Six-factor Model of Psychological Well-being 

Six-factor Model of Psychological Well-being 


As we all know that happiness and wellbeing are quite complicated factors. When people go to some spiritual occasion, they want to know the meaning of happiness and what constitutes it. There is already much debate as to what is the relationship and difference between being happy and psychological functioning. In this construct it is possible to talk about “Ruff’s Six”. This is a model which is used as a model for optimal psychological functioning. 



The six-factor model of Psychological Well-being is a theory which has been developed by Carol Ryff. It ascertains that six factors contribute to an individual’s psychological well-being, contentment, and happiness. People often wander around with a question: What is a good life? Quite often, a good life is inter-connected to well-being and a happy, content life. Psychological well-being includes a sense of purpose and meaning in life, autonomy, and personal growth and development, as well as promising, positive connections with others. Personal well-being is also subjective, most popularly it is said that well-being is decided by happiness and contentment both. In the old ages of the Greeks, Aristotle theorised that the quest for happiness is the most important motive of men. This model is generated on the concept of “not only the absence of illness but the presence of something positive.” 



The Ryff Scale of Measurement is a psychometric testing which consistsing of two forms in which the individuals rate on a scale of 1 to 6, where 1 indicates strong disagreement and the 6 indicates strong agreement, else and everything lies between. Ryff’s scale and/or model does not simply depend on feeling happy albeit, it does in addition depend on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, “where the goal of life isn’t about feeling good but, is instead about living virtuously.”



The Ryff Scale is based on six dimensions: autonomy, individual growth, environmental mastery, favourable positive interpersonal relationships, meaning in life, and self-acceptance. Higher test scores demonstrate higher psychological well-being. Below I’ve listed brief descriptions of each dimension.



 • Autonomy – People have to rate their autonomy in this where High scores in this dimension display that the respondent is independent and regulates their behaviour independent of external compulsions. They are self reliant and are capable of thinking of themself. They don't conform to people and don't care what others think of them. People who are low on autonomy are dependent on others. They are worried about what people think of them and conform to them more.



The dimensions are as follows:



  1. Very low in autonomy

  2. Low in autonomy

  3. Somewhat low in autonomy

  4. Neutral or sometimes high and sometimes low

  5. Somewhat high in autonomy

  6. High in autonomy

  7. Very high in autonomy



 • Environmental Mastery – It is the degree to which the people have a mastery over their environment. Whether they feel competent enough to meet the needs of the situation or not.  In this, high scores indicate that the person productively utilises the opportunities being given and has an awareness of managing environmental factors and activities, including creating circumstances to benefit individual needs. Those who have a low score may feel powerless and feel that they have a lack of resources to cope with the environment. People having low scores are always stressed and overwhelmed. 



The dimensions are as follows:



  1. Very low in environmental mastery

  2. Low in environmental mastery

  3. Somewhat low in environmental mastery

  4. Neutral or sometimes high and sometimes low

  5. Somewhat high in environmental mastery

  6. High in environmental mastery

  7. Very high in environmental mastery



Personal Growth – If someone scores high in this, it represents that they are welcoming of new environments and continually keep developing, they recognise improvement in behaviour and themselves over time. People see themselves as moving or changing in a positive direction or moving towards their potential and becoming more mature. There is an increase of self knowledge and they are able to learn new skills also. People with low scores feel a low sense of change and they feel more bored with life. They seem less interested in their life and they also feel a lack of improvement also. 



The dimensions are as follows:



  1. Very low in personal growth

  2. Low in personal growth

  3. Somewhat low in personal growth

  4. Neutral or sometimes high and sometimes low

  5. Somewhat high in personal growth

  6. High in personal growth

  7. Very high in personal growth



 • Positive Relations – Scoring high in this dimension reflects an individual’s involvement in significant relationships with others that encompasses mutual empathy, intimacy, and affection.  People who are high in positive relationships feel connected, respected and  loved well. They share aspects, have intimacy and are secure in their relationships. People who are having a low score in this aspect feel unappreciated, disrespected, unloved, disconnected, misunderstood and rejected as well. 



The dimensions are as follows:



  1. Very poor relations with others

  2. Poor relations with others

  3. Somewhat poor relations with others

  4. Neutral or sometimes positive and sometimes negative

  5. Somewhat positive relationships with others

  6. Positive relations with others

  7. Very positive relations with others



Purpose in Life – High scorers in this depict vigorous goal orientation and conviction that life has meaning, a purpose. They basically work so that they can give a difference to their world and they are also connected to their ideas. These people have an idea of what their life is all about. The people who have a low value feel that there is no value in their life. They just feels that they are in this world to accomplish a few tasks. 



The dimensions are as follows:



  1. Very low in sense of purpose

  2. Low in sense of purpose

  3. Somewhat low in sense of purpose

  4. Neutral or sometimes high and sometimes low

  5. Somewhat high in sense of purpose

  6. High in sense of purpose

  7. Very high in sense of purpose



Self-Acceptance – Individuals scoring high in this reflect a positive attitude about themselves, their past behaviors and the choices they have made in their past. In this the individuals have to rate their levels of self acceptance. Those who have a high acceptance level feel good about whatever they are and they are able to accept their multiple aspects whether good or bad. Those who have a low self acceptance are very critical of themselves, their behaviors and their past experiences. They are also often confused about their identity and they often wish to be someone who is perfect in everyone's eyes.



The dimensions are as follows:



  1. Very low in self-acceptance

  2. Low in self-acceptance

  3. Somewhat low in self-acceptance

  4. Neutral or sometimes high and sometimes low

  5. Somewhat high in self-acceptance

  6. High in self-acceptance

  7. Very high in self-acceptance


Although, recently the validity of the model has come under question as some major survey results have shown that four of the six dimensions viz. personal growth, purpose in life, environmental mastery, and self-acceptance, may all empirically be considered one dimension only. Regardless, the model has still helped a number of theories and tests.



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