March 15

Subjective well-being and personality

Posted by aadsera

Ed Diener and Richard E. Lucas consider that one of the most robust and consistent conclusions reached in the field of subjective well-being (SWB) is that the components of SWB are moderately related to personality. The tendency to experience emotions, whether mild or strong, is stable over time. Emotional variability is also stable in the long term.

Reports that people make on their subjective well-being do not reflect arbitrary decisions based on temporary and unstable factors. By contrast, cognitive and affective components of SWB are consistent over time and across situations. This allows them to be reliably predicted based on personality traits. For example, extraversion is moderately correlated with pleasant affect, whereas neuroticism is moderately correlated with unpleasant affect.

This does not mean that personality is the only factor that influences SWB; it only indicates that there is a strong and consistent relation.

Diener, E., Lucas, R.E. (2003). “Personality and subjective well-being.” In Kahneman, D., Diener, E., Schwarz, N. [Eds.] Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology. (pp 213-229). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.