The present study examined the association between positive traits, pain catastrophizing, and pain perceptions. We hypothesized that pain catastrophizing would mediate the relationship between positive traits and pain. First, participants (n = 114) completed the Trait Hope Scale, the Life Orientation Test- Revised, and the Pain Catastrophizing Scale. Participants then completed the experimental pain stimulus, a cold pressor task, by submerging their hand in a circulating water bath (0º Celsius) for as long as tolerable. Immediately following the task, participants completed the Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ-SF). Pearson correlation found associations between hope and pain catastrophizing (r = −.41, p < .01) and MPQ-SF scores (r = −.20, p < .05). Optimism was significantly associated with pain catastrophizing (r = −.44, p < .01) and MPQ-SF scores (r = −.19, p < .05). Bootstrapping, a non-parametric resampling procedure, tested for mediation and supported our hypothesis that pain catastrophizing mediated the relationship between positive traits and MPQ-SF pain report. To our knowledge, this investigation is the first to establish that the protective link between positive traits and experimental pain operates through lower pain catastrophizing.
High levels of trait hostility are associated with wide-ranging interpersonal deficits and heightened physiological response to social stressors. These deficits may be attributable in part to individual differences in the perception of social cues. The present study evaluated the ability to recognize facial emotion among 48 high hostile (HH) and 48 low hostile (LH) smokers and whether experimentally-manipulated acute nicotine deprivation moderated relations between hostility and facial emotion recognition. A computer program presented series of pictures of faces that morphed from a neutral emotion into increasing intensities of happiness, sadness, fear, or anger, and participants were asked to identify the emotion displayed as quickly as possible. Results indicated that HH smokers, relative to LH smokers, required a significantly greater intensity of emotion expression to recognize happiness. No differences were found for other emotions across HH and LH individuals, nor did nicotine deprivation moderate relations between hostility and emotion recognition. This is the first study to show that HH individuals are slower to recognize happy facial expressions and that this occurs regardless of recent tobacco abstinence. Difficulty recognizing happiness in others may impact the degree to which HH individuals are able to identify social approach signals and to receive social reinforcement.
hostility; facial emotion recognition; smoking; nicotine
The parental role is expected to be one of the most gratifying and rewarding roles in life. As expectations of parenting become ever higher, the implications of parenting perfectionism for parental adjustment warrant investigation. Using longitudinal data from 182 couples, this study examined the associations between societal- and self-oriented parenting perfectionism and new mothers’ and fathers’ parenting self-efficacy, stress, and satisfaction. For mothers, societal-oriented parenting perfectionism was associated with lower parenting self-efficacy, but self-oriented parenting perfectionism was associated with higher parenting satisfaction. For fathers, societal-oriented parenting perfectionism was associated with higher parenting stress, whereas higher levels of self-oriented parenting perfectionism were associated with higher parenting self-efficacy, lower parenting stress, and greater parenting satisfaction. These findings support the distinction between societal- and self-oriented perfectionism, extend research on perfectionism to interpersonal adjustment in the parenting domain, and provide the first evidence for the potential consequences of holding excessively high standards for parenting.
perfectionism; parenting self-efficacy; parenting stress; parenting satisfaction
The social networking site, Facebook, has gained an enormous amount of popularity. In this article, we review the literature on the factors contributing to Facebook use. We propose a model suggesting that Facebook use is motivated by two primary needs: (1) The need to belong and (2) the need for self-presentation. Demographic and cultural factors contribute to the need to belong, whereas neuroticism, narcissism, shyness, self-esteem and self-worth contribute to the need for self presentation. Areas for future research are discussed.
Interactions among the dimensions of the Five Factor Model (FFM) have not typically been evaluated in mental health research, with the extant literature focusing on bivariate relationships with psychological constructs of interest. This study used latent profile analysis to mimic higher-order interactions to identify homogenous personality profiles using the FFM, and also examined relationships between resultant profiles and affect, self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and coping efficacy. Participants (N = 371) completed self-report and daily diary questionnaires. A 3-profile solution provided the best fit to the data; the profiles were characterized as well-adjusted, reserved, and excitable. The well-adjusted group reported better psychological functioning in validation analyses. The reserved and excitable groups differed on anxiety, with the excitable group reporting generally higher anxiety than the reserved group. Latent profile analysis may be a parsimonious way to model personality heterogeneity.
personality; five factor model; latent profile analysis
Interpersonal dependency is typically viewed as a risk factor for prolonged grief among conjugally bereaved adults. However, emerging empirical evidence and theoretical advances suggest that one manifestation of interpersonal dependency--adaptive dependency--may serve as a protective factor in coping with loss. This study compared adaptive and maladaptive dependency across three matched groups: prolonged grievers, asymptomatically bereaved adults, and a married comparison group. Results suggest a link between adaptive dependency and asymptomatic bereavement, and between maladaptive dependency and prolonged grief.
dependency; detachment; healthy dependency; bereavement; grief
The present study investigated differences between individuals with and without social anxiety disorder (SAD) in instrumentality and expressiveness, personality traits traditionally linked to the male and female gender roles, respectively. Based on evolutionary and self-discrepancy theories, it was hypothesized that individuals with SAD would score lower on instrumentality and report a discrepancy between their perceived and ideal level of instrumentality compared to control participants. Sixty-four patients with SAD and 31 non-anxious control participants completed a battery of questionnaires, including ratings of their perceived and ideal gender role attributes and current psychosocial distress. Results supported the hypotheses, and provided initial evidence that a discrepancy between perceived and ideal instrumentality may be linked to social anxiety severity, depression and lower quality of life. No differences were detected between groups in expressiveness. The present findings suggest that individuals with SAD perceive themselves to be deficient in instrumentality. They also suggest that increasing instrumentality among individuals with SAD may be beneficial for treatment.
social anxiety disorder; gender role; instrumentality; self-discrepancies; Personal Attributes Questionnaire
Risk behavior during adolescence results in substantial morbidity and mortality. Sensation seeking consistently relates to engagement in risk behavior, but the psychological mediators of this relationship remain unclear. The current study demonstrates that adolescents’ judgments of the costs versus benefits of risk behavior were a significant mediator of this relationship. Participants were 406 racially and ethnically diverse adolescents ages 12–17 (M = 14.5, SD = 1.7; 48.3% female) who participated in a larger multi-site investigation of personality and neurocognitive predictors of risk behavior. Data were collected via self-report in a single laboratory session. Mediation of the relationship of sensation seeking to risk behavior was tested using structural equation modeling. Results indicated that higher levels of sensation seeking predicted weighing the benefits of risk behavior higher than its costs, which in turn predicted higher levels of risk behavior. Implications of these findings for understanding mechanisms underlying adolescents’ risk behavior and directions for future research are discussed.
Many young adult drivers read and send text messages while driving despite clear safety risks. Understanding predictors of texting-while-driving may help to indentify relevant targets for interventions to reduce this dangerous behavior. The present study examined whether individual differences in mindfulness is associated with texting-while-driving in a sample of young-adult drivers. Using path analysis, we tested whether this relationship would be mediated by the degree to which individuals use text-messaging as a means of reducing unpleasant emotions (emotion-regulation motives) and the degree to which individuals limit texting in order to focus on present-moment experiences (attention-regulation motives). Individuals lower in mindfulness reported more frequent texting-while-driving and this relationship appeared to be mediated primarily by emotion-regulation motives. Results may help inform the development of mindfulness-based interventions to prevent texting-while-driving.
mindfulness; emotion regulation; attention; text-messaging; driving
Sexual stimuli may elicit positive and negative emotions that can impact sexual thoughts, responses, and behavior. To date, most research on affect and sexuality has focused on conscious processes and affective states. Less is known about how automatic and trait-level affective processes influence our reactions to sexual stimuli. This study used a priming task with backward masking and a trait measure of erotophobia-erotophilia – the tendency to respond to sex on a negative-to-positive continuum – to improve our understanding of the role of automatic and affective processes in response to sexual stimuli. Erotophilic individuals demonstrated automatic associations between sexual primes and positively-valenced targets, whereas erotophobic individuals classified negatively-valenced targets faster regardless of whether primes were sexual or neutral. The findings suggest that the valence of sexual stimuli can be processed automatically and is associated with trait-level affective responses to sex. Implications for research on risky sexual behavior and sexual dysfunction are discussed.
backward and forward masking; erotophobia-erotophilia; sexual stimuli; affect; automatic processes; priming
Individual difference approaches have typically treated emotional clarity (i.e., one’s understanding of one’s own emotions) as a unitary construct. Based on strong theoretical reasons, in this study we explored two related aspects of emotional clarity in a student sample. The first, type awareness, refers to the extent to which people typically can identify and distinguish the types of emotions they experience. The second, source awareness, refers to the extent to which people typically know the causes of their emotions. We psychometrically distinguished self-report items of source and type awareness. Items measuring type awareness were obtained from traditional measures of the construct, clarity of emotions. As no existing measures assess individual differences in source awareness, we developed a set of items with strong face validity. Our results provide initial evidence that one can measure source and type awareness separately.
emotional clarity; emotional awareness; alexithymia; source of emotions
► It is important to maximise the precision of personality measurement in adolescents. ► We apply item response theory (IRT) to the NEO-FFI in an adolescent sample. ► IRT was used to assess item validity and highlight poorly performing indicators. ► Removing poor items reduced measurement error without compromising validity. ► IRT analysis can be used to develop personality measures ensuring item validity.
The present study applied item response theory (IRT) to the NEO five factor inventory (NEO-FFI) completed by a community based sample of adolescents. The results revealed that many of these personality items may not be discriminating well, with some traits demonstrating greater reliability than others. Furthermore, the threshold values highlighted that the majority of the items had skewed responses, suggesting a limited utility of some response categories. Generally, removing poorly discriminating items does not harm external validity, suggesting IRT reduces measurement error and increases reliability without compromising validity.
Personality; Adolescents; Item response theory; External validity
The extent to which approach and avoidance personality trait sensitivities are associated with specific cognitive control abilities as well as with verbal and nonverbal domains remains unclear. In the current study, we investigated whether approach and avoidance trait sensitivities predict performance on verbal and nonverbal versions of the Stroop task, which taps the specific cognitive control ability of inhibiting task-irrelevant information. The findings from the current study indicate that whereas approach (specifically, Extraversion) sensitivity was predictive of verbal Stroop performance, avoidance (specifically, Behavioral Inhibition System) sensitivity was predictive of nonverbal Stroop performance. These results provide novel evidence suggestive of the integration of motivational personality traits and the ability to inhibit task-irrelevant information in a domain-specific fashion.
approach; avoidance; personality; motivation; cognitive control; inhibition; individual differences
Eating disorders are more common in females than in males and are believed to be caused, in part, by biological and hormonal factors. Digit ratio or 2D:4D (the ratio of the 2nd to the 4th digit) is considered to be a proxy for prenatal testosterone (PT) and prenatal oestrogen (PE) exposure. However, how 2D:4D may be related to type of eating pathology is unknown. The relationship between 2D:4D and eating disorder diagnosis was investigated in recovered and currently eating disordered (n=31) and control (n=99) women. Mean 2D:4D ratio was significantly lower (indicating higher levels of PT and lower levels of PE) in anorexic (AN) compared to bulimic (BN) women, with controls intermediary. In eating disordered women, 2D:4D was positively and significantly related to current weight, lowest weight and current BMI, with strongest associations for right 2D:4D. Among women, low 2D:4D is related to AN and high 2D:4D to BN, suggesting a differential causal influence of prenatal sex hormones on later eating pathology.
sex differences; prenatal testosterone; eating psychopathology
► Structural model of the inter-relations of inhibition, intelligence and creativity. ► Cognitive inhibition was measured by means of the random motor generation task. ► Inhibition generally shows a positive relation with creativity measures. ► Inhibition is specifically related to ideational fluency. ► Intelligence is specifically related to ideational originality.
There are different conceptions about how cognitive inhibition is related to creativity. Creativity has either been associated with effective inhibition, or with disinhibition, or with an adaptive engagement of inhibition. In this study, we examined the relationship of cognitive inhibition, assessed by means of the random motor generation task, with different measures of creativity. We also analyzed whether this relation is mediated by intelligence. We generally found a positive correlation of inhibition and creativity measures. Moreover, latent variable analyses indicate that inhibition may primarily promote the fluency of ideas, whereas intelligence specifically promotes the originality of ideas. These findings support the notion that creative thought involves executive processes and may help to better understand the differential role of inhibition and intelligence in creativity.
Creativity; Inhibition; Intelligence; Random sequence generation; Structural equation model
This study presents data on the factor structure of the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI) and sex and cultural differences in WPPSI test scores among 5- and 6-year-olds from China, Japan, and the United States. Results show the presence of a verbal and nonverbal factor structure across all three countries. Sex differences on the 10 subtests were generally consistent, with a male advantage on a subtest of spatial abilities (Mazes). Males in the Chinese sample obtained significantly higher Full Scale IQ scores than females and had lower variability in their test scores. These observations were not present in the Japan and United States samples. Mean Full Scale IQ score in the Chinese sample was 104.1, representing a 4-point increase from 1988 to 2004.
IQ; intelligence; cultural differences; factor structure; sex differences; WPPSI; China; Japan; United States
This paper discusses and illustrates identification problems in personality psychology. The measures used by psychologists to infer traits are based on behaviors, broadly defined. These behaviors are produced from multiple traits interacting with incentives in situations. In general, measures are determined by these multiple traits and do not identify any particular trait unless incentives and other traits are controlled for. Using two data sets, we show, as an example, that substantial portions of the variance in achievement test scores and grades, which are often used as measures of cognition, are explained by personality variables.
identification problem; personality; psychology; achievement test; grades
The goal of this study was to investigate how parents’ engagement of their child in everyday decision-making influenced their adolescent’s development on two neuropsychological functions, namely, affective decision-making and working memory, and its effect on adolescent binge-drinking behavior.
We conducted a longitudinal study of 192 Chinese adolescents. In 10th grade, the adolescents were tested for their affective decision-making ability using the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and working memory capacity using the Self-ordered Pointing Test (SOPT). Questionnaires were used to assess perceived parent-child engagement in decision-making, academic performance and drinking behavior. At one-year follow-up, the same neuropsychological tasks and questionnaires were repeated.
Results indicate that working memory and academic performance were uninfluenced by parent-child engagement in decision-making. However, compared to adolescents whose parents made solitary decisions for them, adolescents engaged in everyday decision-making showed significant improvement on affective decision capacity and significantly less binge-drinking one year later.
These findings suggest that parental engagement of children in everyday decision-making might foster the development of neurocognitive functioning relative to affective decision-making and reduce adolescent substance use behaviors.
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, individuals higher in social anxiety reported greater feelings of comfort and self-disclosure when socializing online than less socially anxious individuals, but reported less self-disclosure when communicating face-to-face. However, in Study 2, social anxiety was associated with lower quality of life and higher depression most strongly for individuals who communicated frequently online. Our results suggest that, whereas social anxiety may be associated with using the internet as an alternative to face-to-face communication, such a strategy may result in poorer well-being.
Social anxiety; Internet socialization; Well-being; Social compensation hypothesis
Suicide is a leading cause of death among older adolescents and young adults; however, few studies have prospectively examined risk for suicidal ideation. The present study in older adolescents and young adults investigated whether two personality traits previously implicated in risk for suicidal ideation, neuroticism and extraversion, as well as certain aspects of interpersonal functioning, prospectively predicted endorsement of suicidal ideation during depressive episodes. Participants (n=117) are a subset of the Northwestern-UCLA Youth Emotion Project sample, which started with a group of high school juniors oversampled for high neuroticism. Baseline interpersonal functioning was measured using the Life Stress Interview. Baseline personality trait composite scores were created from multiple inventories. Depressive disorders and suicidal ideation were assessed at the baseline and three annual follow-up interviews using the SCID. Cox regression was employed to predict suicidal ideation during depressive episodes diagnosed at any follow-up interview. Results showed that baseline extraversion inversely predicts suicidal ideation in males only, and that baseline interpersonal problems in one’s social circle, regardless of gender, predict suicidal ideation during depressive episodes.
suicidal ideation; depression; neuroticism; extraversion; interpersonal functioning; adolescents; young adults
The etiology of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), including its high degree of comorbidity with major depressive disorder (MDD), remains a conceptual and clinical challenge. In this article, we discuss the relevance of regulatory focus theory, an influential theory of self-regulation, for understanding vulnerability to GAD as well as GAD/MDD comorbidity. The theory postulates two systems for pursuing desired end states: the promotion and prevention systems. Drawing upon studies documenting the affective and motivational consequences of failing to attain promotion versus prevention goals, as well as the literature linking promotion failure with depression, we propose how dysfunction within the prevention system could lead to GAD – with, as well as without, MDD.
A sample of 18- to 23-year-old college students (N = 183) with a heterogeneous prevalence of alcohol dependence (AD) was used to examine the relationship between normative investment and alcohol consumption. Consistent with the social investment hypothesis, AD students reported lower educational investment and less participation in committed relationships than non-AD students. The sample-wide relationship between educational investment and alcohol use was moderated by relationship status, such that students in relationships who reported high educational investment were likely to drink more than single students who reported high educational investment. This interactive effect held when controlling for sex, IQ, and a measure of self-control. The results suggest normative investment is a candidate risk factor for excessive alcohol consumption for both highly “under-committed” and “over-committed” students.
The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) is sensitive to decision making impairments in several clinical groups with frontal impairment. However the complexity of the IGT, particularly in terms of its learning requirements, makes it difficult to know whether disadvantageous (risky) selections in this task reflect deliberate risk taking or a failure to recognise risk. To determine whether propensity for risk taking contributes to IGT performance, we correlated IGT selections with a measure of propensity for risk taking from the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART), taking into account potential moderating effects of IGT learning requirements, and trait impulsivity, which is associated with learning difficulties. We found that IGT and BART performance were related, but only in the later stages of the IGT, and only in participants with low trait impulsivity. This finding suggests that IGT performance may reflect different underlying processes in individuals with low and high trait impulsivity. In individuals with low trait impulsivity, it appears that risky selections in the IGT reflect in part, propensity for risk seeking, but only after the development of explicit knowledge of IGT risks after a period of learning.
Impulsivity; risk taking; decision making; Iowa Gambling Task (IGT); Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART)
The Cognitive Style Questionnaire (CSQ) is a frequently employed measure of negative cognitive style, associated with vulnerability to anxiety and depression. However, the CSQ's length can limit its utility in research. We describe the development of a Short-Form version of the CSQ. After evaluation and modification of two pilot versions, the 8-item CSQ Short Form (CSQ-SF) was administered to a convenience sample of adults (N = 278). The CSQ-SF was found to have satisfactory internal reliability and test-retest reliability. It also exhibited construct validity by demonstrating predicted correlations with measures of depression and anxiety. Results suggest that the CSQ-SF is suitable for administration via the Internet.
Cognitive style; Depression; Anxiety
► We developed a Short-Form version of the Cognitive Style Questionnaire (CSQ). ► The CSQ Short Form (CSQ-SF) demonstrated satisfactory internal reliability. ► Test–retest reliability was also satisfactory. ► Scores demonstrated predicted correlations with measures of depression and anxiety. ► The CSQ-SF may be a useful research tool in assessing vulnerability to depression.
The Cognitive Style Questionnaire (CSQ) is a frequently employed measure of negative cognitive style, associated with vulnerability to anxiety and depression. However, the CSQ’s length can limit its utility in research. We describe the development of a Short-Form version of the CSQ. After evaluation and modification of two pilot versions, the 8-item CSQ Short Form (CSQ-SF) was administered to a convenience sample of adults (N = 278). The CSQ-SF was found to have satisfactory internal reliability and test–retest reliability. It also exhibited construct validity by demonstrating predicted correlations with measures of depression and anxiety. Results suggest that the CSQ-SF is suitable for administration via the Internet.
Cognitive style; Depression; Anxiety