photo of Professor Robert Cummins
Professor Robert Cummins

The concept of QOL is emerging as central to the discipline of psychology. This is evident in the many sub-disciplinary arms that merge in attempts to describe functional models of the construct. For example, it is clear at this stage that subjective quality of life has the measurement qualities of both state and trait. Thus, the genetics of behavior, and personality in particular, is a very important consideration in the explanation of individual differences in subjective well-being. In terms of the state side of the equation, social and developmental psychology are of central concern, while cognitive psychology provides the basis for many of the QOL models that have been proposed from within the discipline. QOL is also emerging as a useful outcome variable by which to judge the efficacy of psychological interventions. Finally, at a more philosophical level, QOL has appeal as a construct because it provides a 'Positive Psychology' counterbalance to the dominant deficit orientation of the discipline.

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Quality of Life Perspectives