The synergistic interplay between positive emotions and maximization enhances meaning in life: A study in a collectivist context

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Abstract

Most empirical studies have shown that experiencing positive emotions leads to a meaningful life. Yet, there has been a marked scarcity of research that examines dispositional constructs that would either reinforce or stunt the beneficial impact of positive emotions on meaning in life. The present study investigated the moderating effects of maximization (tendency to seek only for the best single option or decision) on the relations between the affective dimensions of subjective well-being (positive affect and negative affect) and meaning in life domains (i.e., presence of and search for meaning in life) in a collectivist context. Filipino college students (N = 384) who were enrolled in a private and sectarian university served as participants of the current empirical investigation. The findings showed that maximization positively moderated the association between positive affect and presence of meaning in life which seems to contradict the proposition that maximizing tendencies are maladaptive in nature. To the extent that Filipino adolescents exhaust and search for all the best possible choices in their lives, they would more likely realize the meaning of their lives by experiencing positive emotions. These results therefore point to the beneficial impact of endorsing a maximizing attitude in a collectivist culture. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed. Copyright © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-466
JournalCurrent Psychology
Volume35
Issue number3
Early online date18 Feb 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016

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Citation

Datu, J. A. D. (2016). The synergistic interplay between positive emotions and maximization enhances meaning in life: A study in a collectivist context. Current Psychology, 35(3), 459-466. doi: 10.1007/s12144-015-9314-1

Keywords

  • Maximization
  • Meaning in life
  • Positive affect
  • Philippines