The relationship between personality traits and well-being via brain functional connectivity

Liangfang LI, Man Wai Liman LI, Junji MA, Anru LU, Zhengjia DAI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Different single personality traits have been found to be closely related to well-being, and single personality traits and well-being shared multiple neural substrates. Yet little is known about how the multi-trait profile, which better reflects individual differences in terms of taxonomy, is related to multi-faceted well-being, and whether the spontaneous brain activities of their common neural substrates can partially explain this relationship. To advance our understanding, we examined the relationships among personality traits, well-being, and brain functional connectivity generated in resting-state functional MRI among 729 healthy participants. We first identified a linear combination of personal traits (i.e., higher extraversion, conscientiousness, and agreeableness, but lower neuroticism) that was most relevant to a set of well-being indicators (i.e., positive affect, life satisfaction, and meaning of purpose) by considering their canonical correlational relation. Next, by using the network-based statistic method, we identified the sub-network associated with the well-being canonical variate. The subnetwork was formed by functional connectivity within and between multiple brain networks spanning from primary sensory networks to high-order networks. Moreover, the mediation analyses showed that the relationship between personality trait variate and well-being variate was explained by higher positive functional connectivity and higher global network efficiency within the identified sub-network. These findings suggest that effective functional communication within and between multiple brain networks can be a potentially important mechanism for promoting better well-being. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2127-2152
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Early online dateJun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


Li, L., Li, L. M. W., Ma, J., Lu, A., & Dai, Z. (2023). The relationship between personality traits and well-being via brain functional connectivity. Journal of Happiness Studies, 24, 2127-2152.


  • Personality trait
  • Well-being
  • Resting-state fMRI
  • Functional connectivity


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