1 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Copyright 200! by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 2001. Vol. 80, No. 2, 325-339 0022-3514/01/S5.00 DOI: 10.1037//O022-3514.80.2.325 What Is Satisfying About Satisfying Events? Testing 10 Candidate Psychological Needs Kennon M. Sheldon Andrew J. Elliot and Youngmee Kim University of Missouri—Columbia University of Rochester Tim Kasser Knox College Three studies compared 10 candidate psychological needs in an attempt to determine which are truly most fundamental for humans. Participants described "most satisfying events" within their lives and then rated the salience of each of the 10 candidate needs within these events. Supporting self-determination theory postulates (Ryan & Deci, 2000)—autonomy, competence, and relatedness, were consistently among the top 4 needs, in terms of both their salience and their association with event-related affect. Self-esteem was also important, whereas self-actualization or meaning, physical thriving, popularity or influence, and mbney-luxury were less important. This basic pattern emerged within three different time frames and within both U.S. and South Korean samples and also within a final study that asked, "What's unsatisfying about unsatisfying events?" Implications for hierarchical theories of needs are discussed. potential needs that have been posited and the corresponding lack Psychologists have long speculated about the fundamental psy- of consensus regarding which are most central or primary. In this chological needs of humans, beginning with McDougall (1908) sense the psychological need construct stands in the same stead as and Freud (1920) and continuing on through Murray (1938) and the early instinct concept, which collapsed because of a similar Maslow (1954) to the present day (Baumeister & Leary, 1995; multiplicity (Weiner, 1992). In addition, there has been little Sheldon, Gable, Roscoe, & Ryan, 2000). Need concepts are Reis, consensus on the exact definition of needs. Are they ineluctable attractive because they can potentially provide genotypic explana- motive forces, pushing out from the person, or are they required tions for the wide variety of phenotypic behaviors that individuals experiential inputs, coming into the person (McClelland, 1985)? express (Baumeister & Leary, 1995). By assuming that humans Furthermore, there is little consensus on what criteria to use to strive for certain fundamental qualities of experience, one is en- identify needs. Do needs refer to almost any type of desire or abled to see unity (or equifinality) within broad diversities of craving, or perhaps only to certain special, health-inducing mo- behavior. Need concepts are also attractive because they readily tives (Ryan, 1995)? Finally, it is unclear where psychological suggest psychosocial interventions. That is, once identified, psy- needs come from. Are they acquired individual differences, per- chological needs can be targeted to enhance personal thriving, in haps learned early in life and perhaps varying across cultures, or the same way that the organic needs of plants, once identified, can are they inherent and universal in their scope, perhaps enplaced be targeted to maximize thriving in the plant (Ryan & Deci, 2000). into human nature by evolution (Tooby & Cosmides, 1992)? Finally, need constructs may offer a way to unify the field of motivational psychology, in the same way that the Big Five model The purpose of this article is to comparatively examine 10 has served to unify trait psychology. To settle on a basic set of different feelings, each of which has been proposed as a need by human needs would serve to anchor a wide variety of motivational prominent psychological theories, in order to determine which and functional analyses. candidate needs can best be supported by data. In so doing, we will Unfortunately, the utility of the psychological need construct assume and try to demonstrate that psychological needs are par- has been limited thus far. In part, this is due to the large number of ticular qualities of experience that all people require to thrive (Deci & Ryan, in press; Sheldon, Ryan, & Reis, 1996). Thus, our definition views needs primarily as necessary inputs rather than as driving motives, leaving open the possibility that particular mo- Kennon M. Sheldon, Department of Psychology, University of Mis- souri—Columbia; Andrew J. Elliot and Youngmee Kim, Department of tives may not satisfy organismic needs, even if they are attained Psychology, University of Rochester; Tim Kasser, Department of Psychol- (Sheldon & Kasser, 1998). As a primary criterion for evaluating ogy, Knox College. the importance of candidate needs, we will measure the extent to We thank Taeyun Jung for his help in the South Korean data collection which each need accompanies the "most satisfying events" that and Rich Ryan for his comments on a draft of the article. people describe as having occurred within varying periods of time. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Kennon As can be seen, our chosen methodology relies in part on an M. Sheldon, Department of Psychology, 210 McAlester Hall, University of analysis of natural language: What do people mean when they say Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211. Electronic mail may be sent to some experience was satisfying? By starting with self-identified sheldonk © 325

2 SHELDON, ELLIOT, KIM, AND KASSER 326 In addition, self- consulted Epstein's cognitive-experiential we satisfying events and then examining what psychological charac- all functions that or theory (1990), which specifies four needs are most salient within them, we hope to gain an important teristics (vs. individuals must satisfy: self-esteem, relatedness, pleasure same in the way on the fundamental needs question, new window and pain), and course, self-esteem Of self-concept consistency. a new that lexical natural-language analyses have provided or view Epstein's we relatedness were already discussed above. Also, fundamental-traits question (Saucier on the window Goldberg, & for Maslow's need to roughly equivalent as self-consistency need mixed is of a 1995). It is also worth noting that our methodology security in that the primary function of self-consistency, according is, we started idiographic-nomothetic type (Emmons, 1989). That sense stability individual. Thus, to the of a is to bring to Epstein, the result- with participants' unique experiential memories, giving the list, one new candidate need to our Epstein's model supplies ing data considerable personological meaning and validity. Despite of need for pleasurable stimulation, bringing the total number to were also able we this, make numerical comparisons between candidates to eight. by and between needs, focusing on the nomothetic participants the personal events they ratings that participants made regarding Finally, prominent lay of drew from a human needs, we theory described. Such mixed methodologies have become increasingly the "American dream" assumption that happiness results namely useful and popular within contemporary personality psychology and money- when individuals acquire popularity-influence (Little, 1999). and the ability to "win friends luxuries (Derber, 1979). Indeed, as a long been extolled 1936) has influence people" (Carnegie, thus happy life. Despite such common route to a prosperous and Identifying Candidate Needs experiential commod- two beliefs, recent work indicates that these may not be so they fact all, and important after may may in ities To derive we drew from a set of candidate needs for the study, to well-being (Carver Baird, 1998; Kasser & be negatively related a variety we psychological theories. As a used Deci foundation of & Ryan, 1993, 1996; King & Napa, 1998). Nevertheless, we of motivation (1985, in and Ryan's self-determination theory in in a new way test these recent findings to order included them feel effective which specifies that people want their in press), to to psychological, theories as well and as allow prominent cultural, feel that their activities self-chosen are to activities (competence), to have their say. of needs and self-endorsed (autonomy), and to feel sense of closeness with a well-known is a course, competence Of some others (relatedness). set of 10 above the Notably, needs (autonomy, competence, need, reflected of mastery (1959), Bandura's White's concept in relatedness, physical thriving, security, self-esteem, self-actualization, of Atkinson's concept and self-efficacy (1997), of concept popularity-influence) also and pleasure-stimulation, money-luxury, proposal that achievement motivation (1964). Similarly, hu- the the and theories within represent many other prominent assumptions feel is a sense of relationship with important others mans need to literature. For example, mainstream social psychology often assumes also relatively uncontroversial (Baumeister & Leary, 1995; Reis & two basic psychological needs or motives: self-enhancement and somewhat more controver- Patrick, 1996). Although autonomy is approximately represented are self-consistency (Swann, 1990). These et al., Deci, 2000; Sheldon easily misunderstood (Ryan and & sial in security. The our set by need for pleasurable self-esteem and 1996), and it is many other theories besides Deci in featured the derived from Epstein's (1990) model, encapsulates stimulation, Ryan's, including Murray's (1938), Erickson's (1963), and single most basic motive according to hedonistic philosophies. Roger's (1963) seminal theories personality. of Leary (1995) have argued for a and different singularly Baumeister represented in our set as is important need, belongingness, which We also drew from Maslow's theory and personality (1954) of relatedness. single superor- Terror management theory also posits a set of its self- five fundamental needs: physical health, security, for self-esteem (Greenberg, Pyszczynski, & Solomon, dinate need, In brief, and esteem, love-belongingness, self-actualization. self-actualization does classic humanistic psychology, as 1995), for biological the feel that to Maslow proposed that people need in our set of 10. are included of (Rogers, 1963); both Evolu- these are a sense their physical organism of of satisfied, requirements personality often postulate on adaptationist perspectives or tionary predictability within their lives, and personal of sense a order inborn motives 1997; to attain material and social dominance (Buss, and affection with a sense of love and importance, worthiness Hogan, 1996), which are represented herein as money-luxury and important others, are and that they moving toward an ideal world of in our choice Finally, popularity-influence. items Maslow's for of themselves. or version growth to attempted give some repre- or self-actualization need, we Notably, Maslow's conception love or of a belongingness need for meaning that has been proposed sentation to the fundamental need Deci to in Ryan's relatedness need and is essentially equivalent many theorists (Baumeister, In sum, Frankl, 1997). 1991; so by interpersonal connection. Thus that both address feelings the of potential psychological although we do not claim to have captured all are believe that two models redundant on this score. However, we needs with these the believe we candidates, 10 chosen set has con- there are important differences between Deci and Ryan's auton- important theories. represents and a variety of siderable range and and and competence needs Maslow's self-actualization omy in to a refers self-esteem needs (Deci & Ryan, Autonomy press). in self- momentary behavior, whereas quality of self-involvement Relative Importance Candidate Needs of Evaluating the sense of long-term growth; actualization refers to a competence in one's performance, to attaining or exceeding a standard refers We used basic criteria in trying to two the most determine self-esteem whereas refers of the self. to a more global evaluation fundamental needs. First, which candidate qualities experience of we In sum, the two assessed these four needs separately. Thus, are rated as or most present salient within peoples' "most satisfy- models together suggest seven different psychological needs that ing experiences?" Presumably, those qualities of experience that be tested: autonomy, competence, relatedness, physical, might are (and in truth most satisfying perhaps actually needed by security, self-esteem, and self-actualization. humans) will be most strongly represented within participants'

3 WHAT IS SATISFYING ABOUT SATISFYING EVENTS? 327 ratings of the naturally occurring peak experiences they identify. In Study 2 we asked a U.S. sample and a South Korean sample As discussed above, this assumption relies on a natural-language to describe "the most satisfying event of the last week." The inclusion of the U.S. sample enabled us to examine the replicabil- criterion: Needs will be defined as the qualities of experience most ity of the Study 1 results, and the instructions to think of the "last closely associated with participant-designated satisfying events. In week" enabled examination of the replicability of results to a contrast, candidate needs that are not salient within satisfying shorter time frame. More important, this design allowed us to events might with some justification be eliminated from further examine the generalizability of effects to a collectivist culture. consideration. Because recent cross-cultural work suggests that psychological As a second criterion for identifying needs, we asked, "Which motives might differ substantially in collectivistic cultures qualities of experience best predict variations in positive and (Markus, Kitayama, & Heiman, 1996), it was important to include negative affect associated with the event described?" Here, we rely such a sample to explore the potential "universality" of identified on the assumption of Deci and Ryan (in press), Baumeister and needs. Finally, in Study 3 we examined the replicability of Study 1 Leary (1995), and others—that satisfied needs should promote and Study 2 results to a longer time frame (the whole semester) well-being and psychological thriving in the same way that proper and also examined the replicability of results when participants fertilization promotes the growth of plants. A second and related reported on their most unsatisfying events, as well as their most reason to use affect and mood variables as criteria is that they offer satisfying events. a relatively value- and context-free window on psychophysical thriving (Ryff & Singer, 1998). Presumably, all humans have the On the basis of our own past findings (Reis et al., 2000, Sheldon & Elliot, 1999, Sheldon et al., 1996) and self-determination theory same basic emotional systems, and arguably any person feeling (Deci & Ryan, 1985), we expected that autonomy, competence, much positive mood and little negative mood is thriving. and relatedness would all emerge as important needs (Deci & Reis et al. (2000), Sheldon and Bettencourt (2000), Sheldon and Ryan, in press). That is, they should have among the highest mean Elliot (1999), and Sheldon et al. (1996) all used such affect-based scores in peoples' ratings of satisfying events, and they should all indicators of thriving in their more limited studies of psychological be significantly and uniquely associated with event-related affect. needs. However, the current study moves considerably beyond On the basis of Deci and Ryan's further claim that these three these past studies, not only by sampling satisfying experiences needs are universal and important within every sphere of life, we directly but also by examining a large set of needs derived from a expected to find these patterns within every time frame examined, wide assortment of theories, not just the three needs derived from and also within every culture examined. Notably, our view predicts Deci and Ryan's theory. only that this of needs should emerge at or near the top, and it set Notably, this second (affect-based) criterion supplies a more does not make predictions about the ordering of needs within that indirect test of the importance of candidate needs, one that does not set; thus, the relative importance of autonomy, competence, and rely on participants' explicit beliefs about the meaning of satisfy- relatedness may well vary among contexts, time frames, and In theory, the two criteria could yield different results (i.e., the ing. (1993, cultures. Finally, on the basis of Kasser and Ryan's prior experiential qualities that participants rate as strongest or most 1996) findings, we also expected that popularity-influence and salient within satisfying events may not be the same qualities that money-luxury would be least important. No other a priori predic- are most associated with the presence of positive affect and the tions were ventured. absence of negative affect during those events). To find conver- gences such that the same candidate needs emerge as most impor- tant by both criteria would nicely support those candidacies and Study 1 would also support our general approach to identifying needs. Method Overview of Studies and Hypotheses Participants and Procedure Study 1 had three goals. First, we tested our item set for Participants were 322 students in introductory psychology at the Uni- measuring the 10 candidate needs. Second, we compared the versity of Missouri who participated in the research to satisfy an experi- relative salience of the 10 qualities of experience within the "most mental participation requirement (7 participants were later excluded from satisfying event of the past month" described by participants and the analysis because they did not follow instructions). Participants attended compared the 10 needs as predictors of event-related positive and group sessions run by a trained research assistant in which they completed negative affect. Third, we examined a trait measure of the strength a single questionnaire packet containing all study materials. of each of the 10 needs, to see whether individual differences in need strengths moderate the effect of the corresponding need variables on positive and negative affect. This latter hypothesis is Measures suggested by "matching" theories of satisfaction, in which expe- At the beginning of the questionnaire, partici- Most satisfying event. riences are most rewarding when they match the preferences of the pants read the following: experiencer (Harackiewicz & Sansone, 1991; Oishi, Diener, Suh, & Lucas, 1999). Finding no support for a matching hypothesis Now, we ask you to consider the past month of your life. Think back would tend to support a universalist perspective, which assumes time. What we want you to the important occurrences of this period of that "true" needs are those that influence every person's well- to do is bring to mind the single most personally satisfying event that being, regardless of the person's stated preferences (Deci & Ryan, you experienced during the last month (emphasis in the original). We in press). are being vague about the definition of "satisfying event" on purpose,

4 SHELDON, ELLIOT, KIM, AND KASSER 328 Table 1 Study 1: Need-Satisfaction Items With Factor Loadings Greater Than .45 Factor Item (responses to "During this event I felt. . .") 1. Autonomy .66 That my choices were based on my true interests and values. .64 Free to do things my own way. .72 That my choices expressed my "true self." Competence 2. .86 That I was successfully completing difficult tasks and projects. .82 That I was taking on and mastering hard challenges. .49 Very capable in what I did. 3. Relatedness .80 A sense of contact with people who care for me, and whom I care for. .85 Close and connected with other people who are important to me. .77 A strong sense of intimacy with the people I spent time with. Self-actualization-meaning 4. .78 That I was "becoming who I really am." .76 A sense of deeper purpose in life. .81 A deeper understanding of myself and my place in the universe. Physical thriving 5. .69 That I got enough exercise and was in excellent physical condition. .73 That my body was getting just what it needed. .66 A strong sense of physical well-being. 6. Pleasure-stimulation .57 That I was experiencing new sensations and activities. .78 Intense physical pleasure and enjoyment. .61 myself. That I had found new sources and types of stimulation for 7. Money-luxury .77 Able to buy most of the things I want. .69 That I had nice things and possessions. .81 That I got plenty of money. 8. Security That my life was structured and predictable. .69 Glad that I have a comfortable set of routines and habits. .70 Safe from threats and uncertainties. .48 9. Self-esteem That I had many positive qualities. .78 Quite satisfied with who I am. .77 A strong sense of self-respect. .80 Popularity-influence 10. That I was a person whose advice others seek out and follow. .58 That I strongly influenced others' beliefs and behavior. .79 That I had strong impact on what other people did. .82 because we want you to use your own definition. Think of "satisfying" such as Positive and negative affect proud. and hostile, inspired, scared, in whatever way makes sense to you. Take a couple minutes to be sure scores were computed by averaging the appropriate ratings and were to come up with a very impactful experience. treated as outcome variables. In addition, an affect-balance score was computed by subtracting the negative affect score from the positive affect The event descriptions that were provided by participants in response to score (Bradburn, 1969). This score served as a third, summary outcome these instructions were quite diverse, ranging from achievement to familial, variable. to sexual, to spiritual, and to many other domains.' In an attempt to Assessing individual differences in need preferences. Participants were next asked to make ratings about the event, concerning assess individual differences in the strengths of the 10 needs, we used "a variety of complex thoughts and feelings." Hoping to encourage par- the pairwise comparison technique of Oishi, Schimmack, Diener, and ticipants to differentiate carefully between different types of positive Suh (1998). In their research, definitions of each of 10 values were feelings, we asked them to "be as discriminating as you can in making presented to participants, who then indicated their preferences within these ratings." Participants then responded to 30 descriptive statements, 3 every possible pairing of values. The advantage of this comparison for each of the 10 postulated needs, using a 1 to 5 (very much) (not at all) method is that the influence of response sets is minimized, because the scale. All descriptions began with the same stem: "During this event I felt..." Salience scores were computed for each of 10 candidate needs the method focuses on the relative strength of responses compared with by averaging the 3 relevant items. The specific item-set, which was derived from theoretical analysis and pilot work, is presented in Table 1. 1 Participants also rated the extent to which they felt each of 20 different Although we attempted to develop content-coding schemes for cate- moods during the event, using the same scale. Specifically, they completed gorizing the events into specific types, the task proved too difficult given the Positive Affect/Negative Affect scale (PANAS) regarding the event that many events touched on multiple possible content categories or were (Watson, Tellegen, & Clark, 1988). The PANAS contains mood adjectives ambiguous with respect to potential coding categories.

5 WHAT IS SATISFYING ABOUT SATISFYING EVENTS? 329 other responses made by the subject, excluding mean levels of respond- Table 3 ing. In the current work, we supplied participants with definitions of of Study 1: Candidate Needs Correlations can be of our 10 found each candidate needs (these definitions With Event-Related Affect in then asked them rate their relative preference to a) and Appendix the much more a is {first scale of —2 within each possible pairing, using Positive Affect Negative important) equally important) is to +2 to 0 much (second (each is Candidate need affect affect balance more important). Participants made ratings altogether, 45 and Self-esteem .43** .43** -.27** the by summing different need-strength variables 10 we computed Autonomy .34** -.24** .31** of preference expressed level compared with for each candidate need as Competence .39** .26** -.05 further scoring Oishi (see candidates 9 et al., 1998, for the other Relatedness -.16** .23** .21** details). measure given prior The to the "most satisfying event" was Pleasure-stimulation .20** -.02 .32** measures. .20** -.02 .34** Physical thriving .24** Self-actualization-meaning .13* .00 Security .12* .21** -.01 Results Popularity-influence .13* .14** -.01 .21** -.12* Money-luxury .05 Factor Analysis .01. **p < *p < .05. principal-components analysis a We first conducted of the 30 event-related need-satisfaction variables, using a varimax rotation. factor load- presents 1 all resulting solution, including the Table self-actualization- and more generally. Physical thriving 2 of 1.0 or factors with eigenvalues Only of .45 or greater. 9 ings meaning emerged fourth position, accounting third for the in the greater emerged, rather than the expected 10. Inspection of the and fourth of The significant Maslow's five posited needs. loadings revealed that the and the three pleasure-stimulation items and pleasure- mean difference between physical thriving (see same factor on the loaded all three physical thriving items stimulation noteworthy because, the presented above, as is Table Despite their intercorrelation, 1). separate a computed we on the loaded all needs two items from these same factor; here, of our a basis priori on the for these two candidate needs score however, the two needs are distinguishable. Security was in the 3 theoretical model. for the next position, accounting final needs in both Maslow's Epstein's (fourfold) postulated sets. Popularity- and (fivefold) Substantive Analyses influence and money-luxury brought up the rear, supporting our hypothesis, based on self-determination theory, that these two in the salience of Table 2 candidate needs. Mean differences aspects desirable after may not be so "American dream" of the the presents means for each of the 10 needs, in rank order. & Ryan, 1993, 1996). all (Kasser Differences between these means were tested using paired- affect. Ta- Associations of need satisfaction with event-related number tests. Given the t a of tests performed, signifi- sample the of each of correlations the presents 10 3 ble satisfaction scores cance level for adopted of .01 was these analyses. As can be with event-related positive affect also with and negative affect, and autonomy emerged in a seen, self-esteem, relatedness, and very same seen, As can be the the composite affect-balance score. are the list, suggesting that these tie at the top of the three-way as most important by the first criterion also needs that emerged most salient experiential elements of "satisfying experiences." emerged paramount as by this second criterion. Specifically, the in our thus and second position, close behind, was Competence com- four most strongly endorsed needs—self-esteem, autonomy, hypothesis based self-determination theory—that autonomy, on relatedness—were also found and to be most strongly petence, relatedness would and most impor- the among be competence, and low-negative emotion. Further- associated with high-positive tant experiential characteristics—received good support. more, pleasure-stimulation, physical health, self-actualization- Pleasure-stimulation third position, consistent with was in the meaning, and in Ta- security-control—the middle four needs and with hedonic philosophy Epstein's (1990) assumptions ble 1—were less strongly associated with high-positive and money- low-negative affect. Finally, popularity-influence and in Table most weakly endorsed experiences two luxury—the 2 Table 1—were even negatively related bal- affect or to also unrelated Each Candidate Need Within of Mean Salience Study 1: ance, "dark side hypotheses and the of the our consistent with of the Last Month Participants' Most Satisfying Experiences American dream" effects described (1993, Kasser Ryan and by 1996). SD M Candidate need 4.08 0.90 Self-esteem a 3.99 1.13 Relatedness a 2 in in simplify to order this table, We presented cross-loadings not have 0.87 3.98 Autonomy a record, For the the presentation. .40 on an one item cross-loaded more than 0.98 3.74 Competence b what competence I did," a in felt very capable 1.08 "I unintended scale (i.e., 3.53 Pleasure-stimulation C 1.13 3.25 d Physical thriving items cross-loaded more than .44 on self-esteem). Ten item, cross-loaded 3.23 1.13 d Self-actualization-meaning and the unintended scales, less on all remaining cross-loadings were .30 3.03 0.90 e Security .30. than 1.02 2.89 e Popularity-influence 3 Notably, all require that not approach does sug- our candidate needs 1.08 2.37 f Money-luxury gested by existing theories emerge as empirically distinct; obviously, same basic need from on the different theories may sometimes converge Means are sharing subscripts Note. significantly different from each not different conceptual angles. 1.00 to 5.00. other atp£ .01. Means could range from

6 SHELDON, ELLIOT, KIM, AND KASSER 330 clearly among the items representing the 10 candidate needs. More Regression comparisons. To test our specific hypotheses con- important, strong convergence was observed between our two cerning the importance of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, distinct criteria for identifying needs. That is, the same candidate we conducted a series of simultaneous regressions. In these anal- needs that were rated as strongly present in satisfying experiences yses, each of the event-related affect variables was regressed in were also strongly positively correlated with pleasure in that turn on these three candidate needs. All three of the needs postu- experience. This convergence suggests that participants really do lated by self-determination theory significantly predicted positive know "what's satisfying about satisfying events." = affect (autonomy, /3 = .16; competence, /3 = .37; relatedness, fi p& < .17; .01). Only autonomy predicted negative affect (/3 = all Study 1 also provided encouraging support for our hypotheses — .21, p < .01). Thus, as in past work, need satisfaction appears to based on self-determination theory, concerning which needs are be more important for producing positive affect than for reducing most fundamental. First, the trio of autonomy, competence, and negative affect (Sheldon & Bettencourt, 2000; Sheldon et al, relatedness emerged within the top four in terms of salience. In 1996). Most important, as hypothesized, all three needs postulated other words, it appears that when people are asked to bring to mind by self-determination theory predicted the aggregate affect- deeply satisfying experiences, they think of experiences in which balance variable (autonomy, /3 = .01; competence, j3 = p < .23, they felt strongly autonomous, competent, or related to others. .01; relatedness, /3 = .14, p < .05). .21, p < Second, each of the three needs postulated by self-determination theory predicted independent variance in event-related affect, and Next, we conducted an analysis in which all 10 candidate needs all three continued to do so even when the other seven needs were were entered simultaneously as predictors of the affect-balance in the equation. Our final hypothesis based on self-determination variable. This most stringent test removes all common variance theory also received support in Study 1, that popularity-influence shared by the 10 candidates in order to see which, if any, contrib- and money-luxury are least important and may even be negative ute unique variance in the prediction of positive affective tone. In for well-being (Kasser & Ryan, 1993, 1996). Of interest is that this analysis, Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness all self-esteem also emerged as an important need by our criteria, emerged as significant (j3s = .17, .12, and .12, respectively, ps < consistent with some contemporary theories of needs (i.e., Green- In addition, Self-Esteem contributed unique predictive vari- .05). self- berg et al., 1995). This finding was not predicted by ance (P = .28, .01). It is interesting that money-luxury p < determination theory. .17, p < — emerged as a negative predictor in this analysis Q3 = again supporting the "dark side" hypothesis. No other need .01), Study 1 had two important limitations. First, it addressed only candidates were significant in this analysis. satisfaction within a single time frame (i.e., "events within the last month"). In fact, time frame can have an important influence on Individual differences in need preference as a moderator vari- mood and affective reports (Suh, Diener, & Fujita, 1996), as able. Finally, we looked at the moderating influence of each of different types of memory processes may be involved in immedi- the individual-difference measures of need strength on the event- ate versus more long-term recall (Thomas & Diener, 1990). Thus, related need salience to event-related affect relations. As discussed to better establish the strength and differential influence of iden- above, a "matching" hypothesis would predict that those individ- tified needs, it was necessary to replicate the effects using a uals who report that they strongly prefer a particular experience different time frame. A second weakness of Study 1 is that par- should benefit the most, in terms of resultant affective tone, from ticipants came from a single (highly individualistic) culture, the experiences of that type. To test this, we computed 10 product United States. To begin to establish cross-cultural replicability for terms by multiplying each of the centered need-preference vari- the identified needs, it was necessary to reproduce the effects ables by the corresponding event-related satisfaction score (Aiken within a more collectivist culture. In Study 2 we addressed both of & West, 1991). We then conducted a regression analysis using the these issues. affect-balance score as the dependent measure. As above, all 10 satisfaction scores were entered at the first step, then the 10 need-preference scores were entered at the second step, and finally Study 2 the 10 product terms were entered at the third step. None of the need-preference variables was significant at the Method second step. At the third step, only one significant interaction Participants and Procedure (p < .02). The effect emerged, for self-actualization-meaning coefficient was positive, indicating that feelings of growth and Two samples were used for Study 2. The U.S. sample consisted of 152 meaningfulness are more strongly associated with positive event- students in introductory psychology at the University of Missouri who related affect when the person especially values such feelings. participated in the research to satisfy an experimental participation require- However, the set of 10 product terms as a whole did not add ment. The South Korean sample consisted of 200 students in introductory 2 psychology at Hanyang University in South Korea, who also participated = = .03, p significant predictive variance to the equation (Ai? to satisfy an experimental requirement. Both universities are large, with .21). Thus, these results do not provide much support for the more than 15,000 students. Participants attended group sessions run by matching hypothesis. trained research assistants in which they completed a questionnaire packet containing all experimental materials. Discussion Translation The results from Study 1 provide encouraging support for our method of approaching questions concerning fundamental psycho- The English questionnaire was translated into Korean by Youngmee logical needs. With the exception of the pleasure-stimulation and Kim, a native Korean. A back-translation was then accomplished by a physical thriving needs, participants were able to discriminate second Korean speaker. Working from the back-translation, Kennon M.

7 WHAT IS SATISFYING ABOUT SATISFYING EVENTS? 331 Sheldon and Youngmee Kim collaborated to create a final South Korean stimulation, self-actualization-meaning, and physical thriving. version of the questionnaire. Notably, popularity-influence also fell in this middle group, rather than being in the lowest group, as in Study 1. Once again, how- Measures ever, money-luxury appeared at the very bottom of the list. In the South Korean sample, as in the two U.S. samples, auton- Instructions for identifying a "most satisfying event" were identical to omy, competence, and relatedness were all among the top needs. those in Study 1, with one exception: All participants were asked to Thus, our primary hypotheses again received good support. In consider the past week, rather than the past month, of their lives. The addition, self-esteem emerged near the top, as did pleasure- resulting event descriptions again showed a great deal of diversity. stimulation. Notably, however, the exact ordering of these needs Participants next responded to the same 30 descriptive statements used was somewhat different within the South Korean sample. As can in Study 1, using the same stem: "During this event I felt..." Salience scores were computed for each of the 10 candidate needs by averaging be seen, relatedness topped the list, perhaps consistent with the the 3 relevant items. Participants also rated the extent to which they felt collectivism that characterizes South Korean culture (Markus et the 20 PANAS moods during the event, using a scale of to 5 1 (not at all) al., 1996). Self-esteem occupied the second position, seemingly at (very much). Positive and negative affect scores were computed by aver- odds with recent findings that self-esteem and self-enhancement aging the appropriate ratings, and an affect-balance variable was computed are not as important within Asian cultures (Heine & Lehman, by subtracting the negative from the positive affect score. Kitayama, Markus, & Lieberman, 1995). Autonomy, com- 1997; Participants in Study 2 also indicated their family income status on a petence, and pleasure-stimulation occupied the third position. scale ranging from 1 = much below much above to 5 = their country's Self-actualization-meaning, security, and popularity-influence oc- median income. (Of course, the monetary amounts associated with scale cupied the fourth position, forming a middle group very similar to points differed in the two cultures.) Family income was used as a control those found in the U.S. samples. Physical thriving occupied the variable in regression analyses in an attempt to partial out any effects of fifth position, and as in the U.S. samples, money-luxury was last socioeconomic status. on the list. Results Table 4 also contains the results of 10 matched group t tests that compared the U.S. and South Korean means. As can be seen, Mean Differences in the Salience of Candidate Needs despite the large sample sizes and potential translation difficulties, the two samples did not differ on the extent to which 5 of the 10 Table 4 presents means and standard deviations for each candi- candidate experiences accompanied "satisfying events," namely date need separately for each sample. Of interest is that salience autonomy, competence, physical thriving, self-actualization- scores in general were lower in these two samples than in Study 1, meaning, and popularity-influence. However, South Koreans did probably because the events referred only to the past week and not report a greater sense of relatedness and also of security, pleasure the past month. In terms of salience ratings for the candidate needs, or stimulation, and money or luxuries in their satisfying events, results for the U.S. sample were quite similar to those found in compared with the U.S. sample. In addition, South Koreans re- Study 1. Specifically, autonomy, competence, and relatedness ported a relatively weaker sense of self-esteem during the event, again emerged within the top four needs, along with self-esteem. compared with the U.S. sample. Thus, in relation to U.S. partici- As in Study 1, all four of these candidate needs were more strongly pants at least, recent findings regarding the weaker salience of endorsed than those in a middle group, which included pleasure- self-esteem in Asian cultures were confirmed (Kitayama et al., 1995). Table 4 Study 2: Mean Salience of Each Candidate Need Within Associations of Need Satisfaction With Participants' Most Satisfying Experiences Event-Related Affect of the Last Week, by Sample Table 5 contains the correlations of each of the candidate needs South Korean with event-related positive affect, negative affect, and affect bal- sample sample U.S. separately by sample. Results for the U.S. sample were very ance, consistent with the results of Study 1 in that autonomy, compe- t (350) SD hi SD M Candidate need tence, relatedness, and self-esteem were most strongly associated 0.91 4.01** 1.06 3.23 3.65 Self-esteem b a with positive affect and affect balance. Furthermore, autonomy 1.07 1.42 3.65 3.31** 3.21 Relatedness b a and relatedness were again negatively associated with negative 0.95 1.03 3.01 1.18 3.12 Autonomy c b affect. Pleasure-stimulation, physical thriving, self-actualization- 1.14 2.98 2.9 l 1.09 Competence 0.61 b c meaning, popularity-influence, and security were also (more 1.08 0.90 2.95 2.60 3.05** Pleasure-stimulation C c 1.16 1.04 2.49 0.54 2.42 Physical thriving e C weakly) associated with positive affective tone. Diverging from 1.13 1.02 2.54 2.69 1.30 Self-actualization-meaning C d Study 1, in this sample the negative association between money- 1.02 0.88 Security 2.37* 2.46 2.70 C d luxury and affect balance did not reach significance. 1.02 0.96 Popularity-influence 2.5O 2.71 1.93 d c The associations of the need-satisfaction variables with positive 1.05 2.14 2.02* 2.35 0.91 Money-luxury d e affect were in general stronger within the South Korean sample; in Note. Means within columns not sharing subscripts are significantly dif- fact, every correlation was significant, for both positive affect and ferent from each other atps .01. The fifth column tests the differences for the aggregate affect-balance variable. Two findings regarding between the means of the two samples. negative affect are noteworthy: Experiences of competence and *p **p < .01. .05. <

8 SHELDON, ELLIOT, KIM, AND KASSER 332 Table 5 Study 2: Correlations of Candidate Needs With Event-Related Affect, by Sample South Korean sample sample U.S. Affect Affect Positive Positive Negative Negative affect balance balance affect Candidate need affect affect + -.14 .51** .29** .57** Self-esteem -.11 .36** .49** -.13** -.21** .51** .43** .46** Autonomy .39** Competence .32** .31** .16** -.03 .59** .29** -.22** .29** .37** .24** -.22* Relatedness .36** -.03 .00 .16* .27** .48** Pleasure-stimulation .35** .02 -.10 .38** .16 .08 Physical thriving .47** .23** .02 .13 Self-actualization-meaning .12+ .25** .32** -.23** .28** .48** .42** -.14 Security t -.05 .14 .24** .01 .36** .30** Popularity-influence .00 .24** -.07 .00 .11 .17* Money-luxury *p < **p < .01. *p < .10 (marginally significant). .05. entire sample of 352 participants, in which all 10 (centered) need experiences of self-actualization-meaning were both positively candidates were entered at Step 1, followed by a dummy variable predictive of negative affect. at Step 2 indicating to which sample the participant belonged (U.S. To test our specific hypotheses concerning the importance of or South Korean), followed by a set of 10 product terms at Step 3, autonomy, competence, and relatedness, the three event-related which represented the interaction of culture with each of the 10 affect variables were simultaneously regressed on these three can- need candidates. At Step 1, autonomy, competence, and related- didate needs, separately for each sample. In the U.S. sample, all ness were all significant (/3s = .27, .17, and .15, respectively; all three quantities accounted for significant variance in positive af- ps < .01). In addition, self-esteem and security manifested positive fect (competence, /3 = .44; autonomy, /3 = .30; relatedness, j3 = effects (/8s = .18 and .15, bothps < .01), and money-luxury had .15; all ps £ .05). This was also the case in the South Korean a negative effect (j8 = —.15, p < .01). At Step 2 the dummy sample (competence, /3 = .46; autonomy, /3 = .25; relatedness, variable representing the subsample was significant (f! = —.14, .05). No significant effects were observed on ps < j3 = .17; all p < .05), indicating that the South Koreans were somewhat lower negative affect in the U.S. sample, whereas in the South Korean = 1.32; although M on event-related affect balance (M = 1.63 vs. sample competence was positively associated with negative affect South Koreans were no different in event-related negative affect, p < .01), whereas autonomy and relatedness were (/3 = .26, they were much lower in positive affect). At Step 3, none of the 10 negatively associated with negative affect (/3 = —.19 and —.20, interaction product terms were significant; furthermore, the set as both ps < .01). Finally, in the U.S. sample, autonomy, compe- a whole did not contribute significant variance to the equation tence, and relatedness independently predicted the aggregate 2 = .02, p = .34), suggesting that the influence of these 10 (AR affective-balance variable (/3s = .26, .28, ps < .01, and /3 = .19, qualities of experience on affect balance did not vary as a function p < .05, respectively). Similarly, in the South Korean sample, all of participants' cultural membership. three experiences postulated as needs by self-determination theory predicted affect balance (/3s = .33, .14, and .27, respectively; ps < A final set of analyses examined the family-income variable. .01, .05, and .01, respectively). Americans and South Koreans did not differ on this variable ns). M (M = 2.95 vs. For the whole sample, = 2.89, respectively, Next, we conducted analyses in which all 10 candidate needs family income was associated with only 1 of the 10 need-salience were entered simultaneously as predictors of the aggregate affect- variables, namely money-luxury (r = .20, p < .01). Of interest is balance variable, separately for each sample. Again, this most that this association was far stronger in the South Korean sample stringent test removes all variance shared by the 10 candidates to (r = p < .01) than in the U.S. sample .33, (r = .07, indicating ns), see which, if any, contribute unique variance in the prediction of that wealthier South Korean students perceive money or luxury to affective tone. In the U.S. sample, autonomy, competence, and be quite salient in very satisfying events, whereas wealthier Amer- relatedness all emerged as significant (/3s = .29, .25, and .21; all ican students do not. Entering family income as a control variable ps < .05), and no other candidate needs contributed significant did not substantially alter any of the regression results above, predictive variance. In the South Korean sample, autonomy and however. relatedness emerged as significant (j6s = .26 and .20, respectively; both ps < .01), whereas competence evidenced a nonsignificant trend (/S = .10, p = .18). In addition, self-esteem (|3 = .23, p < Discussion .01) and security (/3 = .25, p < .01) contributed significant positive variance within the latter equation, and money-luxury The results for the U.S. sample in Study 2 replicated the results (/3 = —.22, p < .01) was a negative predictor. for Study 1, but for a shorter time frame (i.e., most satisfying event We then tested for significant interactions between culture and of the last week instead of the last month). In terms of our first the 10 candidate needs, in relation to the affect-balance variable. criterion for identifying needs, based on mean levels of endorse- Specifically, we conducted a hierarchical regression using the ment, autonomy, competence, and relatedness again emerged at

9 WHAT IS SATISFYING ABOUT SATISFYING EVENTS? 333 the top of the list, as did self-esteem. Money-luxury was again at sidered from a deficit perspective (i.e., as qualities that, if lacking, the bottom of the list, and the other candidates again fell in the may lead to ill-being) as well as from an enhancement perspective middle. This same general ordering of needs was again found as qualities that, if present, may lead to well-being; Maslow, (i.e., using our second criterion for identifying needs, namely associa- Conceptually, the absence of a positive quality may be quite 1954). tion with event-related affect. Specifically, autonomy, compe- different from, and have different effects than, the presence of a tence, relatedness, and self-esteem were all unique predictors of negative quality (Higgins, 1999). Also, peoples' construals of the positive affective tone, whereas money-luxury was again associ- might differ substantially when they consider satisfaction word ated with negative affect. dissatisfaction rather than satisfaction. Thus, to find that the same candidate needs emerge as important within both approaches Perhaps the most important finding of Study 2 was the emer- would lend additional support for those candidacies. gence of similar results within the South Korean sample. Just as in the two U.S. samples, autonomy, competence, relatedness, and self-esteem emerged as the most important set, both in terms of Method mean differences and association with event-related affect. The findings regarding autonomy are especially noteworthy given re- Participants and Procedure cent challenges to self-determination theory's assumption that Participants were 233 students in a psychology course at the University autonomy or perceived choice is a universal need (Iyengar & of Missouri who participated in the research for extra credit points. The Lepper, 1999; Markus et al., 1996). It appears, here, that autonomy measures were contained within a single questionnaire packet, which was is equally important in the U.S. and South Korea, at least for administered in a group session near the end of the semester. Participants characterizing what people consider satisfying and for predicting first identified a "most satisfying event" and then rated it in terms of both positive affect-balance. affect and candidate needs, then they identified and rated a "most unsat- isfying event." Despite the strong convergences across the U.S. and South Korean samples, there were some meaningful differences. Feelings of relatedness were especially salient within South Koreans' "most Measures satisfying experiences," consistent with South Korea's status as a Instructions for identifying a "most satisfying Most satisfying event. collectivist culture and with the findings of Kwan, Bond, and event" were identical to those in Studies 1 and 2, with one exception: All Singelis regarding feelings of harmony (1997). Furthermore, feel- participants were asked to "consider the entire semester" as they identified ings of self-esteem were less salient in Korea compared with the a particularly salient event. consistent with other recent work on the reduced importance U.S., Participants rated the event in terms of the same 30 descriptive state- of self-esteem in collectivist cultures (Kitayama et al., 1995). ments used in Studies 1 and 2, using the same stem: "During this event I Notably, however, self-esteem still came in second within the felt..." Need-satisfaction scores were computed for each of the 10 South Korean hierarchy, suggesting that it does have importance. candidate needs by averaging the three relevant items. Participants also In sum, then, although the same set of needs emerged at the top in rated the extent to which they felt the 20 PANAS moods during the event, using a scale of (very much). Positive and negative affect to 5 (not at all) 1 both samples, the ordering of needs within this set varied consid- scores were computed by averaging the appropriate ratings, and an affect- erably. This suggests that the universalist and the cultural con- balance variable was computed by subtracting the score for negative affect structivist positions may both be correct. That is, it may be that from the score for positive affect. certain needs are universal to humans in general, but the relative To illustrate what types of events were designated as the "most satisfy- salience that people place on them depends on the extent to which ing of the semester," we identified the events with the highest associated their cultures encourage and support those needs. affect-balance scores. Two events within the sample emerged by this criterion, namely "Going on a retreat with my friends at church. We did a service event and cleaned up a summer camp," and "When I got the Study 3 summer job of my dreams." (both events reported verbatim). Most unsatisfying event. Participants were next asked the following: We next conducted a third study to extend the research pre- sented thus far. First, we examined the "most satisfying event of bring to mind the single most unsatisfying event that you experienced the semester" to ensure generalizability of the effects to an even in the entire semester. That is, what is the least rewarding thing that longer time frame. In fact, it is not difficult to think of reasons why happened to you during winter semester, 2000? Please think of un- different patterns might emerge when participants reflect back on satisfying in whatever way makes sense to you. For example, self-actualization- time. long versus short periods of meaning might be expected to be most salient within a more global After writing their description, participants were asked "What was missing from this event, that is, why was it unsatisfying?" The same 30 descriptive frame of reference, whereas pleasure-stimulation might be most statements were used that were used in Studies 1 and 2, with the wording salient when a person considers short-term satisfactions. Thus, to altered so that they became negatives. For example, "During the event I felt clearly replicate Study 1 and 2 results in this much longer time that my choices were based on my true interests and values" became period would help establish that the determinants of satisfaction do "During the event I felt that my choices were not based on my true interests not vary according to the temporal scale of the event the person and values." The stem "this event was unsatisfying because ..." prefaced describes. all items, and a scale of 1 (very much the reason) to 5 (not at all the reason) A second extension of Study 3 was to approach the question of was given. Need-deficiency scores were later computed for each of the 10 fundamental needs from the opposite direction, namely by asking candidate needs by averaging the three relevant items. Participants also rated the extent to which they felt the 20 PANAS moods during the event, participants to describe the most unsatisfying event they experi- using a scale of Positive and negative affect 1 (not at all) to 5 (very much). enced during the semester and then rate what was missing from the scores were computed by averaging the appropriate ratings, and an affect- experience. We did this because psychological needs can be con-

10 KASSER KIM, AND SHELDON, ELLIOT, 334 predictors supplied significant variance (/3s = .25, .16, and .23, by negative subtracting was computed the score for the balance variable affect from for score the positive affect. then entered all ps S .01). We respectively; remaining seven the To illustrate what types of events were designated as the "least satisfying needs. In this most stringent analysis, autonomy was significant of lowest associated the the semester," we identified the events with was (/3s = .17 and .12), marginally significant and relatedness Two this criterion, namely by events emerged affect-balance scores. Self-esteem whereas competence was not significant (/3 = .00). "Broke "Getting jumped months," 8 years, of 2 girlfriend a with up and were .38, p < .01) and money-luxury (/3 = -.14, p < .05) (|8 = Mexicans while Cancun." in 10 on spring break by this analysis. in also significant Results Most Unsatisfying Event of the Semester Semester Most Satisfying Event of the in also 6 Table need deprivation scores. Mean differences candidate needs. in the salience of Table 6 Mean differences the 10 candidate needs within of each for presents the mean ratings presents candidate needs within the mean salience of the 10 we construe these as depri- the "most unsatisfying" event. Again, semester." These data of the participants' "most satisfying event what of vation scores, because they represent participants' views earlier results, the for this longer time frame. essentially replicate in the As can be unsatisfying experience. seen, the was missing was the 2, and self-esteem in Study most salient characteristic, As listed events were unsatisfying, according why the primary reason three- relatedness were again and autonomy, competence, in a of competence were missing. to these ratings, was that experiences and self- second position. Pleasure-stimulation tie in the way two other the self-determination by needs specified In addition, actualization-meaning occupied the third position. Security, as relatedness, were also rated strongly and theory, autonomy physical thriving occupied the fourth and popularity-influence, was lacking within unsatisfying experiences. Finally, self-esteem position, list. last was once again, money-luxury and on the is means of also rated as strongly absent. In short, this clustering affect. Ta- Associations of need satisfaction with event-related with earlier findings. and quite consistent with our hypotheses the candidate needs with 7 contains the correlations of each ble of However, interesting difference from earlier studies one did event-related positive affect, negative affect, affect balance. and emerge: as A also perceived fifth candidate need, security, was all 10 seen, can be needs correlated positively with positive As of unsatisfying events. Finally, lack strongly lacking within the of the needs were significantly related affect, whereas only some pleasure-stimulation, popularity-influence, self-actualization- to needs were significantly associated negative affect. low All 10 less responsible to be physical thriving were deemed and meaning, with aggregate affect balance. for lack and of event's unsatisfying nature, money-luxury was the We com- next conducted regression Regression comparisons. deemed to be least responsible. test 1 and 2, to Studies as in parisons, unique variances. First, for Associations of need deprivation with event-related affect. Ta- positive affect was regressed simultaneously on autonomy, com- ble and correlations between deprivation scores the 7 presents and relatedness. All three predictors were significant petence, at and self- seen, only competence As can be event-related affect. level .27, respectively). Next, negative .01 the and .41, .23, (|3s = their absence, were associated with in low positive affect. esteem, regressed was was these three variables. Only autonomy on affect of and pos- associations between dissatisfaction The general lack p < .16, — ((3 = significant was Finally, affect balance .05). associations itive affect parallels the few which in earlier studies, three autonomy, competence, regressed and relatedness. All on negative affect. and were found between satisfaction In contrast, 10 all of the deprivation scores were correlated with correlation between missing The event-related negative affect. 6 Table security and was of the greatest event-related negative affect Study Mean Salience of Each Candidate Need Within 3: p < .01), followed by missing relatedness and .50, (r = magnitude Most Unsatisfying and Participants' Most Satisfying missing self-actualization-meaning .35, respective- (rs = .39 and Experiences of the Semester All but two of the candidates, popularity-influence ly). and money-luxury, were associated with the compound affect-balance Presence within Absence within is, when participants perceived autonomy, compe- variable. That the most the most tence, relatedness, self-esteem, pleasure-stimulation, physical satisfying unsatisfying thriving, self-actualization-meaning, as strongly miss- security or event event unsatisfying event, they also reported a higher an ing within Candidate need SD M M SD predominance negative compared with positive affect within of that event. 3.97 Self-esteem 2.66 1.00 1.27 a b 2.86 3.77 1.01 Autonomy .11 af- other studies, positive As in the Regression comparisons. ab b 1.15 3.73 3.02 .23 Competence b a autonomy, competence, and relatedness. fect was first regressed on 1.31 2.63 3.66 .32 Relatedness b b in was significant this analysis (/3 = Only missing competence Pleasure-stimulation 3.38 2.40 1.13 .05 C c regressed was .20, — these three on p < .01). Next, negative affect 3.24 1.23 Self-actualization-meaning 2.63 .15 C b significant (/3 = .24, was variables. Once again, only competence 3.00 2.77 1.07 .12 Security b d 2.37 2.93 1.12 .16 Popularity-influence d C p affect-balance variable < most importantly, and .01). Finally, the 2.34 2-91 1.24 .23 Physical thriving C d was regressed autonomy, competence, and Com- on relatedness. 2.24 1.77 1.21 vioney-luxury .01 d e and petence was significant in this analysis (/3 = —.30, p < .01), was was relatedness -.11); autonomy (jS = marginally significant significantly are not Means within columns Note. dif- sharing subscripts < .01. p at ferent from each other nonsignificant. We then entered the remaining seven needs into the

11 WHAT IS SATISFYING ABOUT SATISFYING EVENTS? 335 7 Table 3: Correlations of Study Candidate Needs With Event-Related Affect, Separately Unsatisfying Events and for Satisfying Presence within Absence within the the most satisfying event event most unsatisfying Negative Positive Positive Affect Affect Negative affect balance balance Candidate need affect affect affect 57** Self-esteem .52** -.28** .39** -.36** -.13* .46** Autonomy -.18* .39** -.03 -.16** .19** .22** .07 -.19* .46** Competence .25** -.31** -.05 -.19** -.13* .13* .33** .32** Relatedness -.14* -.02 .14* .40** -.14* .33** Pleasure-stimulation .36** .27** Physical thriving -.05 -.08 .23** -.19** -.08 .35** .21** .32** -.30** -.03 Self-actualization-meaning .50** -.15* .33** -.37** .29** -.02 Security .34** .43** Popularity-influence -.13* .06 .23** -.12 .18** .10 .12 -.03 .23** -.10 Money—luxury *p **/><.01. < .05. equation. this most stringent analysis, only competence In (J3 = by both criteria. Finally, security emerged important as emerged (/3 = -.26, .05), and p < p < self-esteem security .01), -.22, for the first time potentially important need, specifically, in as a appears that the (/3 = —.18, p < .01) were significant. Thus, it association with "most unsatisfying" events. unsat- an security within and competence, self-esteem, of absence low-positive and has the greatest impact on the isfying event General Discussion high-negative affect associated with that event. Summarizing the Results Discussion results fundamental psychological needs? What The are the of these three studies nicely support our new for addressing method Study 3, the of findings from basic pattern In the first part of we found relatively consistent re- this important question. First, Studies for a longer time frame. Specifi- 1 and 2 was replicated criteria for determining needs. This is impor- sults across our two cally, self-determination theory's three proposed needs again lends greater confidence to our conclusions, and it it tant because important determinants of satisfaction by the "sa- as emerged of aware are also suggests that participants "what's satisfying important by the lience" criterion. In addition, all three emerged as about satisfying events." Second, we found largely consistent in "affect" criterion (although competence became nonsignificant the most satisfying results across three different time frames (i.e., the most stringent simultaneous analysis). Furthermore, self- event of the last week, of the last month, and of the entire by both criteria. These esteem again emerged as very important is important because it indicates that our results are semester). This enhance confidence in the also and to earlier results findings help the particular time frame addressed. Third, although not artifacts of help establish that satisfaction tend of same to be the the sources two different cultures, our results were generally consistent across across different temporal frames. is and interpretable differences. This there were also meaningful Study the im- also provided preliminary evidence regarding 3 it important because suggests that our measurement approach is of deprivation. Again, possible to view psycho- it is portant issue in detect effects consistent with other findings able the literature. to logical needs qualities whose absence leads to unhappiness and as the in method yielded results quite consistent with theory, Finally, even "deficiency" diseases, qualities whose presence as well as press) self-determination particular Deci and Ryan's (1985, in happiness growth (Maslow, 1954). Because defi- to and leads the as a many theories that posit self-esteem but also with theory necessarily overlap, to and enhancement needs do not ciency needs et al., 1995; fundamental human need (Epstein, 1990; Greenberg as same candidate needs emerge find that the important by both Leary, 1999). This consistency it important because is suggests the the for those needs. In this light, case criteria would strengthen fruitful a supply may approach our new new means of con- that for of results our primary Study 3 offered somewhat mixed support firming and perhaps extending existing theories of optimal and relatedness again hypotheses. Autonomy, competence, experience. emerged by the "salience" criterion (i.e., very important needs as Specifically, self-determination for the results lend good support as strongly missing within unsatisfy- participants perceived them and relatedness are theory's proposal that autonomy, competence, of the three of all absence the needs ing events). Furthermore, basic psychological needs (Deci & Ryan, in press). These three by self-determination theory correlated with event- was specified qualities in of experience emerged among the four most salient related negative affect. However, simultaneous analyses re- the for in the independent variance they accounted every sample, and of competence carried unique predic- absence the vealed that only affect associated with satisfying events. Accordingly, they better event-related affect, indicating that to tive variance with respect our two identifying needs than met other did six for criteria less important missing relatedness and missing autonomy may be self- candidates, including pleasure-stimulation, physical thriving, determinants of felt dissatisfaction. Once again, self-esteem

12 KASSER KIM, AND SHELDON, ELLIOT, 336 of their most unsatisfying events, echoing the earlier find- ratings actualization-meaning, security, popularity-influence, money- and and further supporting self- ings concerning satisfying events appears that self-determination theory's "big three" it luxury. Thus, determination theory's assumption that these fundamental are autonomy, competence, and relatedness may indeed serve of as needs by also important Again, self-esteem was this criterion. Of needs. important foundations a build to unified typology of mo- which on security also emerged of interest fifth prominent is as a that lack in tives, the same way that the Big Five personality traits have served of unsatisfying events, consistent with deficiency-based feature In Costa, 1995). addition to & to unify trait psychology (McCrae appears that when things needs (Maslow, 1954). It go of models cur- self-determination theory, the of confirming important postulates strongly wish and may predictability safety for the wrong, people rent research also extends past self-determination theory research in for granted. that they often take three major ways: relatedness and testing autonomy, competence, by by introducing a new against seven other theoretically derived needs, One other finding robust with to be notable: Results appear is a new studying needs, for narrative methodology introducing and by In to relevant individual differences. Study 1, variations in respect criterion for identifying "true" needs. did not of main effects the moderate individual need-preferences need experiences as event-related affect, would be expected by on to one were single need that if interesting that a is is most pick It a "matching" hypothesis are especially sat- which experiences in current data suggest the satisfy in the United States, to important person's preferences (Oishi, Diener, they accord with isfying if a be self-esteem. Not only self-esteem at the top of the was it would 2 Study in Lucas, 1999). Additionally, & no there were Suh, list in all three U.S. samples, it also accounted for the most vs. in predicting Korean) of needs with culture (U.S. interactions event-related affect. Self-determination in independent variation for our found good support we then, In sum, event-related affect. these findings, except account for not have a way to theory does autonomy, universalist assumptions regarding importance of the consider self-esteem to as a well-being outcome rather perhaps 4 competence, press). and relatedness (Deci & Ryan, in as a the prominence predictor. However, given of self-esteem than in to so many other need-based theories, it might be imprudent What do we mean pre- "universal" needs? Although space by consign self-esteem outcome category rather than consider- to the cludes thorough consideration of will at least this question, we ing in its need it as a self-determination for own right. Another way state our assumptions. Psychological needs are evolved desires that account to consider self-esteem be to these results would for theory can found within every member of the human species (Deci & be as broader manifestation the competence need. However, even of a press). These inborn yearnings carry little information Ryan, in may and self- ultimately share roots, competence though they about exactly what behaviors for in, a engage to fact that allows research. Accordingly, esteem were empirically separable in our the needs tend to pull considerable behavioral plasticity. Instead, our results concerning "most satisfying events" suggest the pre- incentives within and same general experiences the people toward liminary conclusion that there may fundamental psycho- four be almost behavioral domain. When person behaves success- a any logical needs, and not three: autonomy, competence, relatedness, particular life domain, then beneficial adaptive a fully within self-esteem. consequences and rewarding experiences ensue. These experiences help reinforce to the particular behavior, causing the individual that self-esteem, autonomy, compe- this idea of is In support satisfactions within that domain. Thus, and seek further challenges and relatedness also ranked at the top within the South tence, we suggest that psychological needs evolved, part, to help in U.S. samples. as in the mentioned earlier, As Korean sample, just vocational niches and and to individuals find conducive social the appearance autonomy within this group important because is of develop their skills further within those niches to motivate them Ryan's claim that autonomy and universal is a it supports Deci press). These speculations also await in Sheldon, 1997; (Buss, need (Deci claim that & Ryan, in press), a been recently has further research. et al., 1996). Notably, however, in South questioned (Markus Korea the to be satisfy appears to single most important need relatedness. Given the collectivistic and communal orientation that Rethinking Hierarchy Concept the characterizes Korean culture, this finding makes intuitive sense 1995; Kim, & Shao, Smith, & Choi, 1994; Diener, Suh, (Choi Maslow's (1954) five-level hierarchical conception of needs has 1994). chal- a Although some might feel that this finding poses received little research support, although it remains popular in approach only theory, we would again stress that our to our lenge introductory-psychology textbooks. at current results suggest The specified no predictions a set of important needs, and it made con- two least need-hierarchy the thinking about of fruitful ways in sum, it ap- Thus, set. regarding relative orderings within this hierarchy a define One way to cept. prioritization is in of a terms pears that both universalist con- cross-culturalist perspectives and of different elements. such the relative importance In an ap- of cerning fundamental psychological needs may be in dif- correct, their proach, one may ask, "Which needs head the list, in terms of is, although all humans may need certain basic ferent ways. That their demonstrated impact upon and participants, to strong salience experiences may appears that different cultures it happy, to be thriving outcomes?" Viewed results way, our this in and health or emphasize condone some experiences more than others, leading suggest that autonomy, relatedness, competence, self-esteem and to meaningful variations within the basic course, the set. Of the "top" at be placed should the the hierarchy (although, again, of to be cross-cultural findings remain other in replicated, ideally to of relative ordering these four needs may vary from culture collectivist cultures besides South Korea. Study effects concerning 3 replicated the Study 1 and Study 2 "what's satisfying about satisfying events," also supplied and it 4 course, Of draw conclusions from null effects. difficult It may it is to interesting preliminary information about "what's unsatisfying individual of better measures or be that further studies, using different about unsatisfying events." The autonomy, competence, of lack differences in need preferences, would find more support for the matching and relatedness emerged as most salient within participants' direct hypothesis.

13 WHAT IS SATISFYING ABOUT SATISFYING EVENTS? 337 culture). Security, self-actualization-meaning, and physical thriv- information. Relatedly, the typical frequency or category breadth ing occupy a position of lower importance within the hierarchy. of different types of experiences should be examined as additional Finally, popularity-influence and money-luxury are of little or no predictive variables (e.g., winning the lottery, a low-frequency importance, and money-luxury experiences may even be detri- event, might for that reason be more satisfying than a hug from mental to satisfaction, at least considered relative to the other one's spouse). A second limitation is our reliance on self-reported needs. outcome variables. It would be desirable to show that need satis- faction is associated with other more objective indicators of thriv- Notably, in such a "list"-based conception of hierarchy, there is ing, such as physical health and successful task performance. no assumption that satisfaction of any particular need is a precon- Perhaps psychological needs will prove to be less important for dition for the satisfaction of any other need. However, one reason such outcomes, compared with their effects on mood. Another for the perennial appeal of Maslow's theory is that it acknowledges limitation is our exclusive use of college-age individuals; perhaps a seemingly obvious truism: that it is easier to focus on the "finer" older adults would find different kinds of experiences most satis- things if certain basics are taken care of (Oishi, Diener, Lucas, & fying, such as self-actualization-meaning or security. Addition- Suh, 1999). In fact, although the complex five-level hierarchy ally, our participants were relatively affluent and high-functioning; proposed by Maslow has not withstood the test of time, there has perhaps different candidate needs, such as money-luxury or been some support for a two-level distinction between "defi- popularity-influence, would emerge as most satisfying in stressed ciency" or "security" needs on the one hand and "enhancement" or or impoverished populations (Biswas-Diener & Diener, 2000), if "growth" needs on the other (Wahbah & Bridwell, 1976). Our for no other reason than that they help individuals obtain the basic results may offer further support for such a distinction. First, in requirements of living. Also, it will be necessary to examine the Study 3 a somewhat different pattern of findings was found re- effects of cultural variables and media on construals of satisfac- garding participants' most unsatisfying (deficient) experiences tion; perhaps the very concept of satisfaction is inextricably tied to compared with their most satisfying (enhancing) experiences. Spe- western-style psychological needs (Markus et al., 1996). Finally, it cifically, insecurity emerged as very salient within participants' will be important to replicate the current findings using other "most unsatisfying" events and as a strong predictor of affect question wordings (Schwarz & Strack, 1999), and also with other within such events. This is consistent with Maslow's assumption methodologies besides "most satisfying event" descriptions, such that security needs must be taken care of before growth and pos- as daily diary, experience sampling, or ethnographic approaches. itive experience can become predominant (see also Oishi, Diener, In addition, other candidate needs beyond our 10 might be exam- Lucas, & Suh, 1999). In addition, autonomy and relatedness did ined, such as needs for cognition, closure, or self-consistency. not as strongly influence the affect associated with unsatisfying events, suggesting that these two qualities of experience may be more important for obtaining enhancement than for avoiding Conclusion deficiencies. What's satisfying about satisfying events? In other words, what Thus, we suggest that one possible way to interpret the current experiential contents and characteristics make people happiest, and results is to say that autonomy and relatedness needs occupy the thus qualify as psychological needs? According to the current higher, "enhancement" level of a two-tier hierarchy, whereas se- research, the answer is autonomy, competence, relatedness, and curity occupies the lower "deficiency" level, and self-esteem and self-esteem. Security may also be a need, which becomes salient in competence exist and have influence at both levels. Such an times of privation. Pleasure-stimulation, self-actualization- arrangement would explain why autonomy and relatedness were meaning, popularity-influence, and physical thriving are less im- relatively less important within unsatisfying events, why security portant, and we would tend to deny them "need" status. Least was relatively more important within unsatisfying events, and why deserving of need status is money-luxury. Although further work self-esteem and competence were important for both types of is required, we suggest that these findings may have strong rele- events. This model would also take into account the fact that vance for society's goal of providing optimal social and develop- self-esteem can be either "contingent" or "true" (Deci & Ryan, mental environments for its citizens (Kahneman, Diener & 1995; Kernis, Brown, & Brody, 2000), that is, a source of anxiety Schwarz, 1999). 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Autonomy—independence: Feeling like you are the cause of your influence over others rather than feeling like a person whose advice or own actions rather than feeling that external forces or pressures are the cause of your actions. opinions nobody is interested in. 2. Competence—effectance: Feeling that you are very capable and ef- Physical-bodily: Feeling that your body is healthy and well-taken 8. fective in your actions rather than feeling incompetent or ineffective. care of rather than feeling out of shape or unhealthy. Feeling that you have regular intimate con- Relatedness- bekmgingness: 3. Self esteem-self-respect: 9. Feeling that you are a worthy person who is tact with people who care about you rather than feeling lonely and uncared for. as good as anyone else rather than feeling like a "loser." Self-actualization-meaning: Feeling that you are developing your 4. Feeling that you get plenty of enjoyment and 10. Pleasure-stimulation: best potentials and making life meaningful rather than feeling stagnant and pleasure rather than feeling bored and understimulated by life. that life does not have much meaning. Feeling safe and in control of your life rather than Security-control: 5. feeling uncertain and threatened by your circumstances. Received June 1, 2000 Money-luxury: 6. Feeling that you have plenty of money to buy most of Revision received August 31, 2000 what you want rather than feeling like a poor person who has no nice Accepted September 11, 2000 possessions.

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