University of Hertfordshire

Variation in personality states as predicted by interpersonal context

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Individual Differences
Early online date31 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


Diary studies of personality have shown that personality is variable, and can help the person deal appropriately with the different interpersonal demands they encounter. This study aims to demonstrate how interpersonal context predicts personality states. Thirty-six participants (9 male, 27 female, M age = 24.72, SD = 7.11) kept an online diary for one month. The diary recorded measurements of HEXACO personality states, momentary interpersonal factors including current interpersonal role (with friend, family member, partner, as employee/student, alone), and social goal orientation (socializing with others, avoidance of others, asserting yourself, personal/work achievement), and dispositional anxiety and depression. Individuals' personality states were found to vary considerably across measurements in a normal distribution. Multilevel modelling analyses showed that interpersonal factors did predict within subject personality variation. Social goal orientations had a greater relative impact than interpersonal roles. Depression had a significant effect on between subject variance in state emotionality. These findings highlight the importance of interpersonal context in predicting stable personality variation.


Accepted for publication in a forthcoming issue of Journal of Individual Differences. © 2018 Hogrefe Publishing. All rights reserved.

ID: 13414992