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Table 1

Definitions of Key Terms.

ConceptDefinitionExample of Measures/Research

 
Well-Being The most general term covering how well individuals are doing in life, including social, health, material, and subjective dimensions of well-being. See Kitayama & Markus (2000); Searle (2008) for theoretical discussions 
Psychological Well-Being A term that has come to be equated with Eudaimonic Well-Being (see below). Thus, it is often used in a way that does not refer to all possible types of psychological well-being, but only to one form of well-being. Ryff & Keyes (1995); Brown & Ryan (2003) 
Quality of Life A term usually referring to a person’s overall life circumstances, including environmental, social, societal, material, and other aspects of their life that would affect how desirable and positive his or her life is. See Hagerty, Cummins, Ferriss, Land, Michalos et al. (2001) 
Subjective Well-Being General term referring to the various types of subjective evaluations of one’s life, including both cognitive evaluations and affective feelings. See Diener (1984) for conceptual discussions 
Life Satisfaction People’s explicit and conscious evaluations of their lives, often based on factors that the individual deems relevant. Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin (1985); Cantril 1965
Children & Adolescents:
Huebner, 2004; Gadermann, Guhn, & Zumbo (2011) 
Domain Satisfactions Narrower than life satisfaction, domain satisfactions refer to evaluations of various domains in life such as health, work, and relationships. Frisch, Clark, Rouse, Rudd, Paweleck, & Greenstone (2005)
Children:
Huebner (1994) 
Positive Affect Positive, pleasant, and desirable emotional feelings and moods. Diener, Wirtz, et al. (2010) 
Negative Affect Negative, unpleasant, and undesirable emotional feelings and moods. Diener, Wirtz, et al. (2010) 
Affect Balance The preponderance of positive affect over negative affect. Computed by subtracting negative from positive affect 
Hedonic Well-Being A person’s well-being derived from pleasure, and lowered by pain. Often scholars will include physical pleasures, pleasures of the mind, and emotions. See Kahneman (1999) for theoretical discussions 
Emotional Well-Being People’s positive moods and emotions and low levels of negative moods and emotions, and reflects not only momentary enjoyment, but also movement toward goals that are congruent with a person’s motives. In addition, Emotional Well-Being is thought to include resilience after bad events, and the ability to express various emotions that are functional and appropriate to the situation. Brunstein et al. (1998)
Fredrickson & Joiner (2002) 
Experienced Well-Being A person’s experiences of well-being “on-line,” from moment to moment, often contrasted with Recalled Well-Being and Evaluative Well-Being (see below). Kahneman et al. (2004); Oishi et al., 2004; Schimmack (2003) 
Recalled
Well-Being 
How people recall their feelings of well-being, often during a specific past period of time or episode. Oishi & Sullivan (2006); Robinson & Clore (2002); Scollon et al. (2004); Thomas & Diener (1990) 
Evaluative Well-Being People’s explicit evaluations and judgments of their lives, including both Life Satisfaction, Domain Satisfactions, and other evaluative judgments about their life. Kahneman & Deaton (2010) 
Eudaimonic Well-Being In contrast to Subjective Well-Being, this refers to well-being defined as desirable psychological characteristics such as meaning and purpose, positive social relationships, mastery, autonomy, virtues, and so forth, which can enhance effective functioning and Subjective Well-Being. Eudaimonic refers to Aristotle’s notions of well-being based on the good functioning person. Butler & Kern (2016); Hills & Argyle (2002); Ryff & Keyes (1995); Deci & Ryan (2008); Diener, Wirtz, Tov, Kim-Prieto, Choi et al. (2009); Su, Diener, Tay, (2014) 
Happy or Happiness This popular word can be confusing because it means different things in different contexts and to different people. It may mean positive feelings at the moment, long-term life satisfaction, all forms of well-being, or even the causes of subjective well-being. This word is helpful at times communicating with the public, but can be confusing in a scientific context. Lyubomirsky & Lepper (1999) 
ConceptDefinitionExample of Measures/Research

 
Well-Being The most general term covering how well individuals are doing in life, including social, health, material, and subjective dimensions of well-being. See Kitayama & Markus (2000); Searle (2008) for theoretical discussions 
Psychological Well-Being A term that has come to be equated with Eudaimonic Well-Being (see below). Thus, it is often used in a way that does not refer to all possible types of psychological well-being, but only to one form of well-being. Ryff & Keyes (1995); Brown & Ryan (2003) 
Quality of Life A term usually referring to a person’s overall life circumstances, including environmental, social, societal, material, and other aspects of their life that would affect how desirable and positive his or her life is. See Hagerty, Cummins, Ferriss, Land, Michalos et al. (2001) 
Subjective Well-Being General term referring to the various types of subjective evaluations of one’s life, including both cognitive evaluations and affective feelings. See Diener (1984) for conceptual discussions 
Life Satisfaction People’s explicit and conscious evaluations of their lives, often based on factors that the individual deems relevant. Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin (1985); Cantril 1965
Children & Adolescents:
Huebner, 2004; Gadermann, Guhn, & Zumbo (2011) 
Domain Satisfactions Narrower than life satisfaction, domain satisfactions refer to evaluations of various domains in life such as health, work, and relationships. Frisch, Clark, Rouse, Rudd, Paweleck, & Greenstone (2005)
Children:
Huebner (1994) 
Positive Affect Positive, pleasant, and desirable emotional feelings and moods. Diener, Wirtz, et al. (2010) 
Negative Affect Negative, unpleasant, and undesirable emotional feelings and moods. Diener, Wirtz, et al. (2010) 
Affect Balance The preponderance of positive affect over negative affect. Computed by subtracting negative from positive affect 
Hedonic Well-Being A person’s well-being derived from pleasure, and lowered by pain. Often scholars will include physical pleasures, pleasures of the mind, and emotions. See Kahneman (1999) for theoretical discussions 
Emotional Well-Being People’s positive moods and emotions and low levels of negative moods and emotions, and reflects not only momentary enjoyment, but also movement toward goals that are congruent with a person’s motives. In addition, Emotional Well-Being is thought to include resilience after bad events, and the ability to express various emotions that are functional and appropriate to the situation. Brunstein et al. (1998)
Fredrickson & Joiner (2002) 
Experienced Well-Being A person’s experiences of well-being “on-line,” from moment to moment, often contrasted with Recalled Well-Being and Evaluative Well-Being (see below). Kahneman et al. (2004); Oishi et al., 2004; Schimmack (2003) 
Recalled
Well-Being 
How people recall their feelings of well-being, often during a specific past period of time or episode. Oishi & Sullivan (2006); Robinson & Clore (2002); Scollon et al. (2004); Thomas & Diener (1990) 
Evaluative Well-Being People’s explicit evaluations and judgments of their lives, including both Life Satisfaction, Domain Satisfactions, and other evaluative judgments about their life. Kahneman & Deaton (2010) 
Eudaimonic Well-Being In contrast to Subjective Well-Being, this refers to well-being defined as desirable psychological characteristics such as meaning and purpose, positive social relationships, mastery, autonomy, virtues, and so forth, which can enhance effective functioning and Subjective Well-Being. Eudaimonic refers to Aristotle’s notions of well-being based on the good functioning person. Butler & Kern (2016); Hills & Argyle (2002); Ryff & Keyes (1995); Deci & Ryan (2008); Diener, Wirtz, Tov, Kim-Prieto, Choi et al. (2009); Su, Diener, Tay, (2014) 
Happy or Happiness This popular word can be confusing because it means different things in different contexts and to different people. It may mean positive feelings at the moment, long-term life satisfaction, all forms of well-being, or even the causes of subjective well-being. This word is helpful at times communicating with the public, but can be confusing in a scientific context. Lyubomirsky & Lepper (1999) 
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