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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)