Joy: An integrative theory
This paper proposes a new theory of joy as defined by the elation of right relation, i.e., an intense and temporary feeling of heightened positive emotion as a consequence of a just right fit between our identity and the moment we are experiencing. Diverse domains of joy are explored: emotional, social, cognitive, physical, communal, and ideological. Several ‘paradoxical’ forms of joy are also elucidated, including schadenfreude, self-denial, and ‘killjoy’ attempts to thwart the joy of others. Throughout the paper, promising research questions are presented. At the close of the paper, methodological issues in the investigation of joy are discussed. Researchers are encouraged to investigate joy among a wide range of groups–cultures, countries, ages, genders, and social classes.
Journal of Positive Psychology
Arnett, Jeffrey Jensen, "Joy: An integrative theory" (2023). Psychology. 681.