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The leisure personality: Relationships between personality, leisure satisfaction, and life satisfaction

Dissertation
Author: Agnes Kovacs
Abstract:
The relationships between personality, leisure satisfaction, and life satisfaction were investigated in 420 undergraduate students in a large Midwestern university. An anonymous paper and pencil questionnaire was administered in classes during the summer of 2005. The survey instrument consisted of the NEO-FFI (Costa & McCrae, 1992) to measure personality traits, the Satisfaction With Life Scale (Diener, Emmons, Larsen & Griffin, 1985), a modified version of the Amount of Perceived Leisure Subscale (Neulinger & Breit, 1969; revised 1971), the Leisure Satisfaction Scale (Beard & Ragheb, 1980), and 11 demographical questions. Based on zero-order correlations, leisure satisfaction was associated with Extraversion (r = .52), Conscientiousness ( r = .38), Agreeableness (r = .34), Openness ( r = .31), and low Neuroticism (r = -.31); however, stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that Extraversion (β = .37), Openness (β = .25), Conscientiousness (β = .23), and low Neuroticism (β = -.12) together are the best predictors of leisure satisfaction ( R = .63). The results support the pervasive influence of personality characteristics on leisure satisfaction (accounting for 39% of its variance) and thus, the existence of a leisure personality construct. Regarding life satisfaction, previous findings concerning the contribution of Extraversion (r = .49), low Neuroticism (r = -.44), Agreeableness (r = .29), and Conscientiousness ( r = .38) to life satisfaction were replicated. Interestingly, Openness to experience was significantly related to leisure satisfaction, but not to life satisfaction in this inquiry. This study provides evidence that most of the association between leisure satisfaction and life satisfaction can be due to personality. Although there is a moderately strong relationship between leisure and life satisfaction (r = .44), when personality was controlled in regression analysis, leisure satisfaction explained only a small incremental variance in life satisfaction (R2 change = .02; R2 = .37). Thus, it appears that personality might have been a confounding variable in previous studies supporting strong correlations between leisure satisfaction and life satisfaction. However, this finding does not limit the relatedness of leisure satisfaction to well-being; rather, it might be that leisure satisfaction is more associated with psychological well-being than subjective well-being (e.g., life satisfaction).

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter Page

1. INTRODUCTION…………………………………………...……………1

Statement of the Problem………………………………………………….1

Purpose of the Study………………………………………………………1

Need for the Study………………………………………………………...2

Delimitations………………………………………….…………………...4

Limitations………………………………………….……………………..4

Assumptions…………………………………….…………………………5

Hypotheses………………………………….……………………………..5

Definition of Terms……………………….……………………………….6

2. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE.………………………………..7

Personality………………………………..………………………….........7

The Five-Factor Model (FFM) of Personality…………………...11

Relationships between Academic Majors and FFM……………..14

Leisure and Personality…………………………………………………..16

Leisure and General Personality Dispositions……………..…….18

Leisure-Specific Dispositions……………………………………22

Leisure and the Five-Factor Model………………………………26

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Continued

Satisfaction……………………………………………………………….29

Life Satisfaction………………………………………………….31

Subjective Well-Being……………………………………….......34

Psychological Well-Being……………………………………….37

Quality of Life…………………………………………...…........39

Life Satisfaction and Domain Satisfactions.....………………….40

Leisure Satisfaction…….……………………..............................42

The Relation of Leisure Satisfaction and Life Satisfaction….......47

The Five-Factor Model and Life Satisfaction……………………………50

Summary…………………………………………………………………53

3. METHODS………………………………………………………………55

Arrangements for Conducting the Study………………………………...55

Selection of Subjects……………………….…………………………….56

Instrumentation…………………………………………………………..57

Pilot Study………………………………………………………………..64

Data Collection………………………………………………………......64

Treatment of Data………………………………………………………..65

4. DATA ANALYSIS..........………………………………………………..67

Screening of the Data…………………………………………………….68

Response Rate…………………………………………………..………..73

Demographic Information………………………………………………..73

Personality………………………………………………………………..77

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Continued

Leisure Satisfaction………………………………………………………80

Amount of Perceived Leisure……………………………………………81

Life Satisfaction………………………………………………………….82

Hypothesis Testing……………………………………………………….83

Discussion………………………………………………………………..93

5. SUMMARY……...……………………………………………………..103

Conclusions……………………………………………………………..104

Implications……………………………………………………………..106

Recommendations………………………………………………………109

REFERENCES…………………………………………………………112

APPENDIXES………………………………………………………….128

A. Study Information Sheet…………..……………………..……..129

B. Copy of Email to Instructors…….……………………………...131

C. Research Questionnaire…………..…………………….………133

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure Page 1. A Model of Quality of Life………………………………………………39 2. Expected Normal Probability Plot for Leisure Satisfaction and Life Satisfaction……..………………………………………………………...71

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LIST OF TABLES Table Page 1. Relationships between Personality and Academic Majors………..……..16 2. Original and Modified Items of the Amount of Perceived Leisure Scale……………………………………………………………………...63 3. Skewness and Kurtosis Values of Variables Used in Regression Analyses………………………………………………………………….70 4. Reliability for All Scales…………………………………………………72 5. Correlation Matrix of Predictor and Criterion Variables………………...73 6. Age Distribution within the Sample……………………………………..74 7. Class Standing Distribution within the Sample………………………….74 8. Distribution of Majors within the Sample……………………………….75 9. Ethnicity Distribution within the Sample………………………………..76 10. Work Hours per Week within the Sample……………………………….77 11. Leisure Budget per Week………………………………………………..77 12. Mean Values, Standard Deviations, and Population Values of Trait Scores…………………………………………………………………….78 13. Pearson’s Zero Order Correlations among Personality Traits…………...79 14. Estimated General Population Correlations among Personality Traits…..79 15. Pearson’s Zero Order Correlations among Personality Traits…………...80 16. Mean Values of the Leisure Satisfaction Scale and Subscales…………..80 17. Means and Standard Deviations for the Satisfaction With Life Scale…...83

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18. Pearson’s Zero Order Correlation Coefficients for Leisure Satisfaction and Life Satisfaction……………………………………………………..84 19. Consecutive Steps of the Stepwise Multiple Regression Analysis for Leisure Satisfaction based on Personality Traits………………………...87 20. Partial Regression Coefficients for Personality Traits on Leisure Satisfaction……………………………………………….……………...88 21. Correlations and Multicollinearity Values in the Consecutive Steps of the Stepwise Multiple Regression Analysis for Leisure Satisfaction………..89 22. Beta Weights of Personality Traits in Various Multiple Regression Methods for Leisure Satisfaction………………………………………...89 23. The Consecutive Steps of the Stepwise Multiple Regression Analysis for Life Satisfaction based on Personality Traits…………………………….91 24. Partial Regression Coefficients for Personality Traits on Life Satisfaction…………………………………………..…………………...91 25. Consecutive Steps of the Stepwise Multiple Regression Analysis for Life Satisfaction based on Personality Traits and Leisure Satisfaction……….92 26. Partial Regression Coefficients for Personality Traits and Leisure Satisfaction……………………………………………………………….93 27. Relationships between Personality Traits of the Five-Factor Model and Character Strengths……………………………………………………..108

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Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION Quality of life studies have become widespread in many disciplines in the last decade. Researchers have inquired about a wide range of variables that could influence this perceived quality. The two primary categories of “quality of life” variables are environmental and individual. This study focused on an individual variable, personality, asking if it predisposes people to be differentially satisfied with various domains of their lives. Two fundamental components of quality of life, leisure satisfaction and life satisfaction, were the related additional concepts under examination. Thus, this inquiry explored the relationships between personality, leisure satisfaction, and life satisfaction. Statement of the Problem The present study aimed to examine the existence of a leisure personality. Based on data from college students, it investigated the correlations between personality, leisure satisfaction, and life satisfaction in a large Midwestern university. The study utilized the Five-Factor Model of personality to assess the contribution of individual traits to leisure and life satisfaction. Furthermore, the relationship between leisure satisfaction and life satisfaction among college students is ambiguous; previous studies have found contradicting results about the contribution of leisure to life satisfaction for this age cohort, therefore this study investigated this relationship as well. Purpose of the Study The findings of the inquiry contribute both to the theoretical and practical spheres of the leisure profession. The study examined if there is a leisure personality construct and if so, its primary components based on a comprehensive model of personality. By

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exploring the relationships between leisure satisfaction, life satisfaction, and the five- factor model of personality we can better understand how personality characteristics can affect leisure experience and life satisfaction. A deeper comprehension of the influence of enduring patterns of behavior on leisure and life satisfaction can generate further ideas for programs aiming to increase subjective well-being. Practically, the results provide information for developing interventions that target behavioral change for more satisfying leisure and better quality of life. Moreover, the findings on the association between leisure and life satisfaction help clarify the relatedness of these constructs among undergraduate students. Need for the Study Researchers have long sought to understand how personality shapes leisure experience (Mannell & Kleiber, 1997). Leisure is a vital sphere for self-expression; people tend to feel free to be themselves as situational demands are relatively low in comparison to other life settings. Thus, personality traits are more likely to be influential on leisure behavior and consequently, on leisure satisfaction. There has been extensive research investigating the relationship between personality and various leisure constructs. For example, those dispositions that seem to be the most fundamental in characterizing leisure behavior are intrinsic leisure motivation (Weissinger, 1985), the Self-As-Entertainment capacity (Mannell, 1984), perceived freedom in leisure (Witt & Ellis, 1984), and leisure boredom (Iso-Ahola & Weissinger, 1990). The interrelations between these personality characteristics and various leisure constructs have been studied extensively.

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To date, the influence of personality traits—through a comprehensive model—on leisure satisfaction has not been considered. No previous studies explored the relationships between leisure satisfaction, life satisfaction, and a general model of personality traits. Through a five-factor model of personality (Costa & McCrae, 1985), we can better understand how five main dimensions of personality relate to overall leisure experience and life satisfaction. The employed traits were Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Openness to experience. Thus, this study aimed to demonstrate the pervasive influence of general personality characteristics on leisure satisfaction. Numerous variables have been identified that affect life satisfaction, such as social activity, humor, spirituality, standard of living, health status, marital status, job satisfaction, leisure participation, and leisure satisfaction (Albertson Owens, Eisner, & Cox, 1999; Heller, Watson, & Ilies, 2004; Ragheb & Griffith, 1982; Riddick, 1985; Russell, 1987; Sneegas, 1986). On investigating leisure and life satisfaction among older adults, Ragheb and Griffith (1982) found that (a) the higher the frequency of participation in leisure activities, the higher the life satisfaction (controlling for leisure satisfaction), (b) the higher the frequency of participation in leisure activities, the higher the leisure satisfaction (controlling for life satisfaction), (c) the greater the leisure satisfaction, the greater the life satisfaction. Meta-analytic findings indicate that Neuroticism, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness are related to diverse domain satisfactions and overall life satisfaction (Heller, Watson, & Ilies, 2004). In sum, this study enhances both our theoretical understanding and practical knowledge regarding leisure and life satisfaction. The exploration of a leisure personality

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construct can become beneficial in leisure counseling as well. As personality traits are partially inferred from a person’s regular behavior, interventions can be developed to change people’s behavioral patterns. Derived from the assumption that there are universal human needs—such as autonomy, competence, and relatedness (Deci and Ryan, 1985)— that can be met with generally satisfying behavioral patterns, interventions can be created to enhance leisure satisfaction based on the related personality traits. In addition, this study clarifies the contribution of leisure satisfaction to life satisfaction among undergraduate students, and thus, it can deepen our understanding of the contribution of leisure to quality of life. It was the major goal of this study to provide a framework that allowed the integration of aspects of personality, leisure and life. Most specifically, this inquiry aimed to demonstrate the pervasive influence of personality traits on leisure satisfaction. Delimitations This study was delimited to the following: 1. Four hundred and fifty subjects selected by convenience sampling, pursuing their undergraduate degree in a large Midwestern university. 2. Data derived from a paper and pencil self-administered questionnaire. 3. A data collection period of June and July 2005. Limitations This study was limited by the following factors: 1. The instruments that were used for measuring personality, amount of perceived leisure, leisure satisfaction, and life satisfaction might not have included all elements that were relevant to the scope of the study.

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2. Only limited generalizations could have been made about college students in the Midwest. 3. The difference between actual and reported rates of satisfactions and values of personality measures through self-reports. Assumptions The study was based on the following assumptions: 1. The subjects answered the questions to the best of their abilities. 2. Subjects varied on personality measures, satisfaction rates, amount of perceived leisure, and demographic data. 3. The survey questions employed to investigate personality, satisfactions, and amount of perceived leisure were reliable and valid instruments. Hypotheses The study was designed to test the following hypotheses: 1. There is a negative relationship between leisure satisfaction and Neuroticism. 2. There is a negative relationship between life satisfaction and Neuroticism. 3. There is a positive relationship between leisure satisfaction and all of the other four traits: Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness to new experience. 4. There is a positive relationship between life satisfaction and all of the other four traits: Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness to new experience. 5. There is a positive relationship between leisure satisfaction and life satisfaction.

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Definition of Terms The following terms were defined to clarify their use in the study: Amount of Perceived Leisure . A measure of leisure attitude that indicates the amount of a person’s perceived leisure and his or her satisfaction with that amount. Leisure Satisfaction . A cognitive evaluation of one’s satisfaction with his or her whole leisure domain. Life Satisfaction . A global cognitive evaluation of one’s satisfaction with his or her life. Personality . The consistent and distinctive patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior, which are expressed across various situations. Traits . Inferred personality dispositions; emotional, motivational, cognitive and behavioral propensities that represent underlying dimensions of personality.

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Chapter 2 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE This study investigated the relationships between personality traits, leisure satisfaction, and life satisfaction. By exploring the correlations between these three variables, we can better understand how personality characteristics might influence leisure experience and life satisfaction. In support of this aim, the literature is presented as it pertains to the following main topics: (a) personality, (b) leisure and personality, (c) satisfaction, (d) the Five-Factor Model and life satisfaction, and (e) summary. Personality Personality is defined as the enduring patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior that are consistently expressed in diverse situations (Hogan, 1987). There have been two separate aspects of personality developed in psychology. The first of these investigates the intraindividual organization of personality: the structure of thought, feeling and behavior. The second aspect inquires about individual differences among people and distinguishes among individuals based on personality characteristics. Currently, there is no comprehensive model of personality. According to Dawda (1997): Different personality theories work at different levels of explanatory complexity, but psychologists generally agree that a complete theory of personality would address the questions of what are the characteristics of the person and how are they organized (i.e., personality structure), as well as how these characteristics develop and change over different contexts (i.e., personality process). Only such a theory can adequately address the issue of both individual differences and

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similarities in personality characteristics, and the intra-individual complexity of personality organization and dynamics. However, there are various theories and evidence about the nature of personality and the main aspects of psychological differences (Carver & Scheier, 2000). The major paradigms on personality are the psychodynamic theory, the cognitive-social theories, the humanistic theories, and the dispositional theories. These mostly differ in the proportion of rational and irrational motives assumed behind people’s behavior and their assumption of the degree of individuals’ free will or control in shaping their personalities. The psychodynamic theory derives from Sigmund Freud’s work which emphasizes the instincts and unconscious drives of humans. Freud’s theory recognized that people have irrational drives and struggle between these desires to meet biological urges and the realities of living. According to Freud’s perspective, the structure of personality is based on three main players: the ego (“reality principle”) that tries to balance the demands of the id (“pleasure principle’) versus the restrictions of the superego (“morality principle”). Neo-Freudians focused more on the role of culture and childhood experience. For example, Fromm (1955) argued that competitiveness, materialism, and self-involvement are widespread personality characteristics in capitalist societies, where societal pressures and expectations encourage people to focus on themselves. Sullivan (1953) proposed that the ways people relate to others and themselves are formed by both cultural values and their interactions with their caregivers during infancy and childhood. Another approach to personality, the cognitive-social theories, emphasizes the influence of social situations and learning on personality. These theories describe people

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as more rational in their motives than psychodynamic theory. Learning forms the basis of personality and dispositions are shaped by their consequences. Individuals anticipate and evaluate the outcomes of their behavior, and adjust their actions according to experienced consequences. Thus cognitive-social theories focus on beliefs, expectations, and information processing. For example, Rotter’s expectancy theory (1966) posits that we learn what to expect in a variety of situations and this guides our behavior. One of the most useful cognitive-social constructs for leisure studies is Bandura’s (1977) self- efficacy theory. Self-efficacy is a person’s belief that she or he is capable of a particular behavior in a given situation. Self-efficacy is an individual characteristic that is learned through situations. As such, according to Bandura, one’s belief in his or her personal control is a learned characteristic. This belief in one’s capabilities might be strongly related to the ability to experience leisure. The humanistic or phenomenological approach emphasizes that each person perceives a different reality and individuals have an innate tendency toward growth & self-actualization. Humanistic psychology asserts that environmental and genetic variables do not determine all behavior, and holds that within each individual is an active, creative “self” that seeks expression and growth. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (1968) conveys that the highest human need is self-actualization, which is a process of developing one’s true potential to the fullest extent, and expressing one’s skills, talents, and emotions in a personally fulfilling manner. Finally, the dispositional perspectives claim that people have stable, long-lasting behavioral or mental tendencies, and individuals have a unique pattern of dispositions. Within this approach, there are “type” and “trait” theories. Type theories affirm that

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people fit into a few distinct categories. For instance, Sheldon (1940) differentiated between three somatotypes, the endomorphs or “fleshy” with relaxed temperament, the mesomorphs or “muscular” with rigorous nature, and the ectomorphs or “thin” with thoughtful and seclusive character. Trait theories, on the other hand, state that people have the same “traits” but in different amounts. Traits are the primary emotional, motivational, cognitive and behavioral tendencies of personality that differ individually (Mannell & Kleiber, 1997). Currently, personality psychology distinguishes between five fundamental traits. The Five-Factor Model (Costa & McCrae, 1992a) and the Big Five (Goldberg, 1990) trait theories are two conceptually distinct, yet similar models that resulted in the same five dimensions of personality. According to these models, there are five fundamental personality traits that are independent of each other. The Big Five emerged as result of a lexical hypothesis that those individual differences that are most salient and socially relevant are encoded in the natural language. The personality traits that people have found to be most important when describing themselves or others will probably be those traits for which the largest number of terms have been developed. In contrast, the Five-Factor Model arose through various factor analyses (Costa & McCrae, 1985, 1988; McCrae & John, 1992). For both models, the five personality traits are Neuroticism, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness to experience. Other studies suggested, however, that there are more than five basic traits. Others include religiosity, humorousness, sensuality, and masculinity-femininity (Paunonen & Jackson, 2000).

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In sum, there is no grand theory of personality. The various personality theories focus on different aspects of personality, such as organization, dynamics, development, or characteristics, hence none of them is comprehensive. In leisure studies, trait theories are the most widely used personality perspectives (Mannell & Kleiber, 1997). The Five-Factor Model of Personality The Five-Factor Model (FFM) of personality is presently the most widely accepted trait approach to personality (Rossier, de Stadelhofen & Berthoud, 2004). It identifies the dimensions of personality that are most fundamental in describing an individual. These stable individual characteristics seem to direct people to behave in a consistent way through a wide range of situations. Traits are emotional, motivational, cognitive and behavioral propensities that represent underlying dimensions of personality. Thus, traits are inferred personality dispositions that generate individual tendencies. The challenge with studying personality is that dispositions and traits are not observable; they are hypothetical constructs inferred from behavior. Interests, needs, and beliefs, similar to traits, can also be relatively stable characteristics that show individual differences and influence behavior across situations. The FFM has gained construct validity across various disciplines, including organizational psychology, health psychology, educational psychology, and aging (Costa & McCrae, 1992b; Hogan, Curphy, & Hogan, 1994). According to FFM, there are five major factors of personality: (1) Neuroticism (or Negative Affectivity) versus Emotional Stability, (2) Extraversion (or Positive Affectivity) versus Intraversion, (3) Conscientiousness (or Constraint), (4) Agreeableness versus Antagonism, and (5) Openness to Experience (or Unconventionality) versus Closedness to Experience

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(Widiger & Trull, 1997). These five dimensions emerged in factor analyses based on a large number of subjects. Individuals vary continuously on these five dimensions, with most people falling in between the extremes. Soldz and Vaillant (1999) showed that the factors are stable over a 45-year period from young adulthood. Each of the five higher-level factors consists of six lower-level components (Costa and McCrae, 1992b). Namely, the underlying facets of Neuroticism are anxiety, angry hostility, depression, self-consciousness, impulsiveness, and vulnerability. Extraversion facets are warmth, gregariousness, assertiveness, activity, excitement- seeking, and positive emotions. Facets of Conscientiousness are competence, order, dutifulness, achievement striving, self-discipline, and deliberation. Agreeableness facets are trust, straightforwardness, altruism, compliance, modesty, and tender-mindedness. Finally, Openness facets are fantasy, aesthetics, feelings, actions, ideas, and values. Neuroticism or emotional instability is defined as the general tendency to experience negative affects like fear, sadness, embarrassment, anger, guilt, and disgust (Costa & McCrae, 1992b). People high in Neuroticism also tend to have irrational ideas, to be impulsive, and to be less able to cope with stress. In contrast, individuals low in Neuroticism are emotionally stable, usually calm, even-tempered, relaxed, and they are able to handle stressful situations without becoming upset. Extraverts are sociable, assertive, active, upbeat, talkative, and they like other people and large gatherings (Costa & McCrae, 1992b). These individuals like excitement and stimulation, and are apt to be cheerful and optimistic. This operational definition of Extraversion is different from the Jungian conceptualization (Jung, 1923). Specifically, introspection is not related to either introversion or Extraversion in FFM; it is a

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characteristic of individuals high on Openness to experience. According to Eysenck (1967), Extraversion has a physiological base. Extroverts have “high cortical inhibition” thus they have “stimulus hunger” that motivates them to find stimulation externally. On the opposite end of this dimension are the introverts with low thresholds of activation. They need less excitement to reach an optimal level of arousal. Introverts are reserved, independent, even-paced, and they prefer to be alone. Conscientiousness is mostly associated with self-control or the control of impulses. Conscientious people are purposeful, strong-willed, determined, reliable, thorough, and punctual (Costa & McCrae, 1992b). They tend to carry out tasks with active planning and organizing. In general, Conscientiousness is related to high academic and occupational achievement; however, this characteristic can also lead to workaholic behavior, fastidiousness, and compulsive neatness. Individuals who score low on this scale tend to be less serious in working toward their goals; they are more hedonistic and interested in sex (McCrae, Costa, & Busch, 1986). Agreeableness or altruism is a characteristic of people who are sympathetic to others, keen to help them, and believe that others will be equally cooperative in return (Costa & McCrae, 1992b). On the opposite end of this dimension is the disagreeable personality, who is egocentric, skeptical of others’ intentions, and competitive rather than cooperative. Openness to experience incorporates active imagination, aesthetic sensitivity, attentiveness to inner feelings, preference for variety, intellectual curiosity, and independence of judgement (Costa & McCrae, 1992b). This dimension also involves self- actualization and self-realization, so it is partly composed of openness to different

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aesthetics, values, ideas, feelings, fantasies, or actions. Open individuals are curious about both inner and outer worlds; they are creative and like divergent thinking. People with low scores in openness tend to be conventional and conservative, and have a narrower scope and intensity of interests. Relationships between Academic Majors and FFM For the purposes of this study, it is essential to consider the interrelatedness of academic majors and personality traits (see Table 1). Corulla and Coghill (1991) found that science students were lower on psychoticism and higher on emotional stability (the opposite of Neuroticism) scales than students in philosophy, languages, and history. Hu and Gong (1990) had a similar finding with psychoticism for mathematics students. Additionally, science students are found to be more precise (Harris, 1993), more conscientious and conforming (Kline & Lapham, 1992) than students in the humanities. Wilson and Jackson (1994) found that physicists are more introverted, cautious, controlled, inhibited, careful and unsociable than students in the social sciences. Kline and Lapham (1992) reported similar personality profiles for science and engineering students. On the other hand, students enrolled in arts and social sciences programs have higher scores on sociability (i.e., Extraversion) and are more open to experiences of the senses (Harris, 1993). They are less conscientious and conforming (i.e., agreeable) than students in science (Kline & Lapham, 1992). Wankowski (as cited in De Fruyt & Mervielde, 1996) found that stable students preferred practice-oriented subjects, and more neurotic individuals tended to take people-oriented subjects. Extroverted students were more inclined to choose practical majors, whereas introverts preferred theoretical topics. Moreover, he found that Neuroticism and Extroversion hindered academic

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success. In agreement with previous studies, De Fruyt and Mervielde (1996) found that there were substantial differences among students pursuing different majors. Philosophy, languages, and history majors had significantly higher Neuroticism scores (with psychology and educational sciences majors to a lesser degree) than law, sciences, engineering, and political and social sciences majors. Students enrolled in philosophy, languages and history rated themselves as being significantly less extraverted, whereas their peers in economics, psychology, education, and law perceived themselves more extraverted. Philosophy, languages, history, behavioral and social science, and education students were significantly more open to experience compared to their peers in engineering, mathematics, sciences, and economics. Regarding Agreeableness, science students described themselves as most agreeable; students in political and social sciences saw themselves as least agreeable. The highest Conscientiousness scores were among economics, law, engineering, and science students; those enrolled in philosophy, languages, history, psychology, and education had the lowest Conscientiousness scores (see Table 1).

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Table 1 Relationships between Personality and Academic Majors Low High Extroversion Philosophy, Languages, History; Sciences, Engineering Economics; Psychology and Education; Law; Political and Social Sciences Agreeableness Political and Social Sciences; Economics; Philosophy, Languages, History Sciences Conscientiousness Philosophy, Languages, History; Psychology and Education Economics, Law, Engineering, Sciences Neuroticism Law, Engineering, Sciences, Economics; Political and Social Sciences Philosophy, Languages, History; Psychology and Education Openness to Experience Mathematics, Sciences, Engineering, Economics Philosophy, Languages, History; Psychology and Education; Political and Social Sciences Based on Corulla & Coghill, 1991; De Fruyt & Mervielde, 1996; Harris, 1993; Hu & Gong, 1990; Kline & Lapham, 1992; Wilson & Jackson, 1994.

Leisure and Personality There has been extensive research investigating the relationship between various personality and leisure constructs. This section reviews the literature on the relationships between leisure behavior and (a) general personality dispositions, (b) leisure-specific dispositions, and (c) the Five-Factor Model. Regarding personality, individual differences are related to how people engage in and experience leisure. As situational constraints are relatively low in leisure compared to other life domains, people tend to express their authentic selves more in leisure; they feel free to be themselves and express their true personalities (Mannell & Kleiber, 1997). Hence, personality characteristics are more likely to be influential on leisure behavior and satisfaction than on other life domains. According to Mannell and Kleiber (1997, p. 155), “traits become more important when the social situation is familiar, informal, or private (versus novel, formal, or public); when instructions are nonexistent or general (versus

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detailed and complete); and when choice is considerable (versus little or none)”. These qualities are especially true for leisure. For example, Mannell and Bradley (1986) demonstrated that subjects’ locus of control (a personality trait) had a greater effect on their behavior and experience in playing a game than in a more structured situation with more guidelines and expectations for behavior. Research in the area of leisure and personality has focused on two main topics: the relationships between leisure participation and personality, and between leisure satisfaction and personality. To demonstrate the influence of personality on leisure participation, Driver and Knopf (1977) investigated the traits of 50 recreationists and found that (a) personality traits probably influence the choice of the recreational activity in which a person engages most frequently, (b) selected personality variables are significantly related to the amount of participation in a preferred leisure activity once the choice has been made, and (c) personality traits do influence how important different types of desired consequences (or experiences) are to a recreationist when he or she decides to engage in preferred activities. In a later study, Knopf (1983) aimed to predict leisure interests based on personality-based needs, and found that escape, affiliation, achievement, exploration, and social recognition were predictive of participation in specific leisure activities. Diener, Larsen and Emmons (1984) also found that individuals’ personalities were more likely to affect their choice of activities in leisure settings than in work settings, and that participating in activities that were consistent with personality traits (e.g., social activities for the extroverted) resulted in more enjoyment of leisure activities.

Full document contains 153 pages
Abstract: The relationships between personality, leisure satisfaction, and life satisfaction were investigated in 420 undergraduate students in a large Midwestern university. An anonymous paper and pencil questionnaire was administered in classes during the summer of 2005. The survey instrument consisted of the NEO-FFI (Costa & McCrae, 1992) to measure personality traits, the Satisfaction With Life Scale (Diener, Emmons, Larsen & Griffin, 1985), a modified version of the Amount of Perceived Leisure Subscale (Neulinger & Breit, 1969; revised 1971), the Leisure Satisfaction Scale (Beard & Ragheb, 1980), and 11 demographical questions. Based on zero-order correlations, leisure satisfaction was associated with Extraversion (r = .52), Conscientiousness ( r = .38), Agreeableness (r = .34), Openness ( r = .31), and low Neuroticism (r = -.31); however, stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that Extraversion (β = .37), Openness (β = .25), Conscientiousness (β = .23), and low Neuroticism (β = -.12) together are the best predictors of leisure satisfaction ( R = .63). The results support the pervasive influence of personality characteristics on leisure satisfaction (accounting for 39% of its variance) and thus, the existence of a leisure personality construct. Regarding life satisfaction, previous findings concerning the contribution of Extraversion (r = .49), low Neuroticism (r = -.44), Agreeableness (r = .29), and Conscientiousness ( r = .38) to life satisfaction were replicated. Interestingly, Openness to experience was significantly related to leisure satisfaction, but not to life satisfaction in this inquiry. This study provides evidence that most of the association between leisure satisfaction and life satisfaction can be due to personality. Although there is a moderately strong relationship between leisure and life satisfaction (r = .44), when personality was controlled in regression analysis, leisure satisfaction explained only a small incremental variance in life satisfaction (R2 change = .02; R2 = .37). Thus, it appears that personality might have been a confounding variable in previous studies supporting strong correlations between leisure satisfaction and life satisfaction. However, this finding does not limit the relatedness of leisure satisfaction to well-being; rather, it might be that leisure satisfaction is more associated with psychological well-being than subjective well-being (e.g., life satisfaction).