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Studies

Costa & McCrae (1980): study US 1976

Publication

Author(s):
Costa, P.T.; McCrae, R.R.
Title:
Influence of Extraversion and Neuroticism on Subjective Well-Being: Happy and Unhappy People.
Source:
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1980, Vol. 38, 668 - 678

Investigation

Public:
35-85 aged white males (largely veterans), USA, 1976
Sample:
Respondents:
N = 1100
Non Response:
T1:21%; T2:18%; T3:27%; T4:46%
Assessment:
Questionnaire: paper
Mailed questionnaire att intervals of 3 months

Happiness Measure(s) and Distributional Findings

Full text:
Selfreport on 10 questions, repeated four times at 3 months intervals:

"During the past few weeks, did you ever feel ....?"  (yes/no)

A   Particularly excited or interested in something?
B   So restless that you couldn't sit long in a chair?
C   Proud because someone complimented you on something you had done?
D   Very lonely or remote from other people?
E   Pleased about having accomplished something?
F   Bored?
G   On top of the world?
H   Depressed or very unhappy?
I    That things were going your way?
J    Upset because someone criticized you?

Answer options and scoring:
yes = 1
no  =  0
Summation:
-Positive Affect Score (PAS): A+C+E+G+I
-Negative Affect Score (NAS): B+D+F+H+J
-Affect Balance Score (ABS): PAS minus NAS
Possible range: -5 to +5

Name: Bradburn's 'Affect Balance Scale' (standard version)
Classification:
A-BB-cm-mq-v-2-b
Author's label:
Subjective well-being; happiness

Correlational Findings

Author's label Subject Description Finding Personal security Secure (vs threatened) Hopelessness Current hope Life satisfaction Satisfaction with multiple domains of life General emotionality Emotional General emotionality Earlier emotionality Fear Anxious Fear Earlier anxiety Anger Aggressive, angry Anger Aggressive, angry Poor inhibition of impulse Earlier inhibition Poor inhibition of impulse Impulsive (vs self controlled) Sociability Sociable Tempo Speedy, hurried Tempo Earlier hurriedness Vigor Vigorous Vigor Earlier vigor Sociability Sociable Extraversion Extraverted Extraversion Extraverted Neuroticism Scores on symptom inventories Neuroticism Scores on symptom inventories