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Title:Exploring the link between conscientiousness and positive affect
Author(s):Fayard, Jennifer
Director of Research:Roberts, Brent W.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Roberts, Brent W.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Berenbaum, Howard; Fraley, R.C.; Newman, Daniel A.; Larson, Reed W.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
positive affect
Abstract:Previous research has indicated a relationship between conscientiousness and positive emotions (e.g., DeNeve & Cooper, 1998). However, no research to date has addressed why conscientiousness is related to emotions or to which emotions it is related. Across three studies, I aimed to explicate the relationship between conscientiousness and positive affect. In Study 1, I used meta-analysis to show that conscientiousness is related to a variety of positive emotions and overall positive affect, but that attentiveness and authentic pride were most strongly associated with conscientiousness. Further, Study 1 showed that attentiveness fully accounted for the relation between conscientiousness and positive affect. Study 2 (N = 274) tested the relationship between individual facets of conscientiousness and positive affect and found that industriousness and responsibility were most strongly related to positive affect. Study 2 replicated results from Study 1 showing that attentiveness fully mediated the relation between conscientiousness and positive affect. Additionally, Study 2 showed that the relation between conscientiousness and positive affect was not due to overlap with extraversion and neuroticism. Study 3 (N = 270) examined the interplay among conscientiousness, positive affect, and performance on two exams in a short-term longitudinal study. Industriousness and self-control predicted higher scores on exam 1, and high scores on exam 1 predicted experiencing positive emotions about exam performance; however, scores on exam 1 did not mediate the relationship between facets of conscientiousness and specific emotions. Additionally, experiencing positive feelings about one’s performance on the first exam did not explain improvement on a later exam. These three studies show that attentiveness and pride are the primary positive emotions associated with conscientiousness, and provide insight into the process by which conscientious individuals achieve heightened levels of positive affect.
Issue Date:2012-09-18
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Jennifer Fayard
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-09-18
Date Deposited:2012-08

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