Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Self-Esteem, Gender, and the Relationship between Extraversion and Subjective Well-Being

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Self-Esteem, Gender, and the Relationship between Extraversion and Subjective Well-Being

Article excerpt

Subjective well-being is an important feature of positive psychology; therefore, as positive psychology develops, subjective well-being is receiving increased attention. Researchers of subjective well-being are from varied but related fields. Sociologists and life-quality researchers are primarily concerned with how well-being is influenced by demographic variables, such as income and marital status (Bierman, 2014; Caputo & Robin, 2013; Hajdu & Hajdu, 2014; Oshio & Urakawa, 2014), and those specializing in psychological health emphasize the importance of not only the absence of psychological stress and illness, but also the presence of happiness and life satisfaction (Nordfjaern, 2013; Van Gelderen, Gartrell, Bos, & Hermanns, 2013). Personality psychologists, who study the personalities of happy and unhappy persons, and social psychologists, who focus on the influence of adaptation and response to subjective well-being, have also focused on self-esteem (Li & Zheng, 2014; Nakama, 2013; Odaci, 2013; Shim, Wang, & Cassady, 2013).

To gain an accurate and in-depth understanding of well-being, psychologists have empirically studied its composition and all the social and psychological factors that exert influences on subjective well-being (Aldinger et al., 2014; Ratcliffe, Stephan, & Varga, 2013). The psychological factors can be divided into two basic categories: life satisfaction, which relates to personal cognition and appraisal of overall quality of life (i.e., overall satisfaction with one's personal life), and emotional experience, which is the personal experience of emotion in life, including positive effects, such as pleasure and easiness (Andrews & Withey, 1976; Lu et al., 2001), and negative effects, such as depression, anxiety, and nervousness (Aldinger et al., 2014; Ratcliffe et al., 2013; Woodford, 2012). Life satisfaction, experience of positive effects, and absence of negative effects all increase well-being. Personal well-being is an important aggregative psychology parameter in the measurement of quality of personal life, and is directly proportional to overall satisfaction with life and positive effects experienced, and inversely proportional to negative effects (Lu et al., 2001). Subjective well-being is determined by personal criteria, such that the determination of well-being can only be true and accurate with personal experience. Thus, well-being is subjective, and has been evaluated using subjective reports in most studies (e.g., Woodford, 2012). Subjective well-being as an aggregative psychology parameter consists of the three aspects of life satisfaction, positive effects, and negative effects, which reflect overall quality of life and are, thus, integral and comprehensive (Diener, 1984; Lu et al., 2001).

Extraversion and Subjective Well-Being

Personality, especially extraversion, is one of the most powerful and stable indices of well-being (Diener, Suh, Lucas, & Smith, 1999; Otonari et al., 2012). Western scholars have provided evidence of the relationship between subjective well-being and personality, with comprehensive studies (Gomez, Allemand, & Grob, 2012; McCrae & Costa, 1991) and quantitative analyses having been made; however, more evidence is required from non-Western cultures as to whether or not personality works as an important predictive index of subjective well-being (Diener & Diener, 1996; Wismeijer & Van Assen, 2008). Nevertheless, there is a significant difference across countries in terms of the impact of personality on subjective well-being, especially between Eastern (i.e., Asian) and Western (i.e., European and North American) countries (Diener, Oishi, & Lucas, 2003; Helliwell, 2003). Diener et al. (2003) compared countries with individualistic cultures, such as the US and Germany, and countries with collectivistic cultures, such as Japan, Mexico, and Ghana, and reported that extraversion is directly proportional to subjective well-being in both cultures. …

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