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SA Journal of Industrial Psychology

On-line version ISSN 2071-0763
Print version ISSN 0258-5200


HUTCHINSON, Ann-Marie K.; STUART, Anita D.  and  PRETORIUS, Hester G.. Biological contributions to well-being: the relationships amongst temperament, character strengths and resilience. SA j. ind. Psychol. [online]. 2010, vol.36, n.2, pp.1-10. ISSN 2071-0763.

ORIENTATION: Positive psychology emphasises the nurturing of personal strengths, yet little research to date has investigated the role of nature in psychological wellness. RESEARCH PURPOSE: The study aimed to address this dearth by investigating the relationship between temperament, with its biological roots, and psychological well-being and also to ascertain whether character strengths and resilience can be predicted by certain temperament traits. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: Although the biological bases of mental illness have been researched extensively in past studies, there is very little research regarding the biological bases of psychological wellness. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: This quantitative study selected a sample of 620 participants and applied four measuring instruments, namely the Zuckerman-Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire, the Values in Action - Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS) , the Sense of Coherence scale and the Resilience scale to measure temperament and well-being. Correlations and logistic regression analyses were used to analyse the data. MAIN FINDINGS: There are relationships between certain biologically based temperament traits and the psychological constructs of character strengths and resilience. Logistic regression models, using temperament as the independent variable, correctly predicted high and low scores on the Sense of Coherence scale, the Resilience scale and the (VIA-IS) with 64% - 76.1% accuracy. PRATICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Understanding the physiological substrates of flourishing and being able to predict strengths based on temperament promise advances in applying positive psychology concepts. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: Values, ethics, character strengths, virtues and resilience are universal and may be entrenched in biology, according to some theorists. This has not been researched much, however. The current study addressed this dearth.

Keywords : psychology; personality; psycho-neurobiology; well-being; quantitative; positive psychology.

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