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Pleasure has long been implicated as an important aspect of happiness. Unfortunately, the study of pleasure in the science of happiness has largely been relegated to positive affective states. While pleasure and affect are difficult to disentangle there is, we argue, utility in examining pleasure on its own merits rather than using proxy measures such as those of positive affect. Relatively little research exists directly connecting sensual pleasures and similar pleasurable experiences with happiness. In this research, we used a large international sample (N = 229,728) to explore individual and cross-national differences in pleasure. In particular, we examined the dominant pleasure profiles of nations as well as the relations of personality, gender and age to pleasure variables. These pleasure profiles were drawn from an examination of distinct pleasure leanings including those associated with taste, touch, smell, sight, hearing, achievement, relaxation, social connection and thrills. Our findings reveal significant relationships between personality, gender, age and culture—respectively—with pleasure. The specific relationships are discussed in detail.
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- Pleasure: An Initial Exploration
P. Alex Linley
- Springer Netherlands