Two studies of adults examined personal narratives of life-changing decisions in relation to personality and well-being. Participants whose decision narratives emphasized a crystallization of desire (i.e., approaching a desired future) rather than a crystallization of discontent (i.e., escaping an undesired past; Baumeister, 1991, 1994) reported higher well-being, fewer avoidance strivings, lower Neuroticism (in Study 1 only), and better decision outcomes (in Study 2). However, neither strivings, traits, nor outcomes accounted for the relationship between crystallization of desire and well-being. The discussion considers the roles of life-changing decisions and personal narratives in research on personality, well-being, and positive personal development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology