Extraversion and subjective well-being in a U.S. national probability sample.


Diener, E., Sandvik, E., Pavot, W., & Fujita, F. (1992). Extraversion and subjective well-being in a U.S. national probability sample. Journal of Research in Personality, 26(3), 205-215.


Recent work on subjective well-being has demonstrated that extraversion is a replicable correlate of emotional well-being (e.g., Costa & McCrae, 1980; Emmons & Diener, 1985). In the present study, data from a national probability sample in the United States were used to explore whether extraverts report higher levles of subjective well-being regardless of the social versus nonsocial nature of their environments. At two points in time separated by 10 years it was found that extraverts were happier whether living alone or with others (p's ≤ .001), whether living in large cities or rural areas (p's ≤ .001), and whether working in social or nonsocial occupations (p ≤ .07 and p < .05). Extraverts were also happier across racial, gender, and age groups. The data did not support the idea that extraverts' greater happiness is only due to the greater amount of time they spend in social environments. The findings did not support a personality-situation matching explanation of subjective well-being and indicate that extraverts tend to be happier on the average regardless of their level of social contact. It was also found that extraverts work in social occupations significantly more often (p ≤ .001) and live in households with more persons significantly more often (p ≤ .05), but do not live in greater proportions in large cities as compared to rural areas. Thus, extraverts do appear to select themselves into certain long-term life situations.

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