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Title:Personal Strivings: Toward a Theory of Personality and Subjective Well-Being (Motives, Goals, Affect)
Author(s):Emmons, Robert Allen
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Personality
Abstract:Recent theoretical efforts in personality psychology have failed to confront adequately the core theoretical problem facing the field: That of adequately describing the personality of an individual in motivational terms. In an attempt to remedy this deficiency, a theory of "personal strivings" is offered. Personal strivings consist of recurrent goals that a person is characteristically trying to accomplish. The utility of such a conceptualization of personality is examined by exploring the relationships between qualities of personal strivings such as importance, attainment, and expectancy for success and the subjective well-being dimensions of positive and negative affect, affect intensity, and life situations. Subjects generated lists of their personal strivings and rated each striving on a series of dimensions. They also recorded their moods and thoughts by use of an experience sampling method of 84 occasions over a three-week period. Positive affect was found to be most strongly related to striving value and past striving fulfillment, while negative affect was associated with low expectancy for future success, and both negative affect and affect intensity were correlated with striving ambivalence and between-striving conflict. Striving importance and instrumentality were the strongest predictors of life satisfaction. Possible explanations for the striving fulfillment-positive affect and striving ambivalence-negative affect connections are offered. Clinical implications of the personal striving concept, as well as its relevance for the behavioral consistency controversy are discussed. It is concluded that the concept of personal striving is a useful heuristic device for understanding individual differences in subjective well-being, and a useful approach to personality in general deserving of further attention.
Issue Date:1986
Description:152 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1986.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8623291
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1986

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