Reflecting on nostalgic, positive, and novel experiences increases state Openness

Hotchin, Victoria and West, Keon. 2020. Reflecting on nostalgic, positive, and novel experiences increases state Openness. Journal of Personality, ISSN 0022-3506 [Article] (In Press)

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Abstract or Description

Objective
Personality change is a growing field of interest, but relatively few studies have examined causes of change in Openness. We investigated whether it is possible to influence state Openness, and through what mechanisms this effect may occur.

Method
In two experiments (Study 1: N = 144, Mage = 36.4, 58% female, 88% White; Study 2: N = 269, Mage = 34.0, 60% female, 91% White), participants reflected on and wrote about a personal experience requested to be either: nostalgic; positive and novel (Study 1); positive or novel (Study 2); or ordinary. They rated the events for nostalgia, positivity, novelty, and sociality, and completed measures of state positive affect, self‐esteem, social connectedness, meaning in life, and state Openness.

Results
Participants who recalled positive and/or novel events reported greater state Openness than those who recalled ordinary events. In Study 1, this also applied to those recalling nostalgic events. Event ratings of positivity (both studies), nostalgia and novelty (Study 2) independently predicted state Openness. State positive affect and self‐esteem were independent predictors in both studies, suggesting possible indirect paths.

Conclusions
Reflecting on nostalgic, positive, and novel experiences can increase state Openness. This finding may be useful for interventions targeting trait‐level change.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12580

Additional Information:

Funding Information:
Economic and Social Research Council UK

Keywords:

intervention, nostalgia, novelty, Openness, personality change

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology

Dates:

DateEvent
26 July 2020Accepted
28 August 2020Published Online

Item ID:

29195

Date Deposited:

01 Sep 2020 09:53

Last Modified:

01 Sep 2020 09:53

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

https://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/29195

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