Personal social environment), and competence (feeling effective and

Personal
goals may be defined as consciously articulated and personally important
objectives that individuals pursue in their daily lives (Elliot, Sheldon, & Church,
1997). Goals are based on cognitive representations of the self, which are
influenced by fundamental psychological needs and norms of a culture. A large
body of research has determined that successful goal pursuit predicts
well-being (Klug & Maier, 2015). Positive psychology has made significant
advances in the understanding of well-being, yet agreement about the definition
and nature of well-being remains elusive (Synard & Gazzola, 2017). Current
conceptualizations of well-being arise from two perspectives: hedonic and eudaimonic
approach. The hedonic approach defines well-being as a satisfactory life
fulfilled with positive emotions and without negative emotion (Anic &
Toncic, 2013). The eudaimonic approach often labelled as psychological
well-being (PWB), defines well-being as living life in accordance with a “true
self,” including the experience of meaning and purpose in life and the fulfillment
of psychological needs. Specifically, a model of eudaimonia, often known as SDT,
proposed three innate psychological needs to be essential for PWB- autonomy
(feeling in control of one’s own choices), relatedness (feeling connected to
others and the social environment), and competence (feeling effective and
skilled) (Smith, Ntoumanis, & Duda, 2007). These three needs must be
satisfied for individuals to experience healthy growth and development. Subsequently,
self-determination theorists have determined that striving for intrinsic life
goals which are concerned with fulfilling one’s innate psychological needs,
such as personal growth is related to greater well-being and life satisfaction,
while, prioritizing extrinsic life goals such as financial success is related
to poorer well-being and stress (Yamaguchi & Halberstadt, 2012). Hence, the
pursuit of intrinsic goals predicts adaptive psychological and behavioural
outcomes relative to the pursuit of extrinsic goals (McLachlan & Hagger,
2011). More importantly, individuals have different ideas of well-being which
can be shaped by the combination of natural and social factors that make up a specific
culture (Yi, Gore, & Kanagawa, 2014). Hence, it is important to identify
which form of goals predicts well-being between cultures.

Individualistic
cultures emphasise the individual’s rights and freedom, hence individuals tend
to pursue intrinsic goals (Ahuvia,
2002). However, in collectivistic cultures, individuals hinge on social
recognition and self-definition through others. Hence, they may pursue
extrinsic goals. Thus, research has proposed that individuals living in
individualistic countries are happier than those in collectivistic countries as
they pursue intrinsic goals. However, other researchers have proposed that
individuals from collectivistic cultures are able to experience well-being and
life satisfaction if those goals reflect basic human needs (Lekes, Gingras,
Philippe, Koestner, & Fang, 2010). For example, in poorer countries,
individuals who strive for financial success tend to fall less with the extrinsic
goals and more with safety and physical health goals. Regardless, this view has
received little empirical scrutiny as the majority of goal studies supports the
notion that the contents of intrinsic goals, in contrast to the extrinsic ones,
would predict psychological well-being (Ingrid, Majda, & Dubravka, 2009). In
general, goals that satisfy basic psychological needs will lead to enhanced
psychological health and well-being.