The Effect of Personality on Daily Life Emotional Processes

Emma Komulainen, Katarina Meskanen, Jari Lipsanen, Jari Marko Lahti, Pekka Jylha, Tarja Melartin, Marieke Wichers, Erkki Isometsa, Jesper Ekelund*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    43 Citations (Web of Science)

    Abstract

    Personality features are associated with individual differences in daily emotional life, such as negative and positive affectivity, affect variability and affect reactivity. The existing literature is somewhat mixed and inconclusive about the nature of these associations. The aim of this study was to shed light on what personality features represent in daily life by investigating the effect of the Five Factor traits on different daily emotional processes using an ecologically valid method. The Experience Sampling Method was used to collect repeated reports of daily affect and experiences from 104 healthy university students during one week of their normal lives. Personality traits of the Five Factor model were assessed using NEO Five Factor Inventory. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to analyze the effect of the personality traits on daily emotional processes. Neuroticism predicted higher negative and lower positive affect, higher affect variability, more negative subjective evaluations of daily incidents, and higher reactivity to stressors. Conscientiousness, by contrast, predicted lower average level, variability, and reactivity of negative affect. Agreeableness was associated with higher positive and lower negative affect, lower variability of sadness, and more positive subjective evaluations of daily incidents. Extraversion predicted higher positive affect and more positive subjective evaluations of daily activities. Openness had no effect on average level of affect, but predicted higher reactivity to daily stressors. The results show that the personality features independently predict different aspects of daily emotional processes. Neuroticism was associated with all of the processes. Identifying these processes can help us to better understand individual differences in daily emotional life.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere110907
    JournalPLOS ONE
    Volume9
    Issue number10
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2014

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