Kuram ve Uygulamada Eğitim Bilimleri • Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice 13(4) • 2087-2104

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E D U C A T I O N A L   S C I E N C E S :   T H E O R Y   &   P R A C T I C E


more than being free from stress, and not having 

other psychological problems. It encompasses 

positive self-perception, positive relations with 

others, environmental mastery, autonomy, purpose 

in life and emotions inclined towards a healthy 

development (Ryff, 1995). In order to account for 

well-being, two different perspectives are seen in the 

literature. The first is the concept of hedonism, and 

the other is psychological functionality (eudaimonic) 

(Keyes, Shmotkin, & Ryff, 2002; Ryan & Deci, 2000). 

The hedonist perspective defines well-being as 

satisfaction and happiness. The main criterion for 

the conceptualization of the hedonist perspective 

is a person’s evaluating his/her life according to a 

set of values and standards that he/she determine. 

The perspective of psychological functionality 

defines well-being based on self-realization and full 

functionality (Waterman, 1993). Schmutte and Ryff 

(1997) argue that though typical measurements 

that stress positive affect, negative affect and life 

satisfaction as three components of psychological 

well-being are effective in measuring well-being, they 

are conceptually not appropriate for psychological 

health development. According to Ryff (1989a), 

structures that underlie well-being basically has a 

more complicated structure than that commonly 

seen in the literature. Ryff (1989a) also states that 

psychological well-being is a multidimensional 

structure rather than a mere combination of positive 

and negative affect and life satisfaction.

The positive psychological function has six different 

dimensions. These dimensions include positive 

assessment of an individual’s life and personal 

history (self-acceptance), the feeling of continuous 

growth and development as an individual 

(personal growth), the individual’s belief that life 

is meaningful and purposeful (purpose in life), 

establishing quality relations with other individuals 

(positive relations with others), the ability of the 

individual to direct his/her life and the world 

around him/her (environmental mastery), making 

individual decisions (autonomy) (Ryff & Keyes, 

1995) Positive Relations with Others: Ryff (1989a) 

defined positive relations as “strong emotions of 

empathy and love established with others in a clear 

and reliable way”. 

Autonomy:  Christopher (1999) notes that Ryff 

considers autonomy as equal to making one’s 

own decisions, freedom, internal locus of control, 

individualization and self-regulation of behaviour. 

Environmental Mastery: Ryff (1989a) defines 

environmental mastery as “the ability of the 

individual to create or select an environment 

that is compatible with his/her personal and 

psychological conditions”. Personal Development: 

Ryff (1989a) defines personal development as “the 

ability of the individual to develop his/her available 

potential to develop and grow as he/she is”. Personal 

development is the ability to continue progress on 

a personal basis. Purpose in Life: According to Ryff, 

the purpose in life involves the feeling of direction 

and purposefulness in life. It is thought that purpose 

in life is closely connected with individualism and 

freedom.  Self-acceptance:  Ryff (1989a) defines 

self-acceptance, a significant property of positive 

psychological functionality, as having a positive 

attitude towards oneself. Self-acceptance means a 

positive attitude towards oneself. 

Personality is the characteristic and distinctive 

properties of behaviours that shape a person’s 

physical and social environment (Atkinson, 

Atkinson, Smith, Bem, & Hoeksema, 1999). It is one 

of the most comprehensive concepts in psychology. 

Any characteristic property that belongs to and 

describes a person helps us get acquainted with and 

understand that particular person. In this respect, 

personality is a term that includes an individual’s 

interests, attitudes, and abilities, speaking style, 

outer appearance and his/her style of adopting 

into the environment (Burger, 1993). Accounting 

for personality through five dimensions began 

in the 1960s, and it accelerated in the 1980s and 

1990s. Towards the end of the 1980s, personality 

psychologists agreed upon the five strong factors 

of the Five-Factor Model that was able to provide 

a meaningful and practical taxonomy in order 

to reorganize the complicated findings in the 

literature on personality (Taggar, Hackett, & Saha, 

1999). A large portion of the research studies agree 

that most of the personality approaches that focus 

on common properties of personality might be 

included in the five factors. They called this five-

dimension approach as “Big Five” (Friedman & 

Schustack, 1999). The Five-factor Personality Model 

is a hierarchical organization of personal properties, 

and it has five sub-dimensions. Five factors’ names 

are extroversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, 

conscientiousness and openness to experience 

(McCrae & John, 1992). The five-factor personality 

model emerged as a result of an extensive analysis 

of various personality tests, scales and the adjectives 

that are used to describe personality (Friedman & 

Schustack, 1999). Extroverts are defined as positive, 

social, energetic, joyful, and they are interested in 

others, whereas introverts are reserved and aloof 

people who like to be alone (Judge, Bono, Ilies, 

& Gerhardt, 2002). Neurotic individuals tend 

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