The authors of this study investigated whether fluid cognitive ability predicts exposure and emotional reactivity to daily stressors. A national sample of adults from the Midlife in the United States study and the National Study of Daily Experiences (N = 1,202) who had a mean age of 57 years (SD = 12; 56% women, 44% men) completed positive and negative mood reports as well as a stressor diary on 8 consecutive evenings via telephone. Participants also completed a telephone-based battery of tests measuring fluid cognitive ability. Higher levels of fluid cognitive ability were associated with greater exposure to work- and home-related overload stressors. Possessing higher levels of fluid cognitive ability was associated with smaller stressor-related increases in negative mood, primarily for interpersonal tensions and network stressors, and smaller stressor-related decreases in positive mood for interpersonal tensions. Furthermore, fluid cognitive ability was unrelated to subjective severity ratings of the stressors reported. Discussion focuses on the role of fluid cognitive ability in daily stress processes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Geriatrics and Gerontology