Poster: All in the family: Shared and distinctive causes of personality and well-being

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Information about Poster: All in the family: Shared and distinctive causes of personality...

Published on February 17, 2014

Author: chrismartin76


All in the Family The Shared and Distinctive Causes of Personality and Well-Being Chris C. Martin & Corey L. M. Keyes Introduction An Exaggerated Claim ‣ Personality traits exhibit a very strong association with subjective well-being (SWB). Genes may partially underlie this phenomenon (Diener, Suh, Lucas, & Smith, 1999, p. 282). ‣ The literature on the genetic variance in well-being, however, has solely focused on emotional well-being (e.g., Bartels & Boomsma, 2009). ‣ Thus, some claims may be exaggerated. For instance, Weiss, Bates, and Luciano (2008) found no genetic variance in SWB to be unique from personality, and claimed that "happiness is a personality thing." However, they neglected psychological and social well-being. Using the Tripartite Model ‣ The tripartite models derives from the hedonic and eudaimonic traditions of well-being scholarship. ‣ The eudaimonic tradition includes psychological well-being, which focuses on functioning in domains such as purpose, contribution, and mastery in life. ‣ The eudaimonic tradition also includes social well-being, which focuses on functioning in domains such as social acceptance, societal integration, and social contribution. Methods Sample | Department of Sociology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA Results Bivariate Model ‣ The twin sample examined here ‣ In this case and the two cases below, the best fitting model included a total of 1,386 twins from samesex twin pairs: 186 female monozygotic (MZ), 198 female dizygotic (DZ), 163 male MZ, and 123 male DZ twins. Their mean age was 44.6 (SD = 12.2). ‣ The genetic correlations with SWB ranged from a low of .42 for included additive genetic effects and individual-specific environment , and excluded shared environmental effects. ‣ Emotional, psychological and social well-being were measured using Likert scales. The Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) adjectival scale was used to measure the Big Five. Analytic Plan Model run separately for each trait. Agreeableness (Openness = .50, Neuroticism = -.53, and Conscientiousness = .55) to a high of .62 for Extraversion. The unique environmental correlations with SWB ranged from a low of .40 for Openness (Conscientiousness = .45, Agreeableness = .46, and Extraversion = .51) to a high of -.58 with Neuroticism. Six-Variable Cholesky Decomposition Model ‣ This model decomposes the genetic and environmental ‣ We used structural equation models to contribution to SWB into those shared with the Big Five versus those unique to SWB. determine the genetic and environmental sources of personality traits and wellbeing levels. The phenotypic variance comprises additive genetic effects (A), shared environmental effects (C), and unique environmental effects (E) (Kendler & Prescott, 2006). ‣ For genetic effects, the total heritability of SWB was 72%. Of this total, 64% was shared with personality and 36% was unique. Individual-specific environmental effects account for 28% of the variance in SWB, of which 63% was shared with personality measures and 37% was unique. References Bartels, M., & Boomsma, D. I. (2009). Born to be happy? The etiology of subjective well-being. Behavior Genetics, 39, 605-615. doi:10.1007/s10519-009-9294-8 Bivariate Common-Pathway Model Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective wellbeing: Three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 276-302. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.125.2.276 Kendler, K. S., & Prescott, C. A. (2006). Genes, environment, and psychopathology: Understanding the causes of psychiatric and substance use disorders. New York, NY US: Guilford Press. Weiss, A., Bates, T. C., & Luciano, M. (2008). Happiness is a personal(ity) thing: The genetics of personality and well-being in a representative sample. Psychological Science, 19, 205-210. doi:10.1111/j.14679280.2008.02068.x Conclusion We found one-third of genetic variation in SWB is distinctive from the genetic variation in personality. Thus, psychologists should be wary of labeling well-being a “personality thing.” Well-being and personality are best construed as members of the same family. ‣ The single latent personality factor had strong positive loadings on Extraversion, followed by Agreeableness and Openness, and a weaker negative loading on Neuroticism. ‣ Of the total heritability of SWB (i.e., 72%), 70% was shared with personality and 30% was unique to SWB. Individual-specific environmental effects accounted for 28% of the variance in SWB, of which 57% was shared with personality traits and 43% was unique to SWB.

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