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The role of personality in the development of positive affect

Wurster, H.M.H. (2014) The role of personality in the development of positive affect.

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Abstract:The relation between positive (state) affect and personality received considerable attention in previous research, but it remained unclear whether the Big Five personality characteristics are related to the development of positive affect on a state level (the experience of affect in one moment) over a longer period of time. The present study sought to fill that gap by investigating the role of the Big Five personality dimensions (Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability and Imagination/Intellect) in the development of positive affect as a state over a six-year period of time. The analysis draws on data from the representative Dutch Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social sciences (LISS panel) and included 2826 respondents between 2008 and 2013. Positive state affect was measured with the positive affect subscale of the PANAS, and personality was assessed with the 50-item version of the IPIP. Differences in the development of positive affect over time were investigated for respectively high and low scorers on each personality dimension. Data of four measurement occasions (2008, 2009, 2011, 2013) were included in the analyses, which consisted of Pearson correlation coefficients, multiple linear regression analysis and repeated-measures ANOVA’s. In general, positive state affect was found to be moderately stable over a six year period and showed a slight but significant decrease. All Big Five personality dimensions were found to have low positive associations with positive affect, with extraversion having the strongest relationship. The five dimensions explained together 17.7% of the variance of positive state affect. Significant interaction effects indicated that the decrease in positive affect took place between different measurement occasions for high and low scorers on each of the personality dimensions, except for agreeableness. The findings of the present study suggest that even momentarily affective conditions have a dispositional character to some extent, instead of being exclusively dependent on situational factors. As positive emotions do serve as a promising starting point for mental health promotion programs, future research might address possible implications of the relationship between positive affect and individual differences in personality.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/66264
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