On Traits and Temperament: General and Specific Factors of Emotional Experience and Their Relation to the Five-Factor Model


  • This research was supported by a New Faculty Seed Grant from Southern Methodist University to the first author. We would like to thank Kristy Mathews and Lu Vorhies for their help in the data collection; and Rebecca Eder and Carroll Izard for their insightful comments. An earlier version of this article was presented at the 1990 Nags Head Conference on Personality.

should be addressed to David Watson, Department of Psychology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275–0442.


ABSTRACT In this article we investigate relations between general and specific measures of self-rated affect and markers of Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness. Replicating previous research, we found strong and pervasive associations between Neuroticism, its facets, and the various negative affects; and between Extraversion, its facets, and the positive affects. Conscientiousness also had a significant, independent relation with general positive affect, but this effect was entirely due to the specific affect of attentiveness, which was more strongly related to Conscientiousness than Extraversion. Conversely, only the achievement facet of Conscientiousness correlated broadly with the positive affects. Finally, hostility had a strong independent association with (low) Agreeableness. The results for Neuroticism and Extraversion further clarify the temperamental basis of these higher order trait dimensions; whereas those obtained for Agreeableness and Conscientiousness illustrate the importance of examining personality-affect relations at the lower order level.