Web of well-being: re-examining PERMA and subjective well-being through networks

Sean H. Merritt, Saeideh Heshmati, Zita Oravecz, Stewart I. Donaldson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


While positive psychology has been in development for more than 20 years, positive psychologists still face the challenge of finding optimal measurements of well-being. The PERMA framework provides a new understanding of well-being based on years of research. However, whether it adds value in terms of being distinct from the already established measures of Subjective Well-Being (SWB) has recently been under debate. Certain characteristics of PERMA make it unsuited for traditional factor analysis and data analysis techniques. In this paper, we argue that a network approach is more suitable for understanding the interrelated nature of PERMA components. We then show how the components of PERMA and SWB are distinct using exploratory graphical analysis. Our results show that while PERMA predicts SWB, PERMA provides us a more nuanced way to understand the interrelated antecedents of well-being, which we refer to as the web of well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-509
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Positive Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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