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Education Research International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 643438, 7 pages
Research Article

Examining Relationships between Academic and Social Achievement Goals and Routes to Happiness

1Department of Psychology, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, 1727 W. Alabama Chickasha, OK 73717, USA
2Department of Psychology and Family Studies, Oklahoma Christian University, P.O. Box 11000, Oklahoma City, OK 73136, USA

Received 27 March 2012; Revised 9 July 2012; Accepted 18 July 2012

Academic Editor: Eddie Denessen

Copyright © 2012 Christopher O. Walker et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of the current study was to examine the relationships among social and academic achievement goals and the route to happiness selected by a sample of college students. According to Waterman (1993) there are two distinct routes to happiness: eudaimonia and hedonic enjoyment. Hedonic enjoyment has been defined as the pursuit of proximal goals and immediate pleasure, while eudaimonia is best defined as the long-term commitment to pursue “self-realization” (Waterman, 1993). A sample of 132 college students completed a research packet containing an informed consent, demographics form, and three questionnaires. The results suggested that one’s route to happiness was related to the academic and social achievement goal orientation of the participants. A call is made for additional research to examine the interrelations among variables traditionally considered in cognitive-motivational research and variables considered to be a part of the positive psychology movement (e.g., happiness).