PREDICTIVE ABILITIES OF PERSONALITY TRAITS ON CORTISOL STRESS RESPONSE
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractAlthough stress can certainly play an adaptive and motivating role in acute periods, chronic stress has been found to lead to several maladaptive physiological states. It is crucial to understand the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis, the primary mechanism by which the stress response is activated in the brain, as well as how this system may be influenced and predicted by higher order processes such as personality. In this analysis, college-aged participants from a larger scale study (42 female, 10 male) completed an online questionnaire of personality traits and subsequently underwent a laboratory stress induction with concurrently collected saliva samples for cortisol analysis. Results showed no significant predictive relationship between Neuroticism, Openness, or Conscientiousness with cortisol response. These results are consistent with other null findings reported in the current literature. However, given the contradictory literature regarding the existence of a consistent and generalizable association between personality and stress response, further well-controlled and comprehensive evaluation with similar stress induction protocols is warranted to aid in resolving these open questions.
Degree ProgramHonors College
Neuroscience & Cognitive Science