Social Indicators Research

, Volume 118, Issue 2, pp 523–534 | Cite as

Psychological Mechanism of Subjective Well-Being: A Stable Trait or Situational Variability

  • Zhihua Li
  • Xiayun Yin
  • Sha Jiang
  • Mengcheng Wang
  • Taisheng CaiEmail author


In order to explore the stability and variation of the indicators of subjective well-being (SWB), the classic Latent State-Trait (LST), Trait-State-Occasion (TSO), and Indicator-Specific Trait (IT) models were employed to evaluate the stability and variability of life satisfaction, positive emotions, and negative emotions. The study was conducted based on a 1-year and three-wave longitudinal study with a sample of 360 college students. The results show the suitability of the IT model. The consistency coefficients (CO) of all variables are significantly higher than occasion-specificity coefficients (OSpe) in this model, indicating that stability is a remarkable feature of SWB. Moreover, the consistency coefficients of positive affection and negative affection are much higher than that of life satisfaction, suggesting that the positive and negative emotions of individuals are more stable than life satisfaction.


Subjective well-being Stability Variation Latent state-trait model 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhihua Li
    • 1
  • Xiayun Yin
    • 2
  • Sha Jiang
    • 3
  • Mengcheng Wang
    • 4
  • Taisheng Cai
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Medical Psychological Institute, Second Xiangya HospitalCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute of EducationHunan University of Science and TechnologyXiangtanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Oriental Institute of Science and TechnologyHunan Agricultural UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Center for Psychology and Brain ScienceGuangzhou UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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