Authenticity, meaning in life, and life satisfaction: A multicomponent investigation of relationships at the trait and state levels.
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OBJECTIVE: The present study sought to examine: (1) how the components of authenticity (i.e., authentic living, self-alienation, accepting external influence) relate to one another at between- and within-person levels of analysis; (2) how the authenticity facets relate to meaning in life (i.e., purpose, comprehension, mattering) and life satisfaction at these levels of analysis; and (3) whether these relationships persist when controlling for affect and self-esteem. METHOD: Canadian undergraduates (N=203) completed a trait questionnaire and end-of-day reports on these constructs for two weeks (n=2335). RESULTS: At between- and within-person levels, authentic living was negatively associated with self-alienation and accepting external influence, while the latter two facets were positively associated. Authentic living was positively related to well-being and predicted greater well-being the following day. Alternatively, self-alienation and accepting external influence were negatively related to well-being, and self-alienation predicted lower well-being the following day. Relationships involving authentic living and self-alienation were more robust than those involving accepting external influence. CONCLUSION: Extending research on authenticity beyond between-person relationships, our findings show that daily states of authenticity predict well-being in nuanced ways, depending on the facet of authenticity. This highlights the importance of distinguishing levels of analyses and facets of authenticity.
author list (cited authors)
Lutz, P. K., Newman, D. B., Schlegel, R. J., & Wirtz, D.
complete list of authors
Lutz, Paul K||Newman, David B||Schlegel, Rebecca J||Wirtz, Derrick