Personality and susceptibility to positive and negative emotional states

J Pers Soc Psychol. 1991 Jul;61(1):132-40. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.61.1.132.


Gray's (1981) theory suggests that extraverts and neurotics are differentially sensitive to stimuli that generate positive and negative affect, respectively. From this theory it was hypothesized that efficacy of a standard positive-affect induction would be more strongly related to extraversion than to neuroticism scores, whereas efficacy of a standard negative-affect induction would be more strongly related to neuroticism scores. Positive and negative affect was manipulated in a controlled setting, and the effectiveness of the mood induction was assessed using standard mood adjective rating scales. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that neurotic Ss (compared with stable Ss) show heightened emotional reactivity to the negative-mood induction, whereas extraverts (compared with intraverts) show heightened emotional reactivity to the positive-mood induction. Results corroborate and extend previous findings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Extraversion, Psychological*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imagination
  • Introversion, Psychological
  • Male
  • Neurotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Personality*