in science

The 5 personality traits that lead to well-being

Scott Barry Kaufman at Scientific American has findings about personality traits that are more likely to predict personal well-being. They are:

  1. Enthusiasm
  2. Low Withdrawl (i.e. from social situations)
  3. Industriousness
  4. Compassion
  5. Intellectual Curiosity

Assertiveness and Creative Openness were also found to be key predictors. Meanwhile, three traits that don’t predict well-being?

  1. Politeness
  2. Orderliness
  3. Volatility

Kaufman summarizes:

If anything, I think these findings are optimistic (maybe it’s because of my high levels of enthusiasm). For one, it highlights that there are multiple routes to well-being. But less well recognized, it also highlights that there are multiple personality profiles that can get you there. The standard story is that well-being is all about extraversion and emotional stability. But these findings show the importance of including a broader array of personality traits, and leaving open possibilities for individual changes in personality as well as cultural interventions that can help all people increase their happiness by influencing their patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Read the whole piece here.