Did my heart just leap or sink? The role of personality for the relation between cardiac interoception and well-being

Thorsten M. Erle*, Vanessa Mitschke, Dana Schultchen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Interoceptive accuracy (IAc), the ability to perceive signals from within the body, has been linked to many beneficial health outcomes but also to psychopathologies such as anxiety disorders. Therefore, its relation to a person's subjective well-being (SWB) is unclear. Here, we predicted that individuals who are prone to interpreting interoceptive signals positively benefit from IAc and exhibit higher SWB. In contrast, individuals with predispositions towards negative interpretations suffer from it, resulting in lower SWB. Participants completed a measure of cardiac IAc, measures of extraversion, neuroticism, optimism and pessimism as personality traits that have been related to positive and negative attributional styles, and various measures of well-being. Psychiatric and physical well-being were predicted by the interaction between optimism/pessimism and IAc. While for optimistic participants, IAc did not predict higher well-being, for pessimistic individuals, it predicted lower well-being. These findings shed light on the role of interoception for SWB and its adaptiveness for individuals with different personalities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Appraisals
  • Interoception
  • Interoceptive accuracy
  • Personality
  • Subjective well-being

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