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Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 1023–1034 | Cite as

The Relationship Between Personality and Subjective Well-Being: Different Association Patterns When Measuring the Affective Component in Frequency and Intensity

  • Danilo GarciaEmail author
  • Arvid Erlandsson
Research Paper

Abstract

The aim was to determine whether the relationship between personality traits and Subjective Well-Being (SWB) differs when the affective component of SWB is measured in terms of frequency or intensity. Extraversion and Neuroticism were expected to show significant but different associations to SWB depending on the dimension of the affective component. Swedish undergraduate students (N = 153) self-reported personality, life satisfaction (LS), and affect measured in both frequency (i.e., how often they feel certain affects) and intensity (i.e., how strongly they feel certain affects). Two types of SWB-scores were constructed by merging LS with affect measured in either frequency or intensity. While Extraversion had a similar effect on both types of SWB, Neuroticism had a significantly stronger effect on SWB when the affective component was measured in frequency. More importantly, the effect of Neuroticism, compared to Extraversion, was stronger on SWB regardless of the dimension of the affective component. These findings suggest that future research should clearly distinguish between intensity and frequency when measuring the affective component of SWB. The distinction is important, not only due to the distinctiveness of the affective dimensions per se, but also due to different association patterns between personality traits and both dimensions.

Keywords

Affect balance Affect frequency and intensity Extraversion Negative affect Neuroticism Personality Positive affect Subjective well-being 

Notes

Acknowledgments

As the first author I want to thank Anver Siddiqui at the University of Gothenburg for his support in my research. We want to direct our gratitude to participants who made the study possible and reviewers who helped to improve the manuscript. We want also to thank Professor Larry Curtis at the University of Toledo in Ohio for his help editing the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyLund UniversityLundSweden

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