The relationship between personality and the response to acute psychological stress

Yuanyuan Xin, Jianhui Wu, Zhuxi Yao, Qing Guan*, Andre Aleman, Yuejia Luo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

The present study examined the relationship between personality traits and the response to acute psychological stress induced by a standardized laboratory stress induction procedure (the Trier Social Stress Test, TSST). The stress response was measured with a combination of cardiovascular reactivity, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis reactivity, and subjective affect (including positive affect, negative affect and subjective controllability) in healthy individuals. The Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) approach was applied to account for the relationship between personality traits and stress responses. Results suggested that higher neuroticism predicted lower heart rate stress reactivity, lower cortisol stress response, more decline of positive affect and lower subjective controllability. Individuals higher in extraversion showed smaller cortisol activation to stress and less increase of negative affect. In addition, higher openness score was associated with lower cortisol stress response. These findings elucidate that neuroticism, extraversion and openness are important variables associated with the stress response and different dimensions of personality trait are associated with different aspects of the stress response.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16906
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4-Dec-2017

Keywords

  • LONGITUDINAL DATA-ANALYSIS
  • HPA AXIS RESPONSES
  • PSYCHOSOCIAL STRESS
  • CORTISOL RESPONSES
  • BRAIN
  • NEUROTICISM
  • ADAPTATION
  • OPENNESS
  • TRAITS
  • OPENNESS/INTELLECT

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