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Article # 4 personality

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Sisi Tran

Article #4 Personality, Culture & Subjective Well-Being (SBW): Emotional & Cognitive Evaluations of Life Introduction 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 peoples 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 satisfaction Another influence - from personality psychologist studied personality of happy & unhappy people Finally from social & cognitive psychologist studied adaption & varying standards that influence peoples 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 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 dont 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 ones 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)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 Grays theory of personality extraverts more reactive to pleasant emotional stimuli than introverts & neurotic individual more reactive to unpleasant emotional stimuli than stable individual
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