A Holistic View of Happiness: Belief in the Negative Side of Happiness is More Prevalent in Japan than in the United States
Y. Uchida
Two studies tested the hypothesis that while Americans believe that happiness is an enduring positive state to be pursued by each individual, Japanese believe that it is a positive, but transitory interpersonal moment fraught with negative consequences such as others' envy and a reduced ability to attend to one's surroundings. Study I used a standard questionnaire method to show that people in Japanese cultural contexts have a more holistic concept of happiness than do people in European-American cultural contexts. Study 2 showed that this Japanese holistic view of happiness is associated with a holistic worldview rather than personal subjective well-being. This suggests that the holistic view of happiness is related to a dialectic thinking style prevalent in Japanese culture and unrelated to individual levels of subjective well-being.

Key words: happiness, culture, self, holism