Individual differences and personality traits across situations
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Psychosomatic Medicine and Group Psychotherapy, Psychiatric Day Hospital “La Clé”, Liège, Belgium
Department of Psychology, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium
Department of Psychiatry, Medical Psychology, University of Liège, CHU of Liège, Belgium
Department of Psychology, Psychology & Neuroscience of Cognition Research Unit, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium
Submission date: 2022-04-20
Final revision date: 2023-01-26
Acceptance date: 2023-01-26
Online publication date: 2023-03-22
Corresponding author
Julian A. Nasello   

Psychosomatic Medicine and Group Psychotherapy, Psychiatric Day Hospital “La Clé”, Liège, Belgium
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2024;12(2):109-119
According to the Big Five theory, personality can be classified into five traits (i.e., extraversion, neuroticism, conscientious-ness, agreeableness, and openness), and past research showed that situations impact personality. In the present study, (1) we measured which of these five personality traits changed according to different situations and (2) tested whether the across-situation variability (ASV; i.e., a continuous variable showing how much people change their personality traits ac-cording to situations) was significantly connected with specific personality domains, revealing a potential marker of person-ality disturbance.

Participants and procedure:
We recruited 80 participants (40 women) to complete the five situation-version (family, work, friends, romantic partner, and hobbies/leisure) of the Big Five Inventory to measure whether personality traits significantly changed across these situa-tions. In addition, we ran a network analysis to reveal how the ASV is related to personality traits.

The findings showed that all traits significantly changed across the situations, except openness, which remained stable. The network analysis revealed that the ASV variable was especially connected with conscientiousness (in romantic partner and family situations).

Most personality traits were flexible, showing how important it is to consider the role of situations in the study of personal-ity. Openness appeared to be particularly stable and understanding its nature represents a challenge for future studies. Final-ly, the network analysis demonstrated that the ASV shows specific connections with conscientiousness and might be a potential psychopathology marker.

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