Recent Decreases in Specific Interpretation Biases Predict Decreases in Neuroticism: Evidence From a Longitudinal Study With Young Adult Couples
Version of Record online: 22 MAY 2014
© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Personality
Volume 83, Issue 3, pages 274–286, June 2015
How to Cite
Finn, C., Mitte, K. and Neyer, F. J. (2015), Recent Decreases in Specific Interpretation Biases Predict Decreases in Neuroticism: Evidence From a Longitudinal Study With Young Adult Couples. Journal of Personality, 83: 274–286. doi: 10.1111/jopy.12102
- Issue online: 7 MAY 2015
- Version of Record online: 22 MAY 2014
- Accepted manuscript online: 15 APR 2014 03:56AM EST
Engaging in a romantic relationship represents one important life experience in young adulthood that has been shown to catalyze age-related decrease in neuroticism (Neyer & Lehnart, 2007). The current research builds directly on this finding by investigating one process that underlies the partnership effect. We focused on the relationship-specific interpretation bias (RIB; Finn, Mitte, & Neyer, 2013), which is the tendency to interpret ambiguous partner and relationship scenarios in a negative way. It was expected that the RIB decreases within relationships in young adulthood and that this decrease in turn predicts long-term declines in neuroticism. A sample of 245 young adult romantic couples was assessed four times across 9 months. Actor and partner effects of changes in the RIB on changes in neuroticism were analyzed using a dyadic dual change model. Recent time-to-time decreases in the RIB predicted one's own (actor effect) decline in neuroticism across 9 months. Similarly, there was a trend for a partner effect. We conclude that changes in biased relationship-specific interpretations reflect one unique process that contributes to the understanding of romantic relationship effects on personality development.