University of Twente Student Theses


The relation between neuroticism, the use of adjectives, negative emotion words, and vividness during the retrieval of sad memories.

Gerke, Ylva Kristina (2014) The relation between neuroticism, the use of adjectives, negative emotion words, and vividness during the retrieval of sad memories.

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Abstract:Introduction: People tell stories about what they experienced every day. The way they phrase these memories seem to be related to their personality. On the basis of the fact that neuroticism is correlated with negative emotion word use the present study takes a look at a more detailed level of word use, namely the use of adjectives, and correlates this word use with the personality trait neuroticism. Furthermore neuroticism is also correlated with the vividness of a memory and vividness in turn is correlated to the use of adjectives. Vividness is found to be an influence on how memories are phrased and it seems like personality determines how vivid somebodies sad memories are. Therefore the present study is also interested in the correlation this has with personality and word use. Method: The respondents go through a questionnaire which asks them to talk about two sad memories. While doing this they are standing in front of a camera and are recorded by a voice recorder. After this the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) is administered. 35 respondents (57.1 % male, 42.9% female) between 18 and 39 years of age took part. The data was later transcribed and then analyzed by hand and by the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC). Correlation-analyses are performed as well as Wilcoxon tests and repeated measures ANOVA. Results: The mean score of neuroticism was 5.11. The correlations of the four research variables did not find significant results. However analysis of the differences between the first and the second sad memory did find significant results for the use of adjectives and vividness. Adjectives are used more in the second memory than in the first memory and the first memory is more vivid than the second one. Negative emotion words are used in the same amount in both memories. In all cases neuroticism had no significant relation with the difference between the word use and vividness in the first and second memory. Discussion: Hypothesized correlations between neuroticism and the research variables could not been found, present findings cannot been compared to previous findings, because present correlations are very experimental. There are differences in adjective use and vividness from the first to the second sad memory, which cannot be explained by neuroticism. Explanations for this might be that the respondents accommodate to the research task (higher adjectives use in second memory) and that more vivid memories came to mind quicker than less vivid memories. Implications for the practice are that the use of adjectives and vividness of a memory are not as informative about the personality as expected. The same was found for the vividness of a memory. It is advised that future studies research this in more depth, while taking into consideration various suggestions about more reliable methods and other variables that should also be the focus of research studies.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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