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PSYC14H3 Lecture Notes - Cognitive Psychology, Extraversion And Introversion, Article One Of The United States Constitution

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Article #4
Personality, Culture & Subjective Well-Being (SBW): Emotional & Cognitive Evaluations of Life
Defining Subjective Well-Being
Field of SWB comprises the scientific analysis of how people evaluate of their lives - both at the moment
& for longer periods (e.g. for past year) including emotional reactions to events, moods, & judgments
about their life satisfication, fulfillment, satisfaction w/ domains such as work & marriage
o Lay terms happiness & satisfaction
Each facet of SWB reflect people’s evaluations of their life BUT some (e.g. positive effect) shows some
degree of independence but researcher usually measure single aspect of well or ill-being (e.g.
depression or life satisfaction)
History of Research on SWB
Major influence came from sociologist & quality of life researchers who did surveys to determine how
demographic factors (e.g. income, marriage) influence SWB
Another influence from researchers in mental health who want to extend the idea of mental health
beyond the absence of symptoms of depression & distress to include the presence of happiness & life
Another influence - from personality psychologist studied personality of happy & unhappy people
Finally from social & cognitive psychologist studied adaption & varying standards that influence people’s
feelings of well being
# of theoretical traditions that contributed to the understanding of SWB:
o Humanistic psych stimulated the interest in positive well-being
o Factors e.g. temperant, adaptions, goal striving influence levels of SWB but no single scheme
unites field
SWB measured in variety of ways for:
o emotional components broad survey (e.g. general how happy you are?) , sampling of moods &
emotions over time, informant reports from family & friends used
o cognitive components assessed w/ life satisfaction surveys , w/ measures of satisfaction in
various life domains (e.g. marriage, work)
The Importance of SWB
is one measure of quality of life of an individual & societies
one conclusion is good life is happy (though definition of happiness differ b/w philosopher)
positive SWB necessary for good life & society but not sufficient for it e.g. society high in
SWB but might still missing things e.g. fairness that is essential for high quality life/ society

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Diener & Suh say SWB is one of 2 major way to asses the quality of life of societies w/ other 2
: economic & social indicators
Structure of the Review
2 interrelated factors that influence SWB personality & culture both influenced by social
learning, genetics & their interactions
Both could influence mean levels of SWB , moderate factors that correlated w/ SBW +
culture can influence personality (vice versa)
happiness & high chronic levels of positive affect have benefits w/ material quality, income,
creativity, sociability & productivity
Little know about how personality or culture moderate these outcomes & most research done in
Western nations thus don’t know how temperament might alter these outcomes
Long-term longitudinal design w/ experimental research where emotions are manipulated &
results are observed
Personality & SBW
Major Characteristics that Influence Subjective Well-Being
Early SWB focused on identifying external conditions to satisfying lives e.g. Wilson article
Correlates of Avowed Happiness” listed demographic factors that related to SWB measures
Now know external factors often have modest impact on WB reports demographic factors
account for only a small amount of variance in WB measures
o SWB fairly stable over time & it rebounds after major life events & often strongly
correlated w/ stable personality traits
Many work focus on moderate to strong correlation b/w SWB & traits of extraversion and
neuroticism think these provide primary links b/w personality & SWB
Meta-analysis review found on avg. extraversion correlated (.38) w/ pleasant affect + w/
multiple & diverse methods of measurement used the correlation approached to .80
o Fujita found similar strong correlation b/w neurotism & negative affect
DeNeve & Cooper focusing solely on those 2 factors is oversimplification w/ Big Five
Dimension of agreeableness & conscientiousness correlated w/ SWB (.20) + narrower traits (e.g.
repressive defensives) all exhibited moderate correlations w/ SWB
Also non-trait part of personality related to SWB constructs Emmons various features of
one’s goals & conflict have important implications for emotional & cognitive WB
Others suggest way we approach our goal influences SWB
Also - having coherent sense of personality & acting in accordance w/ that personality are
positively related WB but these finding might not generalize to less individualistic cultures
not make causal priority from correlational data most studies are correlation
E.g. reverse causal direction may be true inducing pleasant moods can lead to greater
feelings of sociability (defining characteristic of extraversion traits)

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Personality Theories of Subjective Well-Being
Individual diff (personality & SWB) emerge early in life , stable over time & have moderate to
strong genetic component
o Lead to conclude SWB primarily determined by inborn predispositions
BUT - Importance of inborn traits may depend on Questions asked about SWB e.g. looking at
SWB w/in individuals over time find life events & changes important for WB
Temperament personality theories & SWB focus primarily on 3 aspects of individual diff in WB :
o Baseline levels of affective & cognitive WB
o Emotional reactivity
o Cognitive processing of emotional info
Heady & Wearing “Dynamic Equilibrium Model” – individuals have unique baseline levels of
WB that are determined by their personality
o Person w/ certain personalities likely to experience certain type of events (e.g.
extraverts more likely to get married than introverts) these events influence avg
level of WB
o Unusual event move person WB level up or below baseline but will eventually return to
baseline as events normalize
Based on Gray’s theory of personality extraverts more reactive to pleasant emotional stimuli
than introverts & neurotic individual more reactive to unpleasant emotional stimuli than stable
o Diff in reactivity don’t account for all covariance b/w personality & SWB
traits of extraversion & neuroticism , long term affective traits , momentary affective states are
related to individual diff in processing of emotional content
More likely to perceive, attend to, & remember emotionally/ trait congruent info better than
incongruent info extraverts slower to shift attention away from rewarding stimuli vs.
extraverts more quickly related events to their motives when in positive moods vs. introverts
who did it more quickly when in negative or neutral mood
looked additional explanations for individual diff in SWB better to explain long-term stability
& consistency of SWB than for link b/w personality & WB
Personality Based Causes of Subjective Well-Being
Not just direct but Indriect or interactional effects (e.g. Diff life circumstances) affect WB diff
depending on one’s personality
E.g. extravert generally more happier vs. introverts Kette extraverted prisoners less happy
than introverted prisoners Situation features not congruent w/ extraverted disposition
interaction b/w personality & situations more directly using daily diary study showed physical
pleasure more strongly related to daily satisfaction for high sensation-seekers vs. low sensation-
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