Revisiting the Sustainable Happiness Model and Pie Chart: Can Happiness Be Successfully Pursued?
The Sustainable Happiness Model (SHM) has been influential in positive psychology and well-being science. However, the ‘pie chart’ aspect of the model has received valid critiques. In this article, we start by agreeing with many such critiques, while also explaining the context of the original article and noting that we were speculative but not dogmatic therein. We also show that subsequent research has supported the most important premise of the SHM – namely, that individuals can boost their well-being via their intentional behaviors, and maintain that boost in the longer-term. However, such effects may be weaker than we initially believed. We describe three contemporary models descended from the thinking embodied in the SHM – the Eudaimonic Activity Model, the Hedonic Adaptation Prevention model, and the Positive Activity Model. Research testing these models has further supported the premise that how people live makes a difference for their well-being.