Why Are Some People More Anxious Than Others? the Role of Neuroticism and Extraversion Personality Traits on Anxiety

By Akhter, Sana; Ibrahimi, Md Firoz | Indian Journal of Positive Psychology, September 2015 | Go to article overview

Why Are Some People More Anxious Than Others? the Role of Neuroticism and Extraversion Personality Traits on Anxiety


Akhter, Sana, Ibrahimi, Md Firoz, Indian Journal of Positive Psychology


Each one of us is born with inherent personality traits, meaning our biological genetic coding, that determine the way our brain develops and how our personality expresses itself. That is our core part. Our personality traits reveal themselves at a very early age and remain constant throughout our entire lives. They direct the way we act, how we think, and they establish our learned personality characteristics. Move over the topic why are some peopling more than anxious others? Two personality traits play important role in anxiety.

Neurotic personality

Neuroticism has an inherent negative denotation although (sometimes reversed and called Emotional Stability), an enduring tendency to experience negative emotional states and such feelings such as anxiety, anger, guilt, and depressed mood (Matthews &Deary 1998). Similarly, Golemanfound that they respond more poorly to environmental stress, are more likely to interpret ordinary situations as threatening and minor frustrations as hopelessly difficult. They are often self-conscious and shy, and they may have trouble controlling urges and delaying gratification. Neuroticism is associated with low emotional intelligence, which involves emotional regulation, motivation, and interpersonal skills. It is also a risk factor for "internalizing" mental disorders such as phobia, depression, panic disorder, and other anxiety disorders traditionally called neuroses (Hettema, Neale, Myers, Prescott, & Kendler, 2006). Individuals who are high in neuroticism may show more emotional reactions whenever confronted with stressful situations (Van Heck). Moreover, they seem to use avoiding and distracting coping strategies, such as denying, wishful thinking, and self-criticism, rather than more approaching strategies (Bolger, 1990; Heppner et al., 1995; McCrae & Costa, 1986). Ineffective coping with stressful situations in the work environment makes individuals who are high in neuroticism more vulnerable to the symptoms that are typically associated with burnout (Bakker, Van der Zee, Lewig & Dollard 2006).

Extraversión personality

Extraversión (sometimes called Surgcncy), also referred to as social adaptability, though the popularity of this term seems to be waning (Zuckerman, 1991). Extraversión is the act, state, or habit of being predominantly concerned with and obtaining gratification from what is outside the self, defined as "a trait characterized by a keen interest in other people and external events, and venturing forth with confidence into the unknown (Ewen, 1998).The broad dimension of extraversión encompasses such more specific traits as talkative, energetic, gregarious and assertiveness.

Anxiety

While anxiety is a universal emotion experienced by all human beings, the nature of the stimuli leading to anxiety has changed over time. In past, feeling of anxiety might have been evoked by life threatening stimuli such as wild beasts, natural catastrophes or similar. However today, also social-evaluation or competitive situations lead to stress and anxiety in individuals (Zeidner, 1998)

Anxiety is one of the major psychological variables which is considered as an importantpart of personality development. Anxiety also called angstorworryis a psychologicaland physiological state characterized by somatic, emotional, cognitive, and behavioural components. Psychologists find abnormal anxiety interferes in the organized behaviouralsequence. It is the displeasing feeling of fear and concern (Davison, Gerald, 2008). The root meaning of the word anxiety is 'to vex or trouble'; in either presence or absence of psychological stress, anxiety can create feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness, and dread (Bouras & Holt, 2007). It is also associated with feelings of restlessness, fatigue, concentration problems, and muscle tension. Therefore, it acts like an adverse stimulus also for the development of students potentialities. Anxiety is considered to be a normal reaction to a stressor. …

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