Advertisement

Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 235–250 | Cite as

The Interplay Among Levels of Personality: The Mediator Effect of Personal Projects Between the Big Five and Subjective Well-Being

  • Isabel Albuquerque
  • Margarida Pedroso de Lima
  • Marcela Matos
  • Cláudia Figueiredo
Research Paper

Abstract

Comprehensive models of personality aspire to integrate the several aspects related to the study of personality in a coherent whole. One of the great research challenges in this field is to understand if and how different levels of personality analysis interrelate to promote human well-being. The aim of the present study is to explore the mediator effect of personal projects’ efficacy on the relationship between Big Five and subjective well-being (SWB) components. We conducted a cross-sectional study in which a battery of self-report questionnaires was used to assess personality and SWB in 396 teachers. Path analysis results indicated that personal projects’ efficacy fully mediated the effects of openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness on life satisfaction and on negative affect. The effects of neuroticism, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness on positive affect were direct but also indirect, partially mediated by personal projects’ efficacy. Neuroticism had a direct and an indirect effect through a decreased personal projects’ efficacy on the three components of SWB. Extraversion only directly predicted increased positive affect. These findings corroborate the conceptualization that these two types of personality analysis units (Big Five and personal projects) have their own direct, unique and irreducible effect on life satisfaction, positive affect and negative affect. However, their impact on SWB components seems to be also explained through their effect upon personal projects’ efficacy.

Keywords

Personality Big Five Personal projects’ efficacy Subjective well-being 

References

  1. Albuquerque, I. (2006). O florescimento dos professores: Projectos pessoais, bem-estar subjectivo e satisfação profissional. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Coimbra, Coimbra.Google Scholar
  2. Albuquerque, I., & Lima, M. P. (2012). Os projectos pessoais: Análise factorial exploratória numa amostra portuguesa, In preparation.Google Scholar
  3. Albuquerque, I., Lima, M. P., Figueiredo, C., & Matos, M. (2012). Subjective well-being structure: Confirmatory factor analysis in a Portuguese teacher sample. Social Indicators Research, 105, 569–580.Google Scholar
  4. Albuquerque, I., Lima, M. P., Matos, M., & Figueiredo, C. (2012b). Personality and subjective well-being: What hides behind global analyses? Social Indicators Research, 105, 447–460. doi: 10.1007/s11205-010-9780-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Argyle, M. (1999). Causes and correlates of happiness. In D. Kahneman, E. Diener, & N. Schwarz (Eds.), Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology (pp. 213–229). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  6. Bleidorn, W., Kandler, C., Hülsheger, U. R., Riemann, R., Angleitner, A., & Spinath, F. M. (2010). Nature and nurture of the interplay between personality traits and major life goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 366–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brewer, M. B. (2000). Research design and issues of validity. In H. T. Reis & C. M. Judd (Eds.), Handbook of research methods in social and personality psychology (pp. 3–16). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Brunstein, J. C., Schultheiss, O. C., & Grässman, R. (1998). Personal goals and emotional well-being: The moderating role of motive dispositions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 494–508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Buss, D. M. (1995). Evolutionary psychology: A new paradigm for psychological science. Psychological Inquiry, 6, 1–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Buss, D. M. (2009). How can evolutionary psychology successfully explain personality and individual differences? Perspectives on Psychological Sciences, 4, 359–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Byrne, B. (2001). Structural equation modeling with amos:basic concepts, applications and programming. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  12. Cantor, N., & Kihlstrom, J. F. (1987). Personality and social intelligence. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  13. Cheng, H., & Furnham, A. (2001). Attributional style and personality as predictors of happiness and mental health. Journal of Happiness Studies, 2, 307–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Costa, P. T., Jr., & McCrae, R. R. (1992). Revised NEO personality inventory (NEO-PI-R) and NEO five-factor inventory (NEO-FFI). Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc.Google Scholar
  15. Costa, P. T., Jr., & McCrae, R. R. (2008). The revised NEO personality inventory (NEO-PI-R). In G. J. Boyle, G. Matthews, & D. H. Saklofske (Eds.), The sage book of personality theory and assessment (Vol. 2, pp. 179–198). London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  16. Costa, P. T., Terracciano, A., & McCrae, R. R. (2001). Gender differences in personality traits across cultures: Robust and surprising findings. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 322–331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2008). Hedonia, eudaimonia, and well-being: An introduction. Journal of Happiness Studies, 9, 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. DeNeve, K. M., & Cooper, H. (1998). The happy personality: A meta-analysis of 137 personality traits and subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 95, 542–575.Google Scholar
  19. Díaz-Morales, J. F., & y Sánchez-López, M. P. (2001). Relevancia de los estilos de personalidad y las metas personales en la predicción de la satisfacción vital. Anales de psicología, 17, 151–158.Google Scholar
  20. Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 95, 542–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Diener, E. (2000). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and proposal for a national index. American Psychologist, 55, 34–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Diener, E., & Fujita, F. (1995). Resources, personal strivings, and subjective well-being: A nomothetic and idiographic approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 926–935.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Diener, E., & Lucas, R. E. (1999). Personality and subjective well-being. In D. Kahneman, E. Diener, & N. Schwarz (Eds.), Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology (pp. 213–229). New York: Russel Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  25. Diener, E., Lucas, R. E., & Oishi, S. (2002). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and life satisfaction. In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.), The handbook of positive psychology (pp. 63–73). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Diener, E., Oishi, S., & Lucas, R. E. (2003). Personality, culture, and subjective well-being: Emotional and cognitive evaluations of life. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 403–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Diener, E., & Suh, M. E. (1997). Measuring quality of life: Economic, social, and subjective indicators. Social Indicators Research, 40, 189–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Diener, E., & Suh, M. E. (1998). Subjective well-being and age: An international analysis. Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 17, 304–324.Google Scholar
  29. Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Tree decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 276–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Eid, M., & Larsen, R. J. (Eds.). (2008). The science of subjective well-being. London: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  31. Emmons, R. A. (1986). Personal strivings: An approach to personality and subjective well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1058–1068.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Grant, S., Langan-Fox, J., & Anglim, J. (2009). Big five traits as predictors of subjective and psychological well-being. Psychological Reports, 105, 201–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gutiérrez, J. L. G., Jiménez, B. M., Hernandez, E. G., & Puente, C. P. (2005). Personality and subjective well-being: Big five correlates and demographic variables. Personality and Individual Differences, 38, 1561–1769.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hayes, N., & Joseph, S. (2003). Big 5 correlates of tree measures of subjective well-being. Personality and Individual Differences, 34, 723–727.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hooker, K., & McAdams, D. P. (2003). Personality reconsidered: A new agenda for aging research. The Journal of Gerontology, 58B(6), 296–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. John, O. P., Naumann, L. P., & Soto, C. J. (2008). Paradigm shift to the integrative big-five trait taxonomy: History, measurement, and conceptual issues. In O. P. John, R. W. Robins & L. A. Pervin (Eds.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (pp. 114–158). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  37. Kahneman, D., Diener, E., & Schwartz, N. (Eds.). (1999). Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  38. Kline, R. B. (2011). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (3rd ed.). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  39. Klinger, E. (1975). Consequences of commitment to and disengagement from incentives. Psychological Review, 82(1), 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Klinger, E. (1977). Meaning and void: Inner experience and the incentives in people’s lives. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  41. Lima, M. P. (1997). NEO-PI-R: Contextos teóricos e psicométricos. “Ocean” ou “iceberg”. Unpublished PhD’s thesis, University of Coimbra, Coimbra.Google Scholar
  42. Lima, M. P. (2002). Personal projects analysis (Portuguese version for research). Coimbra: Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, University of Coimbra.Google Scholar
  43. Little, B. R. (1983). Personal projects: A rationale and method for investigation. Environment and Behavior, 15, 173–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Little, B. R. (1989). Personal projects analysis: Trivial pursuits, magnificent obsessions, and search of coherence. In D. M. Buss & N. Cantor (Eds.), Personality psychology: Recent trends and emerging directions (pp. 15–31). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Little, B. R. (1996). Free traits, personal projects and idio-tapes: Three tiers for personality psychology. Psychological Inquiry, 7, 340–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Little, B. R. (1999a). Personal projects and social ecology. In J. Brandstadter & R. Learner (Eds.), Action and self-development: Theory and research through the lifespan (pp. 197–221). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Little, B. R. (1999b). Personality and motivation: Personal action and conative evolution. In L. A. Pervin & O. P. John (Eds.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (2nd ed., pp. 501–524). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  48. Little, B. R. (2000). Free traits and personal contexts: Expanding a social ecological model of well-being. In W. B. Walsh, K. H. Craik, & R. Price (Eds.), Person environment psychology (2nd ed., pp. 87–116). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  49. Little, B. R. (2004). Personality psychology: Havings, doings and beings in context. Available in http://www.brianrlittle.com/articles/havings_doings_beings.htm/.
  50. Little, B. R. (2006). Personality science and self-regulation: Personal projects as integrative units. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 55, 419–427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Little, B. R. (2007). Prompt and circumstance: Generative contexts of personal projects. In B. R. Little, K. Salmela-Aro, & S. D. Phillips (Eds.), Personal projects pursuit: Goals, action, and human flourishing (pp. 3–51). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.Google Scholar
  52. Little, B. R. (2008). Personal projects and free traits: Personality and motivation reconsidered. Social and Personality Compass, 2, 1235–1254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Little, B. R., & Chambers, N. C. (2000). Personal projects analysis: An integrative framework for clinical and counselling psychology. Revue Québecoise de Psychologie, 21, 153–190.Google Scholar
  54. Little, B. R., & Chambers, N. C. (2004). Personal project pursuit: On human doings and well-beings. In W. Miles Cox & E. Klinger (Eds.), Handbook of motivational counseling (pp. 65–82). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  55. Little, B. R., & Joseph, M. (2007). Personal projects and free traits: Mutable selves and well-beings. In B. R. Little, K. Salmela-Aro, & S. D. Phillips (Eds.), Personal projects pursuit: Goals, action, and human flourishing (pp. 375–402). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.Google Scholar
  56. Little, B. R., Lecci, L., & Watkinson, B. (1992). Personality and personal projects: Linking big five and PAC units of analysis. Journal of Personality, 60, 501–525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Lucas, R. E., & Diener, E. (2008). Personality and subjective well-being. In O. P. John, R. Robins, & L. A. Pervin (Eds.), Handbook of personality (2nd ed.). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  58. McAdams, D. P. (1992). The five-factor model in personality: A critical approach, Special issue, “The five factor model: Issues and applications”. Journal of Personality, 60, 329–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. McAdams, D. P. (1995). What do we know when we know a person? Journal of Personality, 63, 365–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. McAdams, D. P. (1996). Personality, modernity, and storied self: A contemporary framework for studying persons. Psychological Inquiry, 7, 295–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. McAdams, D. P. (2009). The person: An introduction to the science of personality psychology (5th ed.). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  62. McAdams, D. P., & Adler, J. (2006). How does personality develop? In D. Mroczek & T. Little (Eds.), Handbook of personality development (pp. 469–493). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  63. McAdams, D. P., & Olson, B. D. (2010). Personality development: Continuity and change over the life course. Annual Review of Psychology, 61, 517–542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. McAdams, D. P., & Pals, J. L. (2006). A new big five: Fundamental principles for an integrative science of personality. American Psychologist, 61, 204–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (1996). Toward a new generation of personality theories: Theoretical contexts for the five factor model. In J. S. Wiggins (Ed.), The five factor model of personality (pp. 58–87). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  66. McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (1997). Personality trait structure as human universal. American Psychologist, 52, 509–516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (2003). Personality in adulthood: A five-factor theory perspective (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (2008a). Empirical and theoretical status of the five-factor model of personality traits. In G. J. Boyle, G. Matthews, & D. H. Saklofske (Eds.), The sage book of personality theory and assessment (Vol. 1, pp. 272–293). London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  69. McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (2008b). The five factor theory of personality. In O. P. John, R. W. Robins, & L. A. Pervin (Eds.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (3rd ed., pp. 159–181). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  70. McCrae, R. R., Costa, P. T., Jr., Lima, M. P., Simões, A., Ostendorf, F., Angleitner, A., et al. (1999). Age differences in personality across the adult lifespan: Parallels in five cultures. Developmental Psychology, 35, 466–477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. McCrae, R. R., & John, O. (1992). An introduction to the five-factor model and its applications. Journal of Personality, 60, 174–214.Google Scholar
  72. McGregor, I., & Little, B. R. (1998). Personal projects, happiness, and meaning: On doing well and being yourself. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 494–512.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. McGregor, I., McAdams, D. P., & Little, B. R. (2006). Personal projects, life stories, and happiness: On being true to traits. Journal of Research in Personality, 40, 551–572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Mischel, W. (2004). Toward an integrative science of the person (Prefatory Chapter). Annual Review of Psychology, 55, 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Ozer, D. J., & Benet-Martínez, V. (2006). Personality and prediction of consequential outcomes. Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 401–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (1993). Review of the satisfaction with life scale. Psychological Assessment, 5, 164 –172.Google Scholar
  77. Pavot, W., Fujita, F., & Diener, E. (1995). The relation between self-aspect congruence, personality and subjective well-being. Personality and Individual Differences, 22, 183–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Pychyl, T. A., & Little, B. R. (1998). Dimensional specificity in the prediction of subjective well-being: Personal projects in pursuit of the PHD. Social Indicators Research, 45, 423–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Roberts, B. W., & Wood, D. (2006). Personality development in the context of the neo-socioanalytic model of personality. In D. Mroczek & T. Little (Eds.), Handbook of personality development (pp. 11–39). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  80. Schimmack, U., Diener, E., & Oishi, S. (2002). Life-satisfaction is a momentary judgment and a stable personality characteristic: The use of chronically accessible and stable sources. Journal of Personality, 70, 345–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Sheldon, K. M. (2002). The self-concordance model of healthy goal-striving: When personal goals correctly represent the person. In E. L. Deci & R. M. Ryan (Eds.), Handbook of self-determination theory (pp. 65–86). Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.Google Scholar
  82. Sheldon, K. M. (2004). Optimal human being: An integrated approach. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  83. Sheldon, K. M. (2007). Considering the optimality of personality: Goals, self-concordance, and multi-level personality integration. In B. R. Little, K. Salmela-Aro, & S. D Phillips (Eds), Personal projects pursuit: Goals, action, and human flourishing (pp. 355–374). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.Google Scholar
  84. Sheldon, K. M. (2009). Providing the scientific backbone for positive psychology: A multi-level conception of human thriving. Psychological Topics, 18, 267–284.Google Scholar
  85. Sheldon, K., & Hoon, T. (2007). The multiple determination of well-being: Independent effects of positive traits, needs, goals, selves, social supports, and cultural contexts. Journal of Happiness Studies, 8, 565–592.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Sheldon, K. M., & Kasser, T. (1998). Pursuing progress: Skills enable progress, but not all progress is beneficial. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 68, 1319–1331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Simões, A. (1992). Ulterior validação de uma escala de satisfação com a vida (SWLS). Revista Portuguesa de Pedagogia, XXVI, 3, 503–515.Google Scholar
  88. Simões, A (1993). São os homens mais agressivos que as mulheres? Revista Portuguesa de Pedagogia, XXVII, 387–404.Google Scholar
  89. Singer, J. A. (2005). Personality and psychotherapy: Treating the whole person. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  90. Steel, P., Schmidt, J., & Shultz, J. (2008). Refining the relationship between personality and subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 134, 138–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Vittersø, J., & Nilsen, F. (2002). The conceptual and relational structure of subjective well-being, neuroticism, and extraversion: Once again, neuroticism is the important predictor of happiness. Social Indicators Research, 57, 89–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Watson, D., Clark, L., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 1063–1070.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Wilson, D. A. (1990). Personal projects dimensions and perceived life satisfaction. Unpublished master’s thesis, Carleton University, Otawa.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabel Albuquerque
    • 1
  • Margarida Pedroso de Lima
    • 2
  • Marcela Matos
    • 2
  • Cláudia Figueiredo
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Psychology and Education SciencesUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.Cognitive and Behavioral Research Centre (CINEICC), Faculty of Psychology and Education SciencesUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  3. 3.Faculty of Psychology and Education SciencesUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

Personalised recommendations