The English used in this article or section may not be easy for everybody to understand. (April 2015)
Contentment or Satisfaction is a pleasant or positive emotion, feeling or state of mind. Satisfaction is when a desire or a need is fulfilled. Satisfaction is when a person has nothing to complain about. Someone feels satisfied when they achieve a difficult goal. A person feels satisfied by accomplishment, recognition, invention and service. Someone can feel job satisfaction when they like their work. A person tends to feel satisfied by basic body functions. These can include eating, exercising, hygiene, sex or defecation. Some people feel satisfied when they get revenge for something that hurt them. Satisfaction is related to pleasure, gratification and contentment.
Contentment as an emotion[change | change source]
Humans and many other mammals feel satisfaction. Sometimes a person lacks satisfaction. They may feel negative feelings such as discontent, emptiness, boredom or sadness. This is the opposite of satisfaction. It is called dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction occurs when we fail at doing something many times. Dissatisfaction occurs when comparing yourself to another person. This is called social comparison theory. Ongoing dissatisfaction causes complacency, apathy and even depression.
"When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, "Oh yes—I already have everything that I really need."
If someone slips into total dissatisfaction, they might experience anguish. A person is more likely to be happy and satisfied if they learn how to control their negative experiences and to process positive thoughts. Usually, a person does not share their satisfaction with other people. That is called pride.
Satisfaction, like all emotions, is a motivator of behavior. Satisfaction is an important part of one's quality of life. In positive psychology, researchers are studying what gives a person satisfaction in life. Delayed gratification is a part of satisfaction. Delayed gratification is when a person chooses long-term rewards over immediate rewards. Delayed gratification is also when a person prioritizes long-term objectives over closer targets. When a person delays gratification, they feel satisfied.
Satisfaction and happiness[change | change source]
Hedonism[change | change source]
Satisfaction is different from hedonism. A hedonist seeks pleasure or enjoyment above everything else. Satisfaction is not about doing things simply to feel pleasure. Satisfaction is not self-indulgent.
Related pages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
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- Sheldon, K.M.; Elliot, A.J. (1999). "Goal Striving, Need Satisfaction, and Longitudinal Well-Being:The Self-Concordance Model". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 76 (3): 482–497. doi:10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.2062. PMID 10101878.
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- Carducci, Bernardo J. (2009). "Basic Processes of Mischel's Cognitive-Affective Perspective: Delay of Gratification and Conditions of Behavioral Consistency". The Psychology of Personality: Viewpoints, Research, and Applications. John Wiley and Sons. pp. 443–4. ISBN 978-1-4051-3635-8.
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