Eudaimonic and Hedonic Wellbeing among Bangkokians: A Qualitative Study of Maslow’s Needs, Intrinsic and Extrinsic Values

  • Diana Martinez Stamford International University
  • Jindaporn Asairat
Keywords: Happiness, Eudaimonic Wellbeing, Maslow, Intrinsic Motivation, Thailand


What contributes to a person’s wellbeing is not only different from culture to culture but also from individual to individual. Still, some determinants of happiness seem to be similar among certain groups of people. This qualitative study interviewed Bangkokians living in low- and middle-income neighbourhoods to discuss 1) which levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs are most influential for eudaimonic and hedonic wellbeing, and 2) whether intrinsic values are more prominent than extrinsic values for happiness. The first three levels of Maslow’s pyramid were mostly met allowing the participants to focus on esteem and self-actualization needs. Families’ quality of life seems to have the strongest influence on individual subjective wellbeing, rooted in Asian philosophies and collectivism. It is also a strong predictor of short-term and long-term happiness, since the aspirations of most interviewees were related to their family’s wellbeing and personal growth. Furthermore, intrinsic values focused on family, relationships and career development proved to be more prominent than extrinsic values to achieve happiness. These results are useful for managers and policy makers to focus on group strategies and family support.