Personality, Stress, and Intuition: Emotion Regulation Abilities Moderate the Effect of Stress-Dependent Cortisol Increase on Coherence Judgments

Autor(en): Radtke, Elise L.
Duesing, Rainer
Kuhl, Julius 
Tops, Mattie
Quirin, Markus
Stichwörter: ACTION ORIENTATION; ACTIVATION; COGNITIVE CONTROL; coherence judgments; cortisol; emotion regulation abilities; IMPLICIT; Psychology; Psychology, Multidisciplinary; RESPONSES; RIGHT-HEMISPHERE; SELF-INFILTRATION; SOCIAL STRESS; STATE ORIENTATION; stress regulation; trier social stress test; WORKING-MEMORY
Erscheinungsdatum: 2020
Volumen: 11
Objective Findings on the relationship between hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) activity and cognitive performance are inconsistent. We investigated whether personality in terms of emotion regulation abilities (ERA) moderates the relationship between stress-contingent HPA activity and accuracy of intuitive coherence judgments. Method ERA and cortisol responses to social-evaluative stress as induced by a variant of the Trier Social Stress Test were measured in N = 49 participants (32 female, aged 18 to 33 years, M = 22.48, SD = 3.33). Subsequently, in a Remote Associates Task they provided intuitive judgments on whether word triples, primed by either stress-reminding or neutral words, are coherent or not. Results Under relative cortisol increase participants low in ERA showed reduced performance whereas individuals high in ERA showed increased performance. By contrast, under conditions of low cortisol change, individuals low in ERA outperformed those high in ERA. Conclusion Personality can moderate the link between stress and cognition such as accurate intuition. This can happen to a degree that existing effects may not be become apparent in the main effect (i.e. without considering personality), which highlights the necessity to consider personality in stress research, ERA in particular. We discuss the findings with respect to individual differences in neurobehavioral mechanisms potentially underlying ERA and corresponding interactions with cognitive processing.
ISSN: 16641078
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00339

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