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Longo, Coyne et al 2016 wellbeing factor.pdf (184.5 kB)

Support for a general factor of well-being

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-06-10, 10:34 authored by Ylenio Longo, Iain CoyneIain Coyne, Stephen Joseph, Petter Gustavsson
Well-being is typically defined as positive feeling (e.g. happiness), positive functioning (e.g. competence, meaning) or a combination of the two. Recent evidence indicates that well-being indicators belonging to different categories can be explained by single "general" factor of well-being (e.g. Jovanović, 2015). We further test this hypothesis using a recent well-being scale, which includes indicators of positive feeling and positive functioning (Huppert & So, 2013). While the authors of the scale originally identified a two-factor structure, in view of recent evidence, we hypothesize that the two-factor solution may be due to a method effect of different items being measured with different rating scales. In study 1, we use data from the European Social Survey round 3 (n = 41,461) and find that two factors have poor discriminant validity and, after using a bifactor model to account for different rating scales, only the general factor is reliable. In study 2, we eliminate method effects by using the same rating scale across items, recruit a new sample (n = 507), and find that a one-factor model fits the data well. The results support the hypothesis that well-being indicators, typically categorized as "positive feeling" and "positive functioning," reflect a single general factor.



  • Business and Economics


  • Business

Published in

Personality and Individual Differences


LONGO, Y. ... et al., 2016. Support for a general factor of well-being. Personality and Individual Differences, 100, pp. 68-72.


© Elsevier


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Personality and Individual Differences and the definitive published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2016.03.082




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