Our personality guides how we behave in many daily situations. A large part of our daily life from reading to socializing is influenced by an ability called response inhibition – the human ability to suppress inappropriate actions. During the development of our research, we asked ourselves what exactly influences our ability to inhibit responses. The conclusion that our group reached is that personality and mood, which are interconnected concepts, could influence response inhibition.
To investigate how personality influences response inhibition we looked at a rather well established personality inventory, called the HEXACO. HEXACO stands for Humility (H), Emotionality (E), Extraversion (X), Agreeableness (A), Conscientiousness (C) and Openness to Experience (O). Out of all those traits, our group have put the focus primarily on the dimension of Emotionality, since it is shown to be linked to impulsivity. We hypothesized that participants with higher scores on Emotionality, experience more difficulties inhibiting their responses.
Furthermore, we were interested in how one´s personality interacts with mood. We hypothesized that participants scoring high on the Emotionality dimension would be more sensitive to a mood manipulation. After participants filled out the HEXACO inventory, their mood was manipulated. This was done by assigning them to either a positive, negative or neutral mood condition, in which they had to listen to emotionally charged music and read emotionally charged sentences.
Although we were quite confident in our research showing significant results, both our hypotheses were not meet in our study.