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Happiness Is Affected By Neuroticism PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Having more money does not necessarily lead to happiness, especially if the person is neurotic, researchers from the University of Warwick, England, and the University of Minnesota, USA, reported in a CAGE (Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy) document.

Dr. Eugenia Proto, from the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy, University of Warwick, examined how personality features may impact on how people feel about their income, with regard to different levels of life satisfaction.

Dr. Proto, from the University of Warwick, and Aldo Rustichini, from the University of Minnesota, explained that in psychology, neuroticism is a "fundamental personality trait"; it refers to a propensity. Individuals with greater levels of neuroticism tend to be more sensitive to anger and hostility, and are more susceptible to developing depression.

The authors wrote that individuals with high levels of neuroticism, who are already well paid, have a considerably higher chance of perceiving a pay rise as a failure. Rustichini said:

"Someone who has high levels of neuroticism will see an income increase as a measure of success. When they are on a lower income, a pay increase does satisfy them because they see that as an achievement.

However, if they are already on a higher income they may not think the pay increase is as much as they were expecting. So they see this as a partial failure and it lowers their life satisfaction."

Proto's and Rustichini's findings, which used data from the British Household Panel Survey and the German Socioeconomic Panel, will be presented at the ESRC Research Methods Festival, in July.

Dr. Proto said:

"These results suggest that we see money more as a device to measure our successes or failures rather than as a means to achieve more comfort."

What is neuroticism? According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary, Neutoticism is: "The condition or psychological trait of being neurotic."

In the study of psychology, neuroticism is a fundamental personality trait. The person has a long-term tendency to experience negative emotional states.

Those who score high on neuroticism experience the following frequently and more severely:

Clinical depression Guilt Anger Anxiety

A person who scores high in neuroticism does not respond well to environmental stress, and can perceive everyday situations as intimidating. Sometimes trivial frustrations may cause despair. They tend to be shy and self-conscious, and may find controlling urges difficult.

Neuroticism is related to emotional regulation, interpersonal skills, and motivation - what experts call emotional intelligence.

Patients who score high in neuroticism are more susceptible to have anxiety disorders, such as phobias.

Written by Christian Nordqvist Medical News Today
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