aesthetics of everyday life for well-being is also highlighted.

Keywords

Enjoyment Everyday aesthetics Experience sampling method Flow Happiness 

References

  1. Bache, I., & Reardon, L. (2016). The politics and policy of wellbeing. Edward Elgar Publishing. www.e-elgar.com.
  2. Beaumont, J. (2011). Well-being-discussion papers on domains and measures. Office for National Statistics Publication (www.ons.gov.uk).
  3. Beck, U. (2000). The Brave New World of Work. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  4. Bregman, R. (2016). Utopia For Realists. The Correspondent. Amazon.Google Scholar
  5. Clarke, S. E., & Haworth, J. T. (1994). ‘Flow’ experiences in the daily life of sixth form college students. British Journal of Psychology, 85, 511–523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Coote, A., Franklin, J., & Simms, A. (2010). 21 Hours. Why a shorter working week can help us all flourish in the 21st century. New Economics Foundation. Downloadable publication. www.neweconomics.org/publications/entry/21-hours.
  7. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1975). Beyond boredom and anxiety. San Francisco: Jossey- Bass. See also www.ted.com/talks/mihalyi_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow.html.
  8. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1991). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper Perennial.Google Scholar
  9. Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Csikszentmihalyi, I. S. (1988). Optimal experience: Psychological studies of flow in consciousness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Csikszentmihalyi, I. S. (Eds.). (2006). A life worth living: Contributions to positive psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Csikszentmihalyi, M., & LeFevre, J. (1989). Optimal experience in work and leisure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56(5), 815–822.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Delle Fave, A., & Massimini, F. (2003). Optimal experience in work and leisure among teachers and physicians: Individual and bio-cultural implications. Leisure Studies, 22(4), 323–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dolan, P., Layard, R., & Metcalfe, R. (2011). Measuring subjective well-being for public policy. Newport: Office for National Statistics.Google Scholar
  14. Dolan, P., & Metcalfe, R. (2012). Measuring subjective wellbeing: Recommendations on measures for use by national governments. Journal of Social Policy, 41(2), 409–427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Donovan, N., Halpern, D., & Sargeant, R. (2002). Life satisfaction: The state of knowledge and implications for government. London: Strategy Unit, Cabinet Office.Google Scholar
  16. Dorling, D. (2010). Injustice: Why social inequality persists. Cambridge: Polity Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56(3), 218–226.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. Fredrickson, B. L. (2006). The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. In M. Csikszentmihalyi & I. S. Csikszentmihalyi (Eds.), A life worth living: Contributions to positive psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Haworth, J. T. (1997a). Work, leisure and well-being. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Haworth, J. T. (1997b). Embodiment and quality of life. In J. T. Haworth (Ed.), Work, leisure and well-being. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Haworth, J. T. (2004). Work, leisure and well-being. In J. T. Haworth & A. J. Veal (Eds.), Work and leisure. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Haworth, J. T. (2014). Leisure, life, enjoyment and well-being. In S. Elkington & S. J. Gammon (Eds.), Contemporary perspectives in leisure: Meanings, motives and lifelong learning. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  23. Haworth, J. T. (In Press). Optimal experience, creativity, and the aesthetics of everyday life. In A. Scarinzi (Ed.), Recasting Aesthetic Experience: Emotions and the “Continuity Principle”. London: Springer. Based on the 2nd Conference on Aesthetics and the Embodied Mind, London, August 2015.Google Scholar
  24. Haworth, J. T., & Hill, S. (1992). Work, leisure and psychological well-being in a sample of young adults. Journal of Community and Applied Psychology, 2(2), 147–160.Google Scholar
  25. Haworth, J. T., & Evans, S. (1995). Challenge, skill and positive subjective states in the daily life of YTS students. Journal of Occupational and Organisational Psychology., 68, 109–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Haworth, J. T., Jarman, M., & Lee, S. (1997). Positive psychological states in the daily life of a sample of working women. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 27, 345–370370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Haworth, J. T., & Hart, G. (Eds.). (2007/2012). Well-being: Individual, community and social perspectives. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (see www.wellbeing-esrc.com at Developments:Projects for a downloadable copy of the introduction to the book).
  28. Haworth, J. T., & Roberts, K. (2010). Leisure: The next 25 years. In C. Cooper et al. (Eds.), Science review for the DTI Foresight project on Mental Capital and Mental Wellbeing (pp. 697–703). Report submitted July 2007. Published in Mental Capital and Mental Wellbeing. Hoboken: Wiley/Blackwell.Google Scholar
  29. Haworth, J. T., & Veal, A. J. (Eds.). (2004). Work and leisure. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. Helliwell, J., Layard, R., & Sachs, J. (Eds.). 2015. World happiness report 2015. New York: Sustainable Development Solutions Network. www.unsdsn.org/happiness.
  31. Hektner, J. M., Schimdt, J. A., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2007). Experience sampling method: Measuring the quality of everyday life. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Iso-Ahola, S. E., & Mannell, R. C. (2004). Leisure and health. In J. T. Haworth & A. J. Veal (Eds.), (2004). Work and leisure. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. Jahoda, M. (1982). Employment and unemployment: A social psychological analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Jahoda, M. (1984). Social institutions and human needs: A comment on Fryer and Payne. Leisure Studies, 3, 297–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Johnson, M. (2007). The meaning of the body: Aesthetics of human understanding. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jones. S. (2016). A critique of Richard Layard’s ‘origins of happiness’ study. https://sciscomedia.co.uk/a-critique-of-happiness-study/.
  37. Kahneman, D., Krueger, A. B., Schlade, D. A., Schwarz, N., & Stone, A. A. (2004). A survey method for characterizing daily life experience: The day reconstruction method. Science, 306, 1776–1780.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Maxton, G., & Randers, J. (2016). Reinventing prosperity: Managing economic growth to reduce unemployment, inequality, and climate change. Greystone Books. www.greystonebooks.com.
  39. Melchionni, K. (2013). The definition of everyday aesthetics. Contemporary Aesthetics, 11. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.7523862.0011.026.
  40. Merleau-Ponty, M. (1962). Phenomenology of perception. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  41. McHugh, S., & Carson, J. (2016). Happiness then and now. The Psychologist, 29(5), 406–407.Google Scholar
  42. Muir, R. (2012). The Long View: Public Services in 2030. IPPR, downloadable at www.ippr.org.
  43. Prilleltensky, I., & Prilleltensky, O. (2007). Webs of well-being: The interdependence of personal, relational, organizational and communal well-being. In J. T. Haworth & G. Hart (Eds.), Well-being: Individual, community and social perspectives. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  44. Rojek, C. (2004). Postmodern work and leisure. In J. T. Haworth & A. J. Veal (Eds.), Work and Leisure. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  45. Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalised expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs, 80(whole no.), 609.Google Scholar
  46. Rotter, J. B. (1982). The development and application of social learning theory. New York, NY: Praeger.Google Scholar
  47. Rotter, J. B. (1990). Internal versus external locus of control of reinforcement: A case history of a variable. American Psychologist, 45(4), 489–493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Schor, J. (1991). The overworked American: The unexpected decline of leisure. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  49. Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive Psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55(1), 5–14.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Seligman, M. (2011). Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and wellbeing. London: Free Press.Google Scholar
  51. Siddiquee, A., Sixsmith, J., Lawthom, R., & Haworth, J. (2014). Paid work, life-work and leisure: A study of wellbeing in the context of academic lives in higher education. Leisure Studies. doi: 10.1080/02614367.2014.967711.Google Scholar
  52. Srnicek, N., & Williams, A. (2015). Inventing the future. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  53. Stebbins, R. A. (2004). Serious leisure, volunteerism and quality of life. In J. T. Haworth & A. J. Veal (Eds.), Work and leisure. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  54. Stebbins, R. A. (2014). Leisure, happiness and positive lifestyle. In S. Elkington & S. J. Gammon (Eds.), Contemporary perspectives in leisure; meanings, motives and lifelong learning. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  55. Steptoe, A., de Olivira, C., Demakakos, P., & Zaninotto, P. (2014). Enjoyment of life and declining physical function at older ages: a longitudinal study. Canadian Medical Association Journal. Early release published at www.cmaj.ca. On January 20, 2014 subject to revision. See also BMJ 2016; 355:i6267.
  56. Taylor, R. (2002). Britain’s world of work-myths and realities. ESRC Future of Work Programme Seminar Series. Economic and Social Research Council, Polaris House, Swindon.Google Scholar
  57. The Marmot Review. (2010). (www.ucl.ac.uk/gheg/marmotreview).
  58. Uleman, J. S., & Bargh, J. A. (Eds.). (1989). Unintended thought. London: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  59. Varela, F. J., Thompson, E., & Rosch, E. (1991). The embodied mind: Cognitive science and human experience. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  60. Veenhoven, R. (2009). Enjoyment of life lengthens life. Findings and consequences. In T. Freire (Ed.), Understanding positive life: Research and practice on positive psychology. Lisboa: Escolar Editora.Google Scholar
  61. Warr, P. (1987). Work, unemployment and mental health. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  62. Wilson, M. (2002). Six views of embodied cognition. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 6(4), 625–636.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Visiting Professor in Well-BeingUniversity of BoltonBoltonUK

Personalised recommendations