The Instrumental Role of Personality Traits: Using Mixture Structural Equation Modeling to Investigate Individual Differences in the Relationships Between the Big Five Traits and Life Satisfaction

Heike Heidemeier*, Anja S. Göritz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Adopting a social-cognitive view of personality, this study investigated individual differences in the direct (i.e., temperamental) and indirect (i.e., instrumental) effects of the Big Five traits on life satisfaction. For that purpose, we examined a process model in which domain-based emotional experiences mediated the instrumental effects of personality traits. Using mixture structural equation modeling (n = 2682 adults) we found that the direct effects of neuroticism and extraversion were invariant across individuals, whereas the instrumental effects of the Big Five traits varied across two unobserved subgroups. In one of these subgroups (60 %), conscientiousness, openness, agreeableness, and neuroticism had relatively larger effects on domain-based affect and life satisfaction. In a second subgroup (40 %), extraversion was comparatively more relevant for explaining domain-based affect and life satisfaction. Our findings provide evidence that the instrumental role of personality traits and judgmental processes may act in accord to promote subjective well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2595-2612
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Big Five traits
  • Individual differences
  • Life satisfaction
  • Mixture structural equation modeling
  • Whole trait theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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