Jaap Denissen and Lars Penke

Neuroticism predicts reactions to cues of social inclusion

European Journal of Personality

In the current paper we hypothesized that people who are high in neuroticism (N) share a motivational predisposition to react vigilantly to threatening cues, most of which tend to be social in humans. In three studies, support for this prediction was found: based on cross-sectional and diary data, it was,found that the self-esteem (SE) of individuals high in N decreases more in response to perceptions of relationship conflict and low relationship quality than that of emotionally stable ones. In a study of people's reactions to imagined threats, neurotic individuals showed a heightened sensitivity to both nonsocial and social cues, though reactions to social cues were somewhat more pronounced. Results are consistent with principles from evolutionary and process-oriented personality psychology. Copyright (C) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.