[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most theories of personality development posit that changes in life circumstances (e.g., due to major life events) can lead to changes in personality, but few studies have examined the exact time course of these changes. In this article, we argue that time needs to be considered explicitly in theories and empirical studies on personality development. We discuss six notions on the role of time in personality development. First, people can differ before the event. Second, change can be non-linear and discontinuous. Third, change can be reversible. Fourth, change can occur before the event. Fifth, control groups are needed to disentangle age-related and event-related changes. Sixth, we need to move beyond examining single major life events and study the effects of non-normative events, non-events, multiple events, and minor events on personality. We conclude by summarizing the methodological and theoretical implications of these notions.
European Journal of Personality 06/2014; 28:256-266. · 2.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose
The present paper assessed the validity of single-item life satisfaction measures by comparing single-item measures to the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS)—a more psychometrically established measure.
Two large samples from Washington (N = 13,064) and Oregon (N = 2,277) recruited by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and a representative German sample (N = 1,312) recruited by the Germany Socio-Economic Panel were included in the present analyses. Single-item life satisfaction measures and the SWLS were correlated with theoretically relevant variables, such as demographics, subjective health, domain satisfaction, and affect. The correlations between the two life satisfaction measures and these variables were examined to assess the construct validity of single-item life satisfaction measures.
Consistent across three samples, single-item life satisfaction measures demonstrated substantial degree of criterion validity with the SWLS (zero-order r = 0.62–0.64; disattenuated r = 0.78–0.80). Patterns of statistical significance for correlations with theoretically relevant variables were the same across single-item measures and the SWLS. Single-item measures did not produce systematically different correlations compared to the SWLS (average difference = 0.001–0.005). The average absolute difference in the magnitudes of the correlations produced by single-item measures and the SWLS was very small (average absolute difference = 0.015–0.042).
Single-item life satisfaction measures performed very similarly compared to the multiple-item SWLS. Social scientists would get virtually identical answer to substantive questions regardless of which measure they use.
Quality of Life Research 06/2014; · 2.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Subjective well-being reflects an overall evaluation of the quality of a person's life from his or her perspective. Although subjective well-being is typically studied at the individual level, social scientists have become increasingly interested in the well-being of broader regions like cities, states, or nations. The current study examines the association between aggregate well-being and an important behavioral indicator of regional success: migration and population growth. Using life satisfaction data from over 2 million respondents, along with population data from 2000 to 2010, I show that U.S. counties with higher levels of life satisfaction grew at substantially faster rates than did counties with low life satisfaction. Supplemental analyses showed that this association was not due to regional differences in birth or death rates. Instead, counties with high life satisfaction experienced high levels of domestic migration. These results show the validity and utility of life satisfaction measures at the regional level.
Social psychological and personality science. 05/2014; 5(4):383-388.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous research has shown that major life events can have short- and long-term effects on subjective well-being (SWB). The present meta-analysis examines (a) whether life events have different effects on affective and cognitive well-being and (b) how the rate of adaptation varies across different life events. Longitudinal data from 188 publications (313 samples, N = 65,911) were integrated to describe the reaction and adaptation to 4 family events (marriage, divorce, bereavement, childbirth) and 4 work events (unemployment, reemployment, retirement, relocation/migration). The findings show that life events have very different effects on affective and cognitive well-being and that for most events the effects of life events on cognitive well-being are stronger and more consistent across samples. Different life events differ in their effects on SWB, but these effects are not a function of the alleged desirability of events. The results are discussed with respect to their theoretical implications, and recommendations for future studies on adaptation are given.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 11/2011; 102(3):592-615. · 5.08 Impact Factor