Varieties of joy-related pleasurable activities and feelings

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College students (N = 162) listed activities that they found pleasurable, and provided ratings of the degree to which those activities led them to feel each of 12 different joy-related pleasurable feelings. A factor analysis revealed three types of pleasurable feelings: cheerfulness, contentment, and enchantment. Participants also completed a personality inventory, the NEO-FFI, and a questionnaire developed for this study to measure pleasure elicited by three types of activities: social, intellectual, and basic needs (e.g., eating and sleeping). Different types of pleasure-eliciting activities were associated with different types of pleasurable experience, and the different types of pleasure-eliciting activities and pleasurable experiences were associated with different personality dimensions. For example, social activities were differentially associated with cheerfulness, and both social activities and cheerfulness were associated with extraversion; intellectual activities were differentially associated with enchantment, and both intellectual activities and enchantment were associated with openness to experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-494
Number of pages22
JournalCognition and Emotion
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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