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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

Beckmann, N., Beckmann, J.F., Minbashian, A. & Birney, D. P. (2013). In the heat of the moment: On the effect of state neuroticism on task performance. Personality and Individual Differences 54(3): 447-452.

Author(s) from Durham


The aim of this study was to further shed light on the relationship between neuroticism and performance by taking into account the situation-specific experience of neuroticism when undertaking cognitive tasks. A total of 121 high-performing professionals completed a state measure of neuroticism before solving a complex cognitive task. Indicators of trait neuroticism and fluid intelligence were also collected. Analyses revealed a curvilinear effect of state neuroticism on task performance suggesting that moderate levels of neuroticism experienced in a given situation are most effective for cognitive performance. This effect remained unchanged when controlled for trait neuroticism and fluid intelligence. Findings support the importance of better understanding experiential effects of personality on task performance.

School of Education