The relationship between personality traits and accuracy in facial expression judgments  

Šverko D., Težak K., Župan D.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Previous studies found strong associations between personality and emotions, more precisely neuroticism was related to negative emotions and extraversion to positive ones. In these studies personality was mainly conceptualized and assessed according to five-factor theoretical framework, while emotions were assessed in different ways: subjective ratings, autonomic reactions recording (e.g. skin conductance responses) and psychophysiological information recording (e.g. using fMRI). The aim of the present study was to extend the exploration of the associations between personality and emotions by investigating the relationship between Big Five personality model traits and emotion recognition assessed by an objective method. The participants were 236 students from the University of Zagreb who completed personality inventory and were presented 12 pictures of facial expressions selected from Facial Action Coding System Manual (Ekman et al., 2002). The participants’ task was to identify emotions from facial expressions. Each of six following emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, disgust and fear, was represented by two pictures of facial expressions. The results showed that students with higher scores on dimension of agreeableness were more accurate in recognition of positive and negative emotions from facial expressions. Consistent with the findings in the literature, female students were more accurate in emotion recognition from facial expressions than male students.