Winkelmann, L; Winkelmann, R. Personality, work, and satisfaction: evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel

Winkelmann, L; Winkelmann, R. Personality, work, and satisfaction: evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel

Previous studies in positive psychology have indicated that work satisfaction is an important determinant of individual well-being. Research has suggested that people are most satisfied with their work when they are doing what they are drawn to naturally. We provide further evidence on this issue from a large representative data set, the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). The 2005 wave of the SOEP contains a battery of personality questions as well as detailed information on personal life and work life. We extract the Big Five personality factors and one character strength: vitality. The main results are based on regression analysis. The analysis supports the hypothesis that certain personality clusters are more predominant in some occupations than in others. Furthermore, an alignment between personal profile and occupational profile tends to be related positively to satisfaction. These results indicate that ignoring mental aspects of work has its price in terms of well-being. They also highlight the importance of studying the way we structure work and harness personality and individual strengths within positive psychology.


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Keywords: Economics of Happiness

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