Nothing going on? Exploring the role of missed events in changes in subjective well-being and the Big Five personality traits

Aufsätze referiert extern - Web of Science

Maike Luhmann, Susanne Buecker, Till Kaiser, Mira Beermann

In: Journal of Personality (online first) (2020),


Objective: Missed events are defined as the nonoccurrence of expected major life events within a specified time frame. We examined whether missed events should be studied in research on growth by exploring the role of missed events for changes in subjective well-being (SWB) and the Big Five personality traits. Method: The samples were selected from two nationally representative panel studies, the German Socioeconomic Panel Innovation Sample (SOEP-IS, total N = 6,638) and the Dutch Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences panel (LISS, Ns between 4,262 and 5,749). Rank-order stability and mean-level change were analyzed using regression and mixed models. Type I error probability was reduced by using conservative thresholds for level of significance and minimal effect size. Results: Expected but missed events were more frequent than actually experienced events. For SWB, rank-order stability tended to be lower among those who experienced a missed event than among those who did not. For the Big Five personality traits, significant differences between those who did and those who did not experience a missed event were rare and unsystematic. Conclusion: Missed events merit more attention in future research on growth and personality change, but the effects are probably weak.

Keywords: major life events, missed events, personality development, posttraumatic growth, subjective well-being
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