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Chapter 9: Life outcomes/well-being

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Ulrich Schimmack

Psy230-lec18 1 Life outcomes well-being - Psychologists have studied personality traits and tried to determine whether these traits have an effect on life stories and life outcomes. Relationships and marriage: - Are spouses similar in personality? - Watson did a study in which he used 300 married couples who completed self and spouse reports to measure the big five personality factors - Positive correlation means they are similar, negative correlation means if one is high, the other is low - The husband and wives personalities were basically uncorrelated. Correlations were all near zero. The only trait that had SLIGHT negative correlation was extraversion, at -0.15. - Watsons other half of the study asked spouses about marital satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, and marital conflict. The spouses were to rate these factors without knowing how their spouse responded. - He analysed the correlations between personality traits and marital satisfaction. Some people have traits that will find a happy marriage unsatisfying, or vice versa. Some people have traits within them that elicit negative or positive behaviours from their spouse. - The traits that were most strongly correlated with marital satisfaction are agreeableness and emotional stability. People who are high in levels of agreeableness and who are emotionally stable tend to be most satisfied with their marriages, and people with spouses with high levels of those traits also tend to be satisfied with their marriages. - Watson also considered the extent to which marital satisfaction was related to similarity or dissimilarity between spouses - Basically he studied whether having similar levels of traits or different levels of traits affects how satisfied they are with the marriage - He did this by finding the correlation between individuals levels of marital satisfaction and the absolute value of the difference between the individual and hisher spouse in a given characteristic - There was no correlation between similarity or differences between spouses and marital satisfaction - How does personality affect attachment styles? Anxious attachment: the tendency to worry about the loss of a partners love. Avoidant attachment: tendency to feel uncomfortable being emotionally close to ones partner - These two attachment styles are not correlated. A highlow level of one does not determine a highlow level of another Peer relationships: friends and status
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