Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Corr I 401
Personality/cognitive psychology/Matthews: The impact of the ‘cognitive revolution’ on personality arrived first via clinical psychology, and the insight that emotional pathology reflected distortions and impairments in cognition (Beck 1967)(1).
Such ideas generated a wave of research on the cognitive deficits associated with trait anxiety (Spielberger 1972)(2). Some years later, clinical research also inspired studies showing that anxiety relates to bias in selective attention and other cognitive functions (Williams, Watts, MacLeod and Matthews 1997)(3).
In the 1970s and 1980s, researchers also turned to a wider variety of traits, exploring the full range of processing functions differentiated by cognitive psychology (Eysenck 1981(4)). Recent research has continued efforts to build information-processing models of the major traits on the basis of performance data (Matthews 2008a)(5). >Performance/Cognitive Psychology, >Personality Traits/Cognitive Neuroscience.
Corr I 402
1) Studies of performance may be used to test predictions from theory. As noted previously, systematic performance research was first featured in psychobiological studies of E and N (Eysenck 1957(6), 1967(7)).
Corr I 403
2) Performance data may be used to relate personality to individual differences in the multiple processing modules that contribute to the cognitive architecture. Broad constructs like arousal or resources may fail to account for the full range of findings on personality and performance (e.g., Matthews and Gilliland 1999)(8).
3) Investigate how individual differences in cognition may influence personality. For example, negative biases in attention, in interpretation of events, and in self-beliefs may contribute to development of an anxiety-prone personality (Wells and Matthews 2006(9); Wilson, MacLeod, Matthews and Rutherford, 2006)(10). >Method/Cognitive/Psychology.



1. Beck, A. T. 1967. Depression: causes and treatment. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press
2. Spielberger, C. D. 1972. Anxiety as an emotional state, in C. D. Spielberger (ed.), Anxiety: current trends in theory and research, vol. I, pp. 481–93. London: Academic Press
3. Williams, J. M. G., Watts, F. N., MacLeod, C. and Mathews, A. 1997. Cognitive psychology and emotional disorders, 2nd edn. Chichester: Wiley
4. Eysenck, M. W. 1981. Learning, memory and personality, in H. J. Eysenck (ed.), A model for personality. Berlin: Springer.
5. Matthews, G. 2008a. Personality and information processing: a cognitive-adaptive theory, in G. J. Boyle, G. Matthews and D. H. Saklofske (eds.), Handbook of personality theory and testing, vol. I, Personality theories and models, pp. 56–79. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
6. Eysenck, H. J. 1957. The dynamics of anxiety and hysteria. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul 7. Eysenck, H. J. 1967. The biological basis of personality. Springfield, IL: Thomas
8. Matthews, G. and Gilliland, K. 1999. The personality theories of  H. J. Eysenck and J. A. Gray: a comparative review, Personality and Individual Differences 26: 583–626
9. Wells, A. and Matthews, G. 2006. Cognitive vulnerability to anxiety disorders: an integration, in L. B. Alloy and J. H. Riskind (eds.), Cognitive vulnerability to emotional disorders, pp. 303–25. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum
10. Wilson, E. J., MacLeod, C., Mathews, A. and Rutherford, E. M. 2006. The causal role of interpretive bias in anxiety reactivity, Journal of Abnormal Psychology 115: 103–11



Gerald Matthews, „ Personality and performance: cognitive processes and models“, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Cognitive Psychology
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009

Corr II
Philip J. Corr (Ed.)
Personality and Individual Differences - Revisiting the classical studies Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne 2018


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