Individual differences in threat identification moderate the associations of personality with emotional experience and behaviour. The present two studies examined whether adeptness at threat identification also moderates the associations between personality and emotional processing. Participants completed personality scales, different emotional processing measures and a threat versus non-threat categorization task. Adeptness at threat identification moderated the relations between agreeableness and negative interpretation of ambiguous stimuli, negative reactivity and positive likelihood judgments, and the relation between neuroticism and negative recall. The results supported the view that agreeableness and adeptness at threat identification together form a self-regulation system. The results may have important implications for trait and health psychology. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.