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Mark D. Holder and Andrea Klassen

Subject Psychology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405161251.2009.x


In the study of psychology, personality refers to the internal traits that contribute to people behaving in consistent ways over time and across situations. Our personalities are our unique set of individual differences that govern how we behave and how we react to the environment. Our personalities are relatively enduring components that describe who we are; they are not momentary and fluctuating states. Research has demonstrated that different dimensions of personality are strongly associated with aspects of positive psychology, including happiness and life-satisfaction. Two personality variables that have been consistently and strongly connected with positive psychology are extroversion (a trait typified by being social, assertive, lively, and sensation seeking) and neuroticism (a trait typified by being anxious, depressed, and emotional, as well as having low self-esteem). For example, people who are highly extroverted tend to be happier, and people who are highly neurotic tend to be less happy. One study reported that extroversion and neuroticism together accounted for 42% of the variance in the happiness of adults and that extroversion and neuroticism also predicted well-being more than a decade later. In addition to extroversion and neuroticism, additional variables related to personality are associated with happiness in adults. For example, optimistic people (i.e., those ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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