Project Title

The Effects of Personality on the Stress Response

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Psychological Science

Faculty Sponsor Name

Sharon Pearcey

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Stress can influence many aspects of our lives causing negative physical and psychological health outcomes. The relationship between personality and the stress response is complex. This study will examine how individuals with certain personality types will respond to a social stressor. Fifty-two college students participated in the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and completed online questionnaires assessing personality traits and state anxiety. The TSST is a social stress task where participants are asked to prepare and deliver a five-minute speech and complete a mental arithmetic task for five minutes in front of two confederates dressed in lab coats who have been trained not to give any positive feedback. State anxiety was measured before and after the TSST. The Big Five personality inventory was used to examine the five personality traits of extraversion, neuroticism, openness, conscientiousness, and agreeableness. In this study, we hypothesize that the personality traits of neuroticism and openness will be related to a large increase in anxiety following the TSST. Conversely, we hypothesize that extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness will be related to a modest increase in anxiety after the stressor. The results of this study should help by providing evidence for which personality traits have a more positive stress response, which could lead to a healthier life outcome.

Project Type

Poster

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The Effects of Personality on the Stress Response

Stress can influence many aspects of our lives causing negative physical and psychological health outcomes. The relationship between personality and the stress response is complex. This study will examine how individuals with certain personality types will respond to a social stressor. Fifty-two college students participated in the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and completed online questionnaires assessing personality traits and state anxiety. The TSST is a social stress task where participants are asked to prepare and deliver a five-minute speech and complete a mental arithmetic task for five minutes in front of two confederates dressed in lab coats who have been trained not to give any positive feedback. State anxiety was measured before and after the TSST. The Big Five personality inventory was used to examine the five personality traits of extraversion, neuroticism, openness, conscientiousness, and agreeableness. In this study, we hypothesize that the personality traits of neuroticism and openness will be related to a large increase in anxiety following the TSST. Conversely, we hypothesize that extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness will be related to a modest increase in anxiety after the stressor. The results of this study should help by providing evidence for which personality traits have a more positive stress response, which could lead to a healthier life outcome.