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Title:Personality Traits, Cognitive Strategies, and Emotion: Is It Possible to Use Cognitive Strategies to Help Neurotics Feel Better
Author(s):Ng, Weiting
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Ed Diener
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Social
Abstract:The present findings demonstrate the close relations between traits, emotions, and cognitive strategies. In Study 1, the extent to which participants naturally engaged in ineffective cognitive strategies significantly predicted negative emotions to a hypothetical negative situation after controlling for neuroticism. Neuroticism also moderated the influence of ineffective cognitive strategy use on negative emotions, while extraversion moderated the influence of effective cognitive strategy use on positive emotions. Similarly, Study 2 showed that neuroticism moderated the effects of cognitive strategies on negative emotions. Teaching participants to cope with or reinterpret the hypothetical negative situation instead of focusing or giving up, helped low neurotics feel less negative, but did not help neurotics. Likewise, reappraising a past unpleasant event helped low neurotics, but not neurotics, feel less negative about it than their counterparts who focused on the event (Study 3). The moderating effect of neuroticism however, was not found with mildly unpleasant daily events---those who reappraised felt less daily negative emotions than those who focused. Next, Study 4 affirmed that low neurotics and extraverts exhibited mood-incongruent effects on subsequent negative emotional experience. Low neurotics and extraverts who experienced an initial negative mood induction felt less negative after a second task than their counterparts who experienced an initial positive induction. And finally, Study 5 linked up the previous studies by illustrating the bidirectional relations between cognitive strategies and emotion. Prior mood states interacted with traits to differentially influence the effects of cognitive strategies on subsequent emotional experience. Participants who engaged in adaptive cognitions after a difficult, second task felt less negative, and more positive, than those who engaged in maladaptive cognitions, especially for low neurotics and extraverts who experienced a prior negative mood induction.
Issue Date:2007
Description:100 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3301202
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2007

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