The extraverted and the neurotic glasses are of different colors

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42 Scopus citations


Over the past decade evidence has accumulated showing relations between extraversion and positive affect and neuroticism and negative affect. However, little has been said about the source of these relations. The present study proposes cognitive evaluation as a potential source. Specifically, it is argued that when evaluating events, extraverts ascribe weight to their positive aspects and neurotics to their negative aspects, a difference that brings about corresponding differences in affective reactions. To explore this idea, 226 participants were asked to evaluate 30 hypothetical everyday events. Each event was evaluated along two independent scales referring to the positivity and the negativity of the event. The participants also completed a personality questionnaire and reported on their momentary affective state. The results supported the hypothesis by showing that extraversion correlated with a more positive (but not less negative) rating of events, whereas neuroticism correlated with a more negative (but not less positive) rating of events. Regression analyses ruled out the possibility that momentary affective state accounts for these effects. The study shows the different yet complementary ways through which extraversion and neuroticism contribute to reality perception. With that, a new dimension is added to the understanding of personality-affect relations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-754
Number of pages10
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research was supported by a grant from the Israel Foundation Trustees to the author. Portions of this research were presented at the 2005 meeting of the Association for Research in Personality (ARP; January 2005, New Orleans, LA).


  • Affect
  • Cognitive evaluation
  • Extraversion
  • Neuroticism
  • Personality


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