Trait as Default: Extraversion, Subjective Well-Being, and the Distinction Between Neutral and Positive Events

Michael D. Robinson, Emily Crawford Solberg, Patrick T. Vargas, Maya Tamir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

On the basis of prior work suggesting that trait self-knowledge serves a "fill-in" function when event-specific information is missing (M. D. Robinson & G. L. Clore, 2002a), we sought to demonstrate that extraversion is a more reliable predictor of subjective well-being (SWB) judgments among certain individuals than among others. Four studies involving a total of 260 participants revealed that the extraversion-SWB relation was relatively weaker among those quick to appreciate the distinction between neutral and positive events in a choice reaction-time task; by contrast, it was stronger among those slow to recognize this distinction. The findings suggest that extraversion scales measure (among other things) beliefs about SWB that differentially contribute to judgments among those less capable of making evaluative distinctions at encoding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-527
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume85
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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