The spectrum of positive affect: A cross-cultural lexical analysis

Main Article Content

Tim Lomas

Abstract

Although wellbeing tends to be associated with positive affect, the phenomenological terrain in this regard is often poorly differentiated. In the interest of bringing further granularity to this area, an enquiry was conducted into relevant concepts found across the world’s cultures, focusing specifically on so-called untranslatable words. Through a quasi-systematic search of academic and grey literature, together with conceptual snowballing, 134 relevant terms have been located so far (with the process of enquiry ongoing). Through a process of grounded theory analysis, seven main themes were identified: peace/calm; contentment/satisfaction; cosiness/homeliness; savouring/appreciation; revelry/fun; joy/euphoria; and bliss nirvāa. The analysis highlights the need for a more expansive and granular conceptualisation of positive affect, one that recognises the depth and breadth of the subjective terrain that it covers.

Article Details

Section
Articles
Author Biography

Tim Lomas, University of East London

Lecturer in positive psychology

Module and deputy programme leader, MSc in Applied Positive Psychology

Department of Psychology

University of East London