Academic journal article Journal of Psychological and Educational Research

New Psychometrical Data on the Efficiency of Satisfaction with Life Scale in Romania

Academic journal article Journal of Psychological and Educational Research

New Psychometrical Data on the Efficiency of Satisfaction with Life Scale in Romania

Article excerpt

Introduction

During the last decades we observe an orientation of scientific researches towards the wellbeing construct or satisfaction with life, supplying important extra information to some psychological targets: understanding anxiety or emotional distress.

Applied psychological research identified two aspects of subjective wellbeing: an affective component which can be divided in pleasant and unpleasant affects and a cognitive component which hints to satisfaction in life (Arrindell, Meeuwesen, & Huyse, 1991). Rigorous researches indicated that satisfaction and affects are separate components (Arrindell et al., 1991; Pavot & Diener, 1993) being rather related to other variables. Cognitive and affective components of wellbeing are not completely independent as they have a relative distinctiveness and can supply complementary information when they are evaluated separately.

Although that the two components of wellbeing (affective and cognitive) are considered as being important, researches focused on the measurement of affective wellbeing, evidentiated by instruments measuring the affects, by example the mood and affective wellbeing can be evaluated by the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS; Watson, Clark, & Teilegen, 1988). Generally, the satisfaction with life, component of "Satisfaction With Life Scale" (SWLS) received less attention from researchers (Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985) because frequently it formed a separate factor and correlated with predictor variables in a single direction, consequently, a separate evaluation of this construct is justified.

Satisfaction with life refers to the decision process where the individuals evaluate the quality of their own lives based on their own and unique set of criteria (Pavot & Diener, 1993, p. 165).

Although there is an agreement with regards to the importance of "good life" components, such as health or success in relations, more probably, individuals evaluate in a different manner the value of these components (Pavot, Diener, Colvin, & Sandvik, 1991).

Hypothetically, the individuals have a unique criterion for what is "good in life", but in some cases mutual values are important. Besides that, individuals can have very different standards for success, for each important life area; consequently, the evaluation of a global judgment of individuals becomes necessary, rather that the satisfaction in specific fields. This is the strategy adopted by the authors of Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) where the items have a global character and not a specific one, allowing the respondent to balance the domains of his own life in the terms of personal values, in order to reach a global judgment of satisfaction with life (Frisch, Cornell, Villanueva, & Retzlaff, 1992).

There are evidences according to which satisfaction frequently forms a separate factor from the affective indexes of wellbeing. First of all, people can ignore or negate negative emotional reactions but they can remember the undesirable factors of their life. Second of all, affective reactions are often answers to immediate and short term factors, while the evaluation of satisfaction in life can reflect a long term perspective. Third of all, individuals consciously evaluate their own life circumstances which can reflect the conscience of values and purposes.

In opposition, affective reactions can reflect unconscious reasons and influences of corporal mood to a greater extent than the evaluations of satisfaction with life do. The convergence point between satisfaction with life and emotional wellbeing can be represented by their addiction to evaluative estimations.

Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) was built in order to evaluate the satisfaction in life of respondents as an ensemble. The scale does not evaluate the satisfaction with life in domains such as health or financial, but it allows the subjects to integrate their balance (or influence) of these domains in any of the desired direction. …

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