Time frames and the distinction between affective and cognitive well-being

J Res Pers. 2012 Aug;46(4):431-441. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2012.04.004. Epub 2012 Apr 23.


We examined whether the empirical differences between affective well-being (AWB) and cognitive well-being (CWB) might be due to (a) the use of different time frames in measures of AWB and CWB or (b) structural differences. In Study 1, a multitrait-multimethod (MTMM) analysis indicated that levels of different components are more similar but do not converge completely when the same time frame is used. In Study 2, we found that people are more likely to consider global life circumstances (as opposed to specific events and activities) when they evaluate their CWB, regardless of the specific time frame. In both studies, the time frame did not moderate the associations between AWB and CWB and important correlates (personality, life circumstances).

Keywords: Income; Life events; Life satisfaction; Measurement of subjective well-being; Mood; Multitrait-multimethod (MTMM) modeling; Personality.