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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2004 Aug;30(8):1062-75.

Personality and life satisfaction: a facet-level analysis.

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Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.


At the global level of the Big Five, Extraversion and Neuroticism are the strongest predictors of life satisfaction. However, Extraversion and Neuroticism are multifaceted constructs that combine more specific traits. This article examined the contribution of facets of Extraversion and Neuroticism to life satisfaction in four studies. The depression facet of Neuroticism and the positive emotions/cheerfulness facet of Extraversion were the strongest and most consistent predictors of life satisfaction. These two facets often accounted for more variance in life satisfaction than Neuroticism and Extraversion. The findings suggest that measures of depression and positive emotions/cheerfulness are necessary and sufficient to predict life satisfaction from personality traits. The results also lead to a more refined understanding of the specific personality traits that influence life satisfaction: Depression is more important than anxiety or anger and a cheerful temperament is more important than being active or sociable.

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