Personality differences in the occurrence and affective correlates of daily positive events

Patrick Klaiber, Jin H. Wen, Anthony D. Ong, David M. Almeida, Nancy L. Sin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: Previous research shows that Neuroticism predicts exposure and affective reactivity to daily stressors. Zautra and colleagues extended this work to daily positive events. Building on these frameworks, we examined the Big Five personality traits as predictors of the occurrence and affective correlates of daily positive events. Method: Participants in two national U.S. daily diary studies (NSDE 2: N = 1,919 and NSDE Refresher: N = 778; aged 25–84) reported daily positive events, emotions specific to the events, and daily affect for 8 consecutive days. Results: In parallel analyses in both samples, Extraversion and in the NSDE Refresher sample only Openness (but not Neuroticism, Conscientiousness, or Agreeableness) predicted more frequent positive event occurrence. All Big Five traits were associated with one or more emotional experiences (e.g., calm, proud) during positive events. Neuroticism predicted greater event-related positive affect in the NSDE 2 sample, whereas Agreeableness was related to more event-related negative affect in the NSDE Refresher sample. Conclusions: The Big Five personality traits each provided unique information for predicting positive events in daily life. The discussion centers on potential explanations and implications for advancing the understanding of individual differences that contribute to engagement in positive experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-456
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Personality
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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