The Relationship between Leisure and Happiness

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 10:50
Oral Presentation
Huimei LIU, Zhejiang University, China
Shuyang DA, Zhejiang University, China
Abstract: Few studies have made qualitative analysis on the intrinsic relationship between leisure and happiness, though extant quantitative studies have explored their relationships. Based on grounded theory, a photo elicitation approach is employed to visualize people’s conceptualization of happiness and the relationship between leisure and happiness. Visual data are collected among college students from 2013 to 2017 in an eastern key university of China. More than fifty participants were asked to draw three pictures depicting their happiest moments and make a narration of them. When, where, why and with whom do people feel happiest, and what activities make them feel happiest shown in the pictures were analyzed. Then, the leisure elements are dissected from the pictures and the implied psychological factors in leisure which bring happiness are also interpreted. The study reveals that the happiest moments are closely related to leisure time, such as festivals and vacations, silent nights or afternoons, which is disposable and away from work. Moreover, a majority of those happiest moments happen in leisure spaces, like parks, malls, beaches, resorts, etc. In addition, most of the participants feel the happiest when they are participating in leisure activities, including traveling, playing sports, listening to music, etc. Relaxation, tranquility, achievement, affection and enjoyment are significant mechanisms bringing happiness. Leisure functions as a core ingredient for happiness. Practical suggestions were made to improve people’s leisure participation and happiness.

Key words: leisure, happiness, photo elicitation