Differential preferences for happiness: Extraversion and trait-consistent emotion regulation

Maya Tamir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


The assumption that everyone wants to be happy is prevalent among psychologists and laypeople alike. The present investigation suggests that motives for happiness are not consistent across individuals or contexts. Three studies demonstrate that preferences for happiness vary as a function of trait extraversion and situational demands. When anticipating an effortful task that requires increased motivational engagement, individuals demonstrated trait-consistent emotional preferences. Extraverts were more likely to prefer happiness-inducing activities, whereas introverts were less likely to prefer such activities. These differential motives were specific to preferences for happiness compared to other emotions and independent of concurrent feelings. Overall, the present findings suggest that individuals low (vs. high) in extraversion may be less motivated to increase their happiness in effortful contexts.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)447-470
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Personality
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Differential preferences for happiness: Extraversion and trait-consistent emotion regulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this