Involvement with the arts and participation in cultural events – does personality moderate impact on well-being? Evidence from the U.K. Household Panel Survey

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

August 15, 2019


Although there is strong advocacy for uptake of both the arts and creative activities as determinants of well-being, longitudinal studies evaluating causal links between attendance to arts and culture events or participation in creative activities and well-being are scarce. If available, results are mostly of an associative nature confirming an interdependence between the two. In this light, this study adds to the literature by investigating causative impact of participation in creative activities and attendance to cultural events on well-being in the British population. This study also examines the moderation effect of personality traits on the impact that cultural and creative activities exert on well-being. Three waves (2011, 2012, 2014) of the Understanding Society–U.K. Household Longitudinal Study were analyzed. The data are representative for the British population aged 16 and over with respect to major demographic variables and geographical location. Outcome-wide regression analysis—to account for multidimensionality of the well-being concept— with control of all variables temporally prior to the engagement with cultural activities—in order to circumvent the endogeneity problem—was applied. Results confirmed a positive causative relationship between cultural attendance, cultural participation, and well-being outcomes. Two effects of participation in cultural events (on life satisfaction and on life constraints) were found to depend on personality (on neuroticism and extraversion, respectively). This study provides some support for the positive role of active arts engagement, especially passive attendance to art events, in the improvement of human well-being.

Published in

Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 13 , p.348 -358







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