Personality and pleasurable emotions

Howard Berenbaum, Philip I. Chow, Michelle Schoenleber, Luis E. Flores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In three independent samples of undergraduate students, the present research examined the relations between the Big Five personality dimensions and five pleasurable emotions: tranquility, contentment, interest, cheerfulness, and vigor (only three of which, contentment, interest, and cheerfulness, had been examined in past research). Personality was measured using self-report in Studies 1 and 3, and using peer-report in Study 2. Extraversion was strongly associated with cheerfulness and vigor, openness to experience was associated with interest, and neuroticism was negatively associated with most of the pleasurable emotions. Contentment, but not tranquility, was consistently associated with conscientiousness and extraversion. Study 3 also examined the types of activities that people reported engaging in to obtain pleasure. There was some evidence of the types of activities listed being associated with personality, especially extraversion. However, individual differences in the nature of the pleasure-eliciting activities people reported could not account for the associations between personality and the experience of different pleasurable emotions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-406
Number of pages7
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Big Five
  • Emotion
  • Personality
  • Pleasure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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