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The Roles of Values, Behavior, and Value-Behavior Fit in the Relation of Agency and Communion to Well-Being


  • Kathryn Buchanan is now at the Department of Psychology, University of Essex, United Kingdom. We are grateful to Oliver John for providing the data for Studies 2 and 3 and for his fruitful suggestions.


Four studies examined whether agency and communion values, behaviors, or an interaction between values and behaviors (value-behavior fit) would predict well-being. In addition, Study 2 examined whether agency and communion goals, behaviors, or goal-behavior fit would predict well-being. In all four studies, participants completed online questionnaires containing measures of agency and communion values, behaviors, and well-being. In Studies 1 and 4, participants were recruited from the general population (respectively, N = 371, Mage = 37.49, and N = 133, Mage = 36.59). In Studies 2 and 3, participants were undergraduate students (respectively, N = 239, Mage = 20.8, and N = 242, Mage = 21.6). All four studies consistently found that agency and communion behaviors were significantly positively correlated with both subjective and psychological well-being. There was no strong indication that either values were directly associated with well-being. Neither was there any indication that well-being was predicted by value-behavior fit. The implications of these findings for theory and improving well-being are discussed.