Openness and ambiguity intolerance: Their differential relations to well-being in the context of an academic life transition

Anat Bardi, V. M. Guerra, S. Ramdeney

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Abstract

Despite previous suggestions that ambiguity intolerance is part of openness, the current study demonstrates important differences between these traits in the context of an academic life transition. Openness was expected to be related to well-being through challenge and threat appraisals in the beginning of the university studies due to its relevance to novelty and intellect. It was expected to be related to well-being later in the university studies due to its relevance to intellect. In contrast, ambiguity intolerance was expected to be related to well-being through challenge and threat appraisals only in the beginning of the university studies. Multigroup path analyses supported the hypotheses, comparing students in the beginning of the first year of university with advanced students. In the beginning of the university studies, the relations of openness and ambiguity intolerance to well-being were mediated by challenge and threat appraisals. The relationship of openness to well-being remained the same for advanced students, whereas the relationship of ambiguity intolerance to well-being, challenge and threat appraisals was reduced to non-significance. The findings contribute to our understanding of context-specific functions of traits, and more broadly to knowledge on person-environment fit and to understanding person-situation interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-223
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume47
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • well-being
  • big five traits
  • openess
  • ambiguity intolerance
  • life transitions

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