Randy J. Larsen's research while affiliated with Washington University in St. Louis and other places

Publications (91)

Article
A well-documented finding in aging and emotion research is that older adults reliably report less negative and, often, more positive affect than younger adults. How older people accomplish this is, however, an open question. We propose that this age effect is the result of differential use of emotion regulation strategies, especially when affective...
Book
Personality makes us who we are and influences every aspect of our lives - from how we interact with others, to how we respond in stressful situations. Personality Psychology uses a unique organizational framework to explore the six key domains of knowledge about personality - Dispositional, Biological, Intrapsychic, Cognitive/Experiential, Social/...
Chapter
Personality profiles can be so abnormal or problematic that they create clear difficulties in the person’s life, particularly in the domains of work and social relationships. Certain personality features related to poor adjustment and poor outcomes in life are described as personality disorders, such as the antisocial personality and the narcissist...
Chapter
In this chapter we examine some consequences of personality on health and adjustment. Personality differences are highly predictive of resilient and coping and readjustment during stress and other challenges in life. We focus on two important outcomes in this domain – physical and mental health – and explore which personality profiles predict diffe...
Article
OBJECTIVE: Affective primes may impact ensuing behavior through condition and person effects. However, previous research has not experimentally disentangled these two sources of influence in affective priming paradigms. In the current research, we simultaneously examine the influence of condition factors, in terms of prime valence, and person facto...
Article
Algom, Chajut, and Lev (2004) reported that the Emotion-Word Stroop task does not generate the cognitive processes involved in the Color-Word Stroop paradigm. An Emotion Face-Word naming task that satisfies the criteria of the Stroop paradigm is explored. Two alternative hypotheses were tested: that valence can produce Stroop-like interference or t...
Article
The social compensation hypothesis states that the internet primarily benefits individuals who feel uncomfortable communicating face-to-face. In the current research, we tested whether individuals higher in social anxiety use the internet as a compensatory social medium, and whether such use is associated with greater well-being. In Study 1, indivi...
Article
Various factors could play a role in a patient's decision to leave treatment. This study asks whether patients who leave treatment before one year are different from those who stay beyond a year in open-ended psychoanalytic psychotherapy, using a variety of experiential measures. Our data indicate that the personality trait of “openness” assessed a...
Article
Although several definitions exist, a personality trait can be defined as the average or expected value of personality-relevant behaviors. However, recent evidence suggests that, while trait questionnaires and aggregated momentary assessments of personality are highly related, they may also differ in meaningful ways. In this study, we examine the r...
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Full-text available
The human tendency to use positive words (“adorable”) more often than negative words (“dreadful”) is called the linguistic positivity bias. We find evidence for this bias in two studies of word use, one based on written corpora and another based on naturalistic speech samples. In addition, we demonstrate that the positivity bias applies to nouns an...
Article
Previous research has largely focused on the influence of experienced affect on decision making; however, other sources of affective information may also shape decisions. In two studies, we examine the interacting influences of affective information, state affect, and personality on temporal discounting rates (i.e., the tendency to choose small rew...
Article
Cross-modal priming occurs when a prime presented in one sensory modality influences responses to a target in a different sensory modality. Currently, demonstrations of cross-modal evaluative priming have been sparse and limited. In the present study, we seek to partially rectify this state of affairs by examining cross-modal evaluative priming fro...
Article
Using longitudinal and experience sampling designs, the consistency and composition, and personality and motivational predictors, of the desired affective state are explored. Findings indicate that, while the desired affect is relatively malleable throughout one semester, it is relatively stable throughout 1 week. Personality and motivations/goals...
Chapter
Jane Loevinger was well known for her work in psychometrics, her theory of ego development, and her widely used assessment instrument, the Washington University Sentence Completion Test. Born February 6, 1918, in St. Paul, Minnesota, Loevinger was the third of five children of Gustavus and Millie (Strause) Loevinger. Her father was a German immigra...
Article
Emotions change over time. A comprehensive understanding of emotions will require that their temporal nature be observed and analysed. By observing emotion over time, one can disentangle and simultaneously analyse temporal variability within individuals and between-individual variability using a two-step process approach. First, within-person tempo...
Chapter
When researchers want to assess positive feelings, they need to understand the various definitions and models of emotion. The current chapter describes the theories and various measures that derive from them, and reviews the strenghts and weaknesses of different measures of positive emotions. In addition, nonself-report measures of positive feeling...
Chapter
Consistency and stability of feelings were examined in reports that were completed on 3,512 occasions randomly sampled from the lives of 42 subjects. The stability and consistency of responses depended on the situations, individuals, and responses involved. High degrees of consistency were unusual for single responses, although mean levels of respo...
Article
Numerous findings suggest that personality is linked to the incidence and experience of negative health outcomes. More specifically, trait negative affect is negatively related to a number of health outcomes. The current study expands our understanding of the link between personality and disease by examining the time course for lung cancer onset. I...
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Full-text available
Previously the authors analyzed sets of words used in emotion Stroop experiments and found little evidence of automatic vigilance, for example, slower lexical decision time (LDT) or naming speed for negative words after controlling for lexical features. If there is a slowdown evoked by word negativity, most studies to date overestimate the effect b...
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Full-text available
The authors examined the cross-task consistency of the ability to inhibit the processing of irrelevant information. They compared interference scores on 2 widely used inhibition tasks and found that color word Stroop interference scores correlated with emotion word Stroop interference scores. An examination of physiological reactivity showed that,...
Article
This study examined differences in personality in the earliest stages of dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) relative to healthy aging, and the power of personality in discriminating healthy aging from early-stage DAT. Four groups of participants (middle-aged controls, older controls, persons with very mild DAT, and persons with mild DAT) and thei...
Article
The therapeutic relationship is the source of major concepts in psychoanalytic clinical theory. Such concepts as resistance, transference, countertransference, and the alliance are fundamental, even though there may be shifts in meaning between theoretical schools and clinical contexts. In the clinical psychoanalytic literature, disagreement exists...
Article
Non-small-cell lung cancer patients who continue to smoke after cancer diagnosis are more likely to experience disease recurrence, decreased treatment efficacy, and treatment complications. Despite this, many continue to smoke, with estimates ranging from 13% to approximately 60%. Participants were 154 early-stage, non-small-cell lung cancer patien...
Article
Validity of the emotional Stroop task hinges on equivalence between the emotion and the control words in terms of lexical features related to word recognition. The authors evaluated the lexical features of 1,033 words used in 32 published emotional Stroop studies. Emotion words were significantly lower in frequency of use, longer in length, and had...
Article
Several studies have found that individuals with schizophrenia and their relatives, as well as healthy controls, exhibit greater language disturbance when discussing affectively negative as compared to positive or neutral topics. The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that negative emotion impairs language production, at least in part by...
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Full-text available
To test for a relation between individual differences in personality and neural-processing efficiency, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to assess brain activity within regions associated with cognitive control during a demanding working memory task. Fifty-three participants completed both the self-report behavioral inhibition se...
Article
As part of a prospective study of relapse to smoking among previously resected lung cancer patients, we conducted a retrospective survey to examine factors that may contribute to relapse. Patients who had smoked within 3 months before surgery completed measures assessing demographic characteristics, smoking urges, depression, social support, and ps...
Article
Rosenzweig's (1950) concept of idiodynamics is presented, and the importance of time in applied idiodynamics is stressed. Time-series analyses are proposed as one method for realizing the potential of idiodynamics for understanding and modeling individual lives. Building on this, and incorporating Cattell's (1966) notion of the data box, a process...
Article
Certain voluntary human participant pool procedures (e.g. where the participant selects when to participate in experiments) can compromise the representativeness of samples and the efficacy of random assignment procedures. In this study we recorded the time and date that university students participated in two experiments run during two different m...
Article
The authors examine the possibility that personality traits linked to positive and negative affect susceptibilities also influence performance on a mood-sensitive cognitive task: likelihood judgment is of possible positive and negative future events. In Study 1, participants (n = 104) filled out personality questionnaires, rated their current mood...
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Full-text available
The authors examine the possibility that personality traits linked to positive and negative affect susceptibilities also influence performance on a mood-sensitive cognitive task: likelihood judgments of possible positive and negative future events. In Study 1, participants (n = 104) filled out personality questionnaires, rated their current mood st...
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Full-text available
High levels of sex hormones may lower immunocompetence, making it difficult for a person's body to fight off infections. Facial characteristics that reveal high levels of sex hormones might signal the presence of a robust immune system. In men, high testosterone levels are associated with prominent cheekbones, wide jaw, and long chin. In women, hig...
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Full-text available
The qualities people believe are important in selecting a marriage partner afford one domain for assessing human values. We examined the cultural evolution of these values over more than half a century. Building on existing data on mate preferences collected in 1939 (N= 628), 1956 (N= 120), 1967 (N= 566), and 1977 (N= 316), we collected data using...
Article
Over the past 15 years, researchers have paid increasing attention to the dispositional source of job satisfaction. This research, though not without its controversies, has provided strong evidence that job satisfaction is, in part, dispositionally based. In this article we review past research on dispositional influences on job satisfaction. The t...
Article
The purpose of this special symposium is to showcase the area of personality and emotion and to give Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin readers some sense of the breadth of issues in this area. Three broad themes organize this collection of articles: (a) a concern with taxonomy, definition, categorizations, and assessment of major theoretic...
Article
Mood is distinguished from emotion, and mood regulation is distinguished from coping. A model of mood regulation is presented which draws on principles of control theory, which distinguishes between maximizing pleasure and minimizing psychic pain, and which emphasizes individual differences in several component subprocesses. A preliminary taxonomy...
Article
We examine emotions in the ongoing daily lives of our research participants using an Experience Sampling Methodology. Participants report three times per day for a month on how much they are experiencing various basic emotions. Positive emotions clearly dominated our participants' experience, with mean intensities and frequencies that greatly excee...
Article
This study had three major goals: to clarify the relationships between Eysenck's, Gray's, and Cloninger's personality taxonomies, to show that traits from these taxonomies predict differential sensitivities to emotional states, and to explore the relationship between sensitivity to an emotional state and how much that state is actually experienced....
Article
C. L. Rusting and R. J. Larsen (see record 1997-04006-002) tested 2 alternative accounts of the relationships between personality and sensitivities to positive and negative mood induction procedures: (1) an Eysenckian model, which suggests that extraversion and neuroticism should relate to positive and negative sensitivity, respectively, and (2) a...
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Full-text available
Previous research has documented that more facially attractive people are perceived by others to be physically healthier. Using self-reports, observer ratings, daily diary methodology, and psychophysiological assessments, this study provides limited empirical evidence that more facially attractive people (N = 100) may be physically healthier than u...
Article
Several studies have demonstrated that the personality traits of extraversion and neuroticism are positively correlated with susceptibilities to positive and negative affect, respectively. These findings are often explained in terms of Jeffrey Gray's theory of personality, which predicts that extraverts and neurotics are differentially susceptible...
Article
The literature on symptoms of depression has included diurnal changes in mood. The morning-worse pattern is commonly mentioned. This pattern is often associated with endogenous or vegetative symptoms (e.g., weight and appetite loss, loss of pleasure, psychomotor retardation). However, depression researchers have also identified an evening-worse pat...
Article
Two different theoretical models have been used to explain relationships between the personality dimensions of extraversion and neuroticism and the affect dimensions of positive and negative mood. Eysenck's model predicts that extraversion should relate to positive affect, but not negative affect, and that neuroticism should relate to negative affe...
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Full-text available
Fluctuating asymmetry (FA) is deviation from bilateral symmetry in morphological traits with asymmetry values that are normally distributed with a mean of 0. FA is produced by genetic or environmental perturbations of developmental design and may play a role in human sexual selection. K. Grammer and R. Thornhill (1994) found that facial FA negative...
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Some people maintain direct, face-to-face contact during interaction, whereas others avert their gaze or turn their face while interacting. Research on individual differences in gaze avoidance, while sparse, falls into two areas. One concerns the personality and psychopathology correlates of gaze aversion, and the other concerns social judgments ma...
Article
More than a decade before there were systematic etnpirical tests of the proposition, evolutionary psychologists hypothesized that men and women would differ psychologically in the weighting given to the cues that trigger sexual jealousy (Daly, Wilson, & Weghorst, 1982: Symons, 1979). Because fertilization occurs internally within women, over hutnan...
Article
Research on personality and emotion has emphasized individual differences in the amounts of various emotions experienced over time. In this study we take a different approach, one that focuses on individual differences in the structure of affective lives. In particular, we assess the structural complexity of daily affect ratings for each of our sub...
Article
Although individuals differ widely in the typical intensity of their affective experience, the mechanisms that create or maintain these differences are unclear. Larsen, Diener, and Cropanzano (1987) examined the hypothesis that individual differences in affect intensity (AI) are related to how people interpret emotional stimuli. They found that hig...
Article
Theories of optimal arousal and stimulation seeking propose that individuals differ in the amount of stimulation they typically prefer. In the current study we propose that individuals differ in the moods they find desirable, due to the level of arousal inherent in different mood states. Are there meaningful individual differences in the types of m...
Article
Excitation transfer refers to the main effect of an arousing experience (e.g. exercise) on subsequent emotional reactions (e.g. reactions to emotional photographs). Residual arousal from the earlier task is said to “transfer” to the latter task, with the arousal being misattributed to subsequent stimuli. Studies examining individual differences in...
Chapter
Throughout the history of personality psychology, enthusiasm for the social and biological determinants of individuality has waxed and waned in opposition to each other. When emphasis on social factors was popular, interest in biological factors was minimal, and vice versa. Currently, however, there appears to be a ‘coming together of the social an...
Article
We examined the hypothesis that muscle contractions in the face influence subjective emotional experience. Previously, researchers have been critical of experiments designed to test this facial feedback hypothesis, particularly in terms of methodological problems that may lead to demand characteristics. In an effort to surmount these methodological...
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Full-text available
In species with internal female fertilization, males risk both lowered paternity probability and investment in rival gametes if their mates have sexual contact with other males. Females of such species do not risk lowered maternity probability through partner infidelity, but they do risk the diversion of their mates' commitment and resources to riv...
Article
The association between Neuroticism (N) and elevated symptom reporting has been attributed to differences in the encoding but not in the recall of illness episodes. If high-N persons are selective only at the encoding of illness information, then retrospective reports should be no more exaggerated than concurrent reports. This study uses a concurre...
Article
According to reducer/augmenter theory, augmenters are assumed to react to sensory stimuli with enhanced responsiveness, whereas reducers respond to the same stimuli with dampened responsiveness. Due to their generally understimulated condition, reducers are motivated to seek out stronger or more intense forms of sensory stimulation. When emotion is...
Article
ABSTRACT Even minor illnesses represent significant events in the ongoing lives of most people. As such, daily event methodologies could be applied to the study of ongoing health and illness. When daily health is considered as a temporal process, it is possible to expand our formulation of the relation between personality and day-to-day health. We...
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Full-text available
Gray's (1981) theory suggests that extraverts and neurotics are differentially sensitive to stimuli that generate positive and negative affect, respectively. From this theory it was hypothesized that efficacy of a standard positive-affect induction would be more strongly related to extraversion than to neuroticism scores, whereas efficacy of a stan...
Article
Manipulation validity may be influenced by many factors, including specific aspects of experimental procedure. Meta-analysis is an ideal tool for assessing factors that influence manipulations because it is capable of equating, combining, and gauging the impact of different experimental procedures on a given manipulation. This use of meta-analysis...
Article
This study addressed two questions: Do daily fluctuations in mood exhibit a 7-day (circaseptum) cycle, and are there reliable individual differences in how entrained people's moods are to such a weekly cycle? Spectral analysis of daily mood over 84 occasions revealed a strong weekly rhythm in the temporal organization of mood in a sample of 74 unde...
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Recent correlational research suggests that Extraversion is associated witha predisposition to experience positive affect, whereas Neuroticism is associated with a predisposition to experience negative affect. Using Gray's (A Model for Personality, pp. 246–276, 1981) terms, such results may be due to differential sensitivity to signals of reward an...
Article
The present study investigated the relationship between self-focus of attention and depression, using a naturalistic experiential sampling methodology. Daily ratings of mood and descriptions of daily life events were obtained from 62 subjects over a period of 56 consecutive days. Daily events were rated for severity and coded as referring to a self...
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Full-text available
There are wide individual differences in the characteristic intensity of affective response to the same emotion-evoking event. The processes whereby individuals come to experience strong or mild emotional responses when exposed to the same affect-provoking stimuli are still unclear. In these studies, we propose that individual differences in affect...
Article
Many researchers index mood variability by a within-Ss standard deviation computed from mood ratings provided by single Ss on several occasions. I argue that this index is theoretically limited because it refers mainly to the average extremity of mood change and not the frequency of change and that time-series techniques be used to better represent...
Article
Affect intensity is a stable individual difference characteristic defined in terms of the typical strength of an individual's responsiveness. Evidence is reviewed suggesting that the intensity of an individual's affective responsiveness generalizes across specific emotion categories, implying a general temperament dimension of emotional reactivity...
Article
Pavlov's theory of nervous system functioning is gaining increased attention from Western personality researchers. Major variables from this theory are usually measured by psychophysical or reaction-time parameters and the theoretical constructs involved concern neurological properties. In Strelau's reinterpretation of Pavlovian ideas the theoretic...
Article
Conducted 2 studies to examine individual differences in affective response intensity to identical levels of emotion-provoking stimulation. In Study 1, with 62 undergraduates, the stimuli were daily life events. Ss recorded 2 events/day for 56 consecutive days and rated their affective reactions to those events. A total of 5,971 event descriptions...
Article
Studied person–situation interactions using 2 models of reciprocal interactionism: the choice-of-situations model and the congruence-response model. 22 undergraduates were followed for a period of 30 days and were asked to record 20 situations they encountered, their positive and negative affects in each situation, and their daily mood. Support was...
Article
Past research on the personality structure of affect suggests that hedonic level and emotional intensity are two separate major dimensions. The present study employed a multitrait-multimethod approach to verify this finding. Seventy-four University of Illinois students completed daily mood reports and self-report questionnaires, and their parents c...
Article
Individual differences in circadian activity rhythms were assessed in terms of peak activity time, rising time and retiring time reported every day for 84 consecutive days. A 19-item Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ) was found to significantly correlate with time-of-day effects on these three circadian activity measures, as well as with p...
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Recent studies of person-situation interactions have focused nearly exclusively on the statistical rather than reciprocal form of the concept. In an attempt to reverse this trend, two models of reciprocal interactionism are offered: choice of situations and congruence response models. The choice model proposes that individuals select situations and...
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Solomon (1980) proposed an opponent process theory to account for motivational and affective dynamics. This theory asserts that the brain avoids extremes of emotional experience by countering the stimulation it receives with an opposite or opponent reaction. Opponent processes are thought to be responsible for the characteristic changes in affectiv...
Article
A number of subjective well-being scales were compared and evaluated. The Satisfaction With Life Scale emerged as a good measure of general life satisfaction and the Affective Intensity Measure appeared to adequately assess the characteristic level of emotional intensity. Most other scales seemed to reflect both life satisfaction and duration of po...
Article
Research on emotions and several happiness scales suggest that positive and negative affect are strongly inversely correlated. However, work on subjective well-being indicates that over time, positive and negative affect are independent across persons. In order to reconcile this inconsistency, two dimensions are proposed for personal affective stru...
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Examined age and sex trends in emotional intensity in 432 Ss from adopting and nonadopting biological families. It was hypothesized that younger adults and females would report greater average levels of both positive and negative affect over time, as has been demonstrated in past research. 242 Ss (parents and offspring) completed a battery of mood...
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Full-text available
This article reports the development and validation of a scale to measure global life satisfaction, the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS). Among the various components of subjective well-being, the SWLS is narrowly focused to assess global life satisfaction and does not tap related constructs such as positive affect or loneliness. The SWLS is sho...
Article
This article reports the development and validation of a scale to measure global life satisfaction, the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS). Among the various components of subjective well-being, the SWLS is narrowly focused to assess global life satisfaction and does not tap related constructs such as positive affect or loneliness. The SWLS is sho...
Article
Consistency and stability of feelings were examined in reports that were completed on 3,512 occasions randomly sampled from the lives of 42 subjects. The stability and consistency of responses depended on the situations, individuals, and responses involved. High degrees of consistency were unusual for single responses, although mean levels of respo...
Article
Two models of Person x Situation interaction wee examined. The first model predicts that there is a relation between personality and the situations people naturally choose to be in; the second model predicts that when there is congruence between the situation and personality, a person will experience more positive and less negative affect. These mo...
Article
Examined 2 models of person × situation interactions using 42 undergraduates. The 1st model (H. A. Murray, 1938) predicts that there is a relation between personality and the situations people naturally choose to be in; the 2nd model (H. J. Eysenck, 1952) predicts that when there is congruence between the situation and personality, a person will ex...
Article
highlights specific issues that are most relevant to emotional well-being / [attempts] to determine what produces the experience of emotional well-being as defined from a respondent's own perspective defining and measuring emotional well-being / correlates of emotional well-being / theories on the causes of emotional well-being (PsycINFO Database...

Citations

... Dysregulated emotional functioning is hypothesized to be a transdiagnostic factor underlying many forms of psychopathology (Cole et al., 2008, Miu et al., 2022, and atypical emotion dynamics have been linked to depressive symptoms in youths, both concurrently and prospectively (Reitsema et al., 2021). The personality traits neuroticism and extraversion both contain a strong affective component DISTINGUISHING DIMENSIONS OF EMOTION DYNAMICS 5 (Larsen et al., 2020). For example, neuroticism is frequently described as the opposite of emotional stability, and many studies in adults indeed reported an association between neuroticism and heightened negative affect variability (Houben et al., 2015, but see Kalokerinos et al., 2020). ...
... The symptoms of MS largely vary; however, its symptoms mainly include sensory and motor loss, weakness or numbness in one or more limbs, gait disturbance, blurred vision, prolonged double vision, dizziness, fatigue, depression, cognitive difficulties, and sexual, bowel or bladder dysfunction (Binzer et al., 2019;Dardiotis et al., 2019). MS symptoms could significantly affect different aspects of patients' lives (Puente-Martínez et al., 2021). Patients suffering from MS are particularly influenced by problems such as failure to actively engage in health promotion activities, which in turn increase secondary complications and limit their independent life, especially in advanced stages of the disease, all of which could directly or indirectly affect various physical, psychological and socioeconomic dimensions of the patients' quality of life (QoL) with chronic diseases such as MS (Kovač et al., 2019;Li et al., 2015). ...
... (17) According to Randy and David "Stress is the subjective feeling produced by events that are uncontrollable or threatening." Constant stress brings about changes in the balance of hormones in the body which may lead to the situation or thought that makes us feel frustrated, angry, nervous, or anxious (18). ...
... Several models conceptualizing personality and physical and psychological health pathways were summarized by Larsen et al. (2017). The interactional model proposes that personality affects coping abilities, thus, influencing health outcomes. ...
... Neuroticism is a negative emotional trait characterized by proneness to anxiety, emotional instability, and self-consciousness (7). The personality trait of neuroticism is associated with anxiety and depression (8)(9)(10)(11)(12). A body of research has identified neuroticism as a vulnerable factor in both depressions (13,14) and anxiety (15,16). ...
... According to the emotions-as-discrete-units perspective, each primary emotion is an isolated, meaningful unit with a specific effect (Diener et al., 2020). The dimensional affect perspective, however, argues that the affect domain transcends discrete emotions (Fredrickson, 2001;Larsen et al., 2002) and is best represented by two underlying dimensions (Larsen et al., 2002): first, arousal (high to low or activated to inactivated) and second, valence (positive to negative or pleasant to unpleasant) (Larsen et al., 2002;Watson and Tellegen, 1985). For instance, in this perspective excitement is viewed as a high-arousal, positively valenced emotion (Delgado-García et al., 2015;Larsen et al., 2002). ...
... Previous literature has found that highly extraverted individuals expect positive future events more often [23] and also evaluate hypothetical events more positively [24]. Although these findings hint at a negative relationship between extraversion and anxiety, this relationship has been contested in subsequent studies [e.g., 25]. ...
... There is a gap in understanding stability of creativity as a theoretical construct. Considering creativity as a personality trait suggests that creative capacity is consistent and stable (Cervone & Shoda, 1999;Diener & Larsen, 2009;Epstein, 1979). However, people show instability in behavior that personality traits might influence, such as moral feelings, across situations (Endler & Hunt, 1966;Mischel, 2013). ...