This study focuses on the relevance of spirituality as an essential element for the Good Life. Despite spirituality’s prominence in people’s lives and cultures, it has been mostly neglected in psychological needs theories. This paper investigates the value of spirituality compared to that of the three basic psychological needs of self-determination theory: relatedness, competence and autonomy. In a scenario study design, participants in two samples (students and train passengers) were asked to judge a survey on the personal well-being of an imaginary person. The results show that spirituality positively contributes to the qualification of a good life, in terms of desirability and moral goodness. In addition, the crucial role of relatedness was confirmed.

Psychological needs, Self-determination theory, Spirituality, The good life
dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10902-011-9286-2, hdl.handle.net/1765/25727
ERIM Article Series (EAS)
Journal of Happiness Studies
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

van Dierendonck, D. (2012). Spirituality as an Essential Determinant for the Good Life, its Importance Relative to Self-Determinant Psychological Needs. Journal of Happiness Studies, 13(4), 685–700. doi:10.1007/s10902-011-9286-2