Full Text


Sherry L. Beaumont

Subject Psychology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405161251.2009.x


Contentment is a form of pleasant affect involving tranquility and serenity. It is an emotional response that tends to arise under conditions that include high certainty and low effort, and thus, is akin to the relief or mild joy one might experience in response to feeling safe and cared for. Contentment has traditionally been conceptualized as an aspect of the broader constructs of subjective well-being and happiness. Within this conceptualization, contentment is viewed as the positive affective basis, along with joy, for more global well-being; one's experience of positive emotions (including contentment) contributes to one's subjective appraisal of happiness. Until recently, little research focused on the experience of positive emotions, like contentment, primarily due to the fact that relative to negative emotions, positive emotions are less discrete, fewer in number, and less obvious in terms of their adaptive functions. For example, whereas basic negative emotions such as anger or disgust are associated with specific facial expressions, the experience of positive emotions such as contentment are not often signaled by specific facial movements. Similarly, negative emotions appear to have obvious adaptive functions (e.g., fear promotes fleeing in times of threat), whereas the functions of positive emotions are less well-understood in terms of the link to specific actions. With ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top