Thursday, March 29, 2007

More on Happiness

Over at Lee's Things, there is an entry on a lecture he attended, given by Marc Fournier (University of Toronto) discussing findings by psychologist Edward Deci.

He provides the following quotes and comments:

One of the foremost researchers in the area of motivation is psychologist Edward Deci at the University of Rochester. Deci's model suggests that students will be more motivated to learn when particular needs have been met. Deci articulates three such needs:

(a) to feel a sense of belonging and connectedness to the school (I would add the words "to feel welcome"),
(b) to feel a sense of autonomy and self-determination, and
(c) to feel competent (skillset and level of challenge must be appropriately matched).

In his lecture, Fournier suggested that these are three universal psychological needs (to be choiceful, connected to others, to feel capable) shared by all people and that all three are of equal importance. If these needs are not met, it will impact:
  • our ability to meet our full potential
  • our capacity to grow
  • our ability to flourish and thrive
  • our ability to experience happiness
The coolest part, however, is this doodle Lee created based on that information:

I think that this echoes something I remember from reading Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. But then the book could have been using this research as part of its thesis -- I don't really remember.

Anyway, I think this is a useful image for understanding the primary components that go into happiness.


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