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Neuroticism and the Architecture of the Self: Exploring Neuroticism as a Moderator of the Impact of Ideal Self-Discrepancies on Emotion


  • This research was supported by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Subcommittee of Mount Allison University awarded to the first author and by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) awarded to the second author.

concerning this article should be addressed to Louise Wasylkiw, Department of Psychology, Mount Allison University, 49A York Street, Sackville, New Brunswick E4L 1C7, Canada. E-mail:


ABSTRACT Two studies examined the moderating role of neuroticism in discrepancy-emotion relations. In Study 1, neuroticism, self-discrepancies, and depression were measured. Multiple regression analyses revealed a significant interaction between neuroticism and ideal self-discrepancies such that the magnitude of ideal self-discrepancies was a stronger predictor of depression for people high in neuroticism than people low in neuroticism. Study 2 used an experimental paradigm to test the same hypothesis. Participants were randomly assigned to an ideal self-discrepancy salience condition or a control condition in which ideal self-discrepancies were not made salient. A significant interaction between self-discrepancy condition and neuroticism emerged such that the ideal self-discrepancy condition produced higher dejection-related affect relative to the control condition for people high in neuroticism compared to people low in neuroticism.