Crystallization of desire and crystallization of discontent in narratives of life-changing decisions

Jack J. Bauer*, Dan P McAdams, April R. Sakaeda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1181-1214
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Personality
Volume73
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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