Cognitive, Affective and Contextual Predictors of Subjective Well-Being

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Iolanda Costa Galinha
José Luis Pais-Ribeiro


The article analyses the prediction power of cognitive, affective and contextual factors on Subjective Well-Being (SWB). Several measures of SWB are used in order to analyse its different predictors. A sample of 303 adult students was collected and reassessed in a 2 month interval. Instruments: Global Subjective Well-Being; Satisfaction with Life in Domains; Positive and Negative State Affect; Positive and Negative Trait Affect; Standards of Comparison; Depression, Anxiety and Stress; Life Events; Socio-Demographic Variables. Results show that Global SWB is predicted by Satisfaction with Life in Domains, followed by Positive and Negative State Affect. The cognitive dimension of SWB is mainly predicted by Depression, followed by Comparison Standards and several contextual variables. The affective dimension of SWB is mainly predicted by affective trait variables and also by Depression and Anxiety. Results stress the importance of analysing separately the different components of SWB (cognitive, affective) because each shows different predictors. In the predictors of SWB in a two month interval, we observe a reduction of the prediction power of state affective variables and of the contextual variables, as well as an increase of the prediction power of the trait affective and cognitive variables.

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