Personality Correlates of Self-Appraised Problem Solving Ability: Problem Orientation and Trait Affectivity Academic Article uri icon


  • We examined the relations between the components of problem solving appraisal and trait affectivity in three separate studies. According to She social problem solving model, a positive problem orientation wards off negative affect and promotes positive affect to facilitate effective problem solving (D'Zurilia & Nezu, 1989). It was then reasoned that two factors on the Problem Solving Inventory (PSI; Heppner, 1988)Problem Solving Confidence and Personal Control over emotions when, problem solvingconstitute facets of the problem; orientation component. Therefore, these factors should be consistently associated with trait affectivity. Multiple regression was used to determine the association between the two problem orientation factors and measures of trait positive and negative affectivity from the Eysenck Personality Inventory (Eysenck & Eysenck, 1968; Study 1, A’ = 99), the NEO-Personality Inventory (Costa & McCrae. 1985; Study 2, A’ = 194), and the Positive and Negative Affective Schedule (Watson, Clark, & Teliegen, 1988; Study 3,. N = 341). The Personal Control and Problem Solving Confidence factors were consistently predictive of negative affectivity: the Confidence factor was the single best predictor of positive affectivity in each study. These findings support the basic tenets regarding the problem, orientation component in the social problem solving mode!. Results are discussed as they relate to the unresolved theoretical and measurement issues in the assessment of social-cognitive constructs and trait levels of affectivity. © 1994, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Elliott, T. R., Herrick, S. M., MacNair, R. R., & Harkins, S. W.

citation count

  • 43

publication date

  • December 1994