Social Indicators Research

, Volume 111, Issue 1, pp 341–359 | Cite as

Personality and Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from South Korea

  • Shang E. HaEmail author
  • Seokho Kim


Although the statistically significant relationship between personality traits and subjective well-being (i.e., self-reported happiness and life satisfaction) is well-known in the field of positive psychology, some scholars still cast doubt on the external validity of this finding and the strength of personality dimensions vis-à-vis other individual-level determinants of subjective well-being such as income, employment status, marital status, self-reported health, and so on. Using a nationally representative, face-to-face survey fielded in South Korea in 2009, we find that personality traits (measured by the Five-factor Model)—particularly, Emotional Stability and Extraversion—are positively associated with happiness and life satisfaction, after controlling for other covariates. The effects of personality traits are often on par with, and sometimes even greater than, those of other well-known determinants.


Personality The “Big Five” Subjective well-being Happiness Life satisfaction South Korea 



This paper was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean goverment (NRF-2010-330-B00128).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceBrooklyn College-City University of New YorkBrooklynUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologySungkyunkwan UniversitySeoulKorea

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