Personality describes the average behaviour and responses of individuals across situations; but personality traits are often poor predictors of behaviour in specific situations. This is known as the “personality paradox”. We evaluated the interrelations between various trait and state variables in participants’ everyday lives. As state measures, we used 1) experience sampling methodology (ESM/EMA) to measure perceived affect, stress, and presence of social company; and 2) heart rate variability and 3) real-time movement (accelerometer data) to indicate physiological stress and physical movement. These data were linked with self-report measures of personality and personality-like traits. Trait variables predicted affect states and multiple associations were found: traits neuroticism and rumination decreased positive affect state and increased negative affect state. Positive affect state, in turn, was the strongest predictor of observed movement. Positive affect was also associated with heart rate and heart rate variability (HRV). Negative affect, in turn, was not associated with neither movement, HR or HRV. The study provides evidence on the influence of personality-like traits and social context to affect states, and, in turn, their influence to movement and stress variables.
- Heart rate variability
- Self assessment