Conceptions of Happiness and Identity Integration in Iran: A Situated Perspective
Keywords:conceptions of happiness, eudaimonism, identity integration, suffering
Iranian social identity is influenced by 3 dominant cultural trends, namely, ancient Iranian, Islamic, and Western. It was hypothesized that priming each of these identities would affect the degree of endorsement of 2 conceptions of happiness (i.e., eudaimonism and transformative suffering scales) among Iranians. Participants were randomly assigned to three experimental conditions. In each condition, a single aspect of Iranian identity (i.e., ancient Iranian, Islamic, or Western) was made temporarily salient through exposure to photo primes. The results showed that exposure to the identity primes affected individuals’ scores on the 2 conceptions of happiness. For example, exposure to the Western prime (vs other primes) predisposed the participants to endorse transformative suffering less strongly. Moreover, identity integration (i.e., the degree to which a person sees consistency among the three aspects of Iranian identity) and the Western identity prime interacted in their effect on the conceptions of happiness. These results indicate that conceptions of happiness can be experimentally manipulated.
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