In Defense of the Psychologically Rich Life

Scott Barry Kaufman: Recent research on psychological richness has found that it is related to, but partially distinct from, both happy and meaningful lives. Psychological richness is much more strongly correlated with curiosity, openness to experience, and experiencing both positive and negative emotions more intensely. But is the psychologically rich life one that people actually want? In a new study, Shigehiro Oishi and his colleagues propose that psychological richness is a neglected aspect of what people consider a good life and set out to assess how much people around the world actually desire such a life. The researchers asked people living in nine diverse countries the degree to which they value a psychologically rich life, a happy life, and a meaningful life. They found that many people’s self-described ideal lives involve psychological richness.


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