Salivary alpha-amylase levels and big five personality factors in adults.

OBJECTIVES: Salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) has been utilized as a non-invasive measure of sympathoadrenal medullary (SAM) activation. Little is known regarding the relationship between personality inventories and baseline sAA. This study was designed to examine the relationships between the scores of big five inventory (BFI) factors, age, and sAA in adults (aged twenty to seventy years old).

METHODS: We assessed 97 participants' BFI scores and sAA. The correlations between the BFI factor scores and sAA were examined.

RESULTS: We observed (1) a positive correlation between Neuroticism and sAA, and a negative correlation between Agreeableness and sAA and (2) a positive correlation between age and sAA. These correlations between BFI scores and sAA remained significant after controlling for age. After controlling for age, all BFI factors except Conscientiousness were related to sAA.

CONCLUSIONS: Subjects with high Neuroticism and low Extraversion, Agreeableness and Openness may have high sAA. sAA has been demonstrated to be useful for examining the relationship between adrenergic activity and personality, in a non-invasive manner.

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