The idea of happiness in naive psychology. The present work aims to explore the semantic space of happiness, illustrating and critically discussing the results from a recent research line which investigated how common people define and represent this concept. Overall, studies conducted in this field indicate that happiness is a broad conceptual category covering a wide range of meaning components and themes: for example, health, affective relationships, positive emotions, success, and self-actualization. However, it was also found that the perceived salience of some of these components significantly varies according to the socio-cultural context people live in and their age. In the conclusions, the author discusses the implications of these results for the measurement of subjective well-being and quality of life of the general population.
Keywords: Happiness, naive conceptions, individualism, collectivism, positive psychology.