Ideal levels of prosocial involvement in relation to momentary affect and eudaimonia: exploring the golden mean

Kelsey Finley, Maria Axner, Katherine Vrooman, Dwight Tse

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Aristotle believed that happiness and success result from cultivating virtue at the mean between deficiency and excess - the golden mean. Some evidence suggests there is a golden mean of hours spent volunteering, where well-being benefits are maximized. Our study examined potential linear and nonlinear functions in the amount of time spent in prosocial work (PSW) in a day on the outcomes of eudaimonia, high arousal negative affect, and high arousal positive affect in a sample of high-commitment volunteers and prosocial leaders. In addition to nonlinear functions, interactions were explored. For example, we found that those who spend less time per week in PSW experience less negative affect when they spend more hours per day in PSW; however, those who spend more time per week in PSW experience more negative affect when they spend more hours per day in PSW. Additional findings for positive affect and eudaimonia will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614
Number of pages1
JournalInnovation in Aging
Issue numberSuppl. 1
Early online date4 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2020
EventGerontological Society of America 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting Online - Virtual
Duration: 4 Nov 20207 Nov 2020


  • prosocial work
  • eudaimonia
  • volunteering

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