Publication Date

Spring 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Greg Feist


Negative Affect, Neuroticism, PANAS, Personality and Stress, Stress Perception, TSST

Subject Areas

Psychology; Psychology, Behavioral


There is contemporary literature reporting the role of the neuroticism (N) personality type in the stress process. People with elevated neuroticism experience more interpersonal stressors, perceive daily events as more negative, and use maladaptive ways to combat stressors. This thesis explores the influence of neuroticism on stress perception and the associated negative affect. In the current study, mood and stress perception of pre-screened college students who scored high and low on the neuroticism subscale were manipulated, with a laboratory psycho-social stressor, after their moods were initially neutralized to their respective base levels. Later, their mood and stress perception were manipulated again through exposure to positive stimuli. The results indicated that the participants in the high neuroticism group had significantly higher base levels of stress and negative affect, as compared to the participants in the low neuroticism group. After the participants were exposed to positive stimuli, the mean stress and negative affect scores of the high neuroticism group were equivalent to its base level mean stress and negative affect scores. However, both groups showed similar increases in their stress perception and negative affect scores during the stress task. Implications and limitations of the study are discussed.