In selecting measures for a comprehensive assessment of well-being, it is essential to include indicators of psychological need satisfaction

Frank Martela*, Richard M. Ryan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debateScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Human well-being is an important goal in both policy contexts and in health care, while also predicting various health-related outcomes. However, the proliferation of conceptions of well-being has become a major obstacle for the progress of a comparable and cumulative science of well-being, leading to a need to reach consensus on the key dimensions and indicators to be measured as part of human well-being. While attempts at consensus have been made, we see that the currently suggested dimensions need to be complemented by the inclusion of indicators for basic psychological needs, as need satisfaction is a crucial dimension of human wellness, flourishing, and more eudaimonic conceptions of well-being. In particular, we argue that the inclusion of the three psychological needs as proposed by Self-Determination Theory – autonomy, competence, and relatedness – would provide a parsimonious set of indicators of key elements of experienced well-being deeply rooted in human nature, and thus measuring them alongside other dimensions would offer a broader view of psychological wellness in policy and health care contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101474
Number of pages3
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Volume23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Basic psychological needs
  • Flourishing
  • Happiness
  • Measurement
  • Need satisfaction
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Surveys
  • Well-being

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