QUALITY OF LIFE: A PARADIGMATIC CHALLENGE TO PSYCHOLOGISTS
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In implicit psychology, Western culture primarily equates quality of life with good health, a well-functioning family and then with the possession of material goods or mammon - money. According to the political élite in advanced countries, the quality of life is ensured mainly by economy - height of the GDP symbolized mainly by the cost of the shopping basket. But what about the sick, the handicapped and the aging? The non-quality of their life was first noticed by medical experts in the early 30s of the 20th century. They primarily underlined relief from pain - discomfort, independence from medicaments, medical aids, the milieu. More or less in parallel with them, the quality of life also came to be noted by psychologists. Their principal criteria for it came to be subjective experiencing of satisfaction, well-being and happiness. Gradually, the phenomenon of quality of life became a subject of scrutiny by sociologists, environmentalists, political scientists; their numerous criteria for the quality of life are selectively dealt with here. The present study understandably lays stress on the psychological concepts of the quality of life. The principal terms are delimitated in confrontation with the views of various authors, methodical procedures are dealt with as problematic issues and certain methods.The author gives an outline of his own model of the quality of life which, in comparison with existing concepts, and underlines especially the basal (universal) plane, from the individual-specific (civilizing) and meta (cultural-spiritual) level. Quality of life represents a mega-problem for the oncoming epoch of mankind, bringing along paradigmatic changes in psychology, both on the theoretical plane and in application: from psycho-correction, psychotherapy, to optimization and prevention. These are the aims of the new challenge to psychologists for developing positive psychology.
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