This study investigated the relationship between personality traits and the ability to recognize emotions from facial expressions. A sample of undergraduate and graduate students (n = 52) were administered the 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire 5th Edition (16PF-5) (Cattell, 1993) and an abbreviated version of Ekman's Pictures of Facial Affect (Ekman & Friesen, 1976). Pearson product-moment correlations revealed that the personality trait, Apprehension, was associated with the accurate recognition of most of the emotions. Further, regression analyses revealed that the recognition of fear was best predicted by the 16PF factors Dominance, Self Reliance and Apprehension. Personality differences were also identified between the various academic colleges with Engineering students scoring lowest on those traits and skills necessary for positive social interaction. Implications for counseling and recommendations for future studies are also provided.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Social perception; Personality and cognition; Personality; Emotions; Facial expression

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

School Psychology (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Department of Psychology (CLA)


Scott P. Merydith

Advisor/Committee Member

Jennifer Lukomski


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at BF323.S63 M48 2006


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