Quality of Life Research

, Volume 12, Supplement 1, pp 59–72 | Cite as

Personality and quality of life: The importance of optimism and goal adjustment

  • Carsten Wrosch
  • Michael F. Scheier


This article concerns the relations between personality and quality of life. In the first part, we discuss different conceptualizations of personality and quality of life. We argue that personality affects quality of life by influencing how people approach and react to critical life situations. In the second part, we address the beneficial role played by two individual difference variables in promoting quality of life: dispositional optimism and goal adjustment. Literature is reviewed demonstrating that dispositional optimism facilitates subjective well-being and good health, mediated by a person's coping behaviors. In addition, we discuss studies that examine people who confront unattainable goals. The reported evidence supports the conclusion that individual differences in people's abilities to adjust to unattainable goals are associated with a good quality of life.

Disengagement Goal adjustment Optimism Personality Quality of life 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carsten Wrosch
    • 1
  • Michael F. Scheier
    • 2
  1. 1.Concordia UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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