Prosocial personality traits and adaptation to stress

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Gloria Garcia-Banda
Mateu Servera
Karin Chellew
Victoria Meisel
Joana Fornes
Esther Cardo
Gerardo Perez
Maria Riesco
Ronald M. Doctor
Cite this article:  Garcia-Banda, G., Servera, M., Chellew, K., Meisel, V., Fornes, J., Cardo, E., Perez, G., Riesco, M., & Doctor, R. (2011). Prosocial personality traits and adaptation to stress. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 39(10), 1337-1348.


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Evidence suggests that personality traits may play a significant role in individual differences in cortisol reactivity in stressful situations. In this study, cortisol responses to public speaking were examined to test hypotheses that reactivity would be positively related to openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, and negatively to extraversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism, respectively. A sample of 75 students (56 women and 19 men) completed the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (Costa & McCrae, 1992) and the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-Revised (Eysenck & Eysenck, 1985), and 2 saliva samples were taken before and after the stressor, and another 2 samples at similar times on a control day. Results revealed that conscientiousness was associated with an enhanced cortisol response to stress, while psychoticism was correlated with a blunted response.

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