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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1996 Sep;71(3):616-28.

Discriminant validity of well-being measures.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 61820, USA.


The convergent and discriminant validities of well-being concepts were examined using multitrait-multimethod matrix analyses (D. T. Campbell & D. W. Fiske, 1959) on 3 sets of data. In Study 1, participants completed measures of life satisfaction, positive affect, negative affect, self-esteem, and optimism on 2 occasions 4 weeks apart and also obtained 3 informant ratings. In Study 2, participants completed each of the 5 measures on 2 occasions 2 years apart and collected informant reports at Time 2. In Study 3, participants completed 2 different scales for each of the 5 constructs. Analyses showed that (a) life satisfaction is discriminable from positive and negative affect, (b) positive affect is discriminable from negative affect, (c) life satisfaction is discriminable from optimism and self-esteem, and (d) optimism is separable from trait measures of negative affect.

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