Peacefulness as a Personality Trait

  • Linden L. Nelson
Part of the Peace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS, volume 20)


Peaceful personality is defined as the consistent manifestation of peaceful states, attitudes, and behaviors over time and across relevant contextual domains. The chapter focuses on measurement tools and research on peacefulness in three contextual domains: intrapersonal, interpersonal, and international. Intrapersonal peacefulness is defined in several ways: (1) as accepting and nonviolent attitudes toward self, (2) as a state of harmony between aspects of self, and (3) as a disposition for emotional states such as serenity and fulfillment that are associated with experiencing harmony. Interpersonal peacefulness involves behavior and attitudes that are nonviolent and that create and maintain harmonious relationships with other persons. International peacefulness is defined as favorable attitudes toward nonviolent and cooperative relations with other nations. The chapter describes a wide variety of instruments for assessing peacefulness in each of these domains; provides evidence on reliability, validity, and stability for many of these instruments; and offers critical evaluation of their usefulness for assessing peaceful personality. The concept of peacefulness as a personality trait implies that some people show a consistent pattern of peaceful behavior, states, and attitudes across time and relevant domains. Reasons for expecting consistency in peacefulness are presented. A comprehensive review of relevant research suggests that intrapersonal peacefulness is moderately correlated with interpersonal peacefulness and that interpersonal peacefulness is moderately correlated with international peacefulness.


Peaceful personality Personality Intrapersonal peacefulness Interpersonal peacefulness Inner peace Peaceful attitudes Peaceful states Peaceful behavior Nonviolence Harmony agreeableness cooperativeness prosocial behavior militaristic attitude 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California Polytechnic State UniversitySan Luis ObispoUSA
  2. 2.San Luis ObispoUSA

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