Social Indicators Research

, Volume 112, Issue 1, pp 221–238 | Cite as

Linking Metatraits of the Big Five to Well-Being and Ill-Being: Do Basic Psychological Needs Matter?

  • Ömer Faruk ŞimşekEmail author
  • Selda Koydemir


There is considerable evidence that two higher order factors underlie the Big-Five dimensions and that these two factors provide a parsimonious taxonomy. However, not much empirical evidence has been documented as to the extent to which these traits relate to certain psychological constructs. In this study, we tested a structural model to investigate the individual differences in well-being and ill-being by examining the mediating effects of autonomy, relatedness, and competence on the extent to which two higher order factors of personality, namely Stability and Plasticity, are linked to life satisfaction and depression. In testing the model, we controlled for the effects of current affect. A large community sample participated and responded to self-measures of The Big-Five personality, basic psychological needs satisfaction, satisfaction with life, depressive symptoms, and positive and negative affect. The results revealed that satisfaction of basic psychological needs fully mediated the relationship between Plasticity and life satisfaction, as well as depression. It also fully mediated the relationship between Stability and life satisfaction, and partially mediated the relationship between Stability and depression.


Personality Basic psychological needs Life satisfaction Depression Positive and negative affect 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyIzmir University of EconomicsBalcovaTurkey
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of BambergBambergGermany

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