Trait Self-Reflection and Psychological Health
The primary aim of this thesis was to examine the dimensional structure of trait self-reflection and determine whether any of the proposed dimensions had an adaptive relationship with psychological health. Paper I of this thesis empirically reviewed a number of discrete constructs that fall under the umbrella construct of trait self-reflection and their relationships with psychological health. This paper advanced novel theories about the dimensionality of trait self-reflection and the relationships between dimensions of trait self-reflection and psychological health. Paper II comprised a factor-analytic evaluation of a five-dimensional model of trait self-reflection comprised of how frequently an individual engages in self-reflection (self-reflectiveness, or frequency); degree of difficulty in disengaging from self-reflection (inflexibility); quantity of negative thought contents compared with positive contents (negative valence); and interest to learn more about oneself (curiosity about the self) and desire for factual knowledge about oneself (need for absolute self-knowledge) as different motives for engaging in self-reflection. The five-dimensional model was supported on the basis of overall model fit, but substantial correlations were found among some of the dimensions, which raised some uncertainty about their distinctiveness. Paper III tested the theory that negative valence, inflexibility, and need for absolute self-knowledge together suppress the adaptive effects of curiosity about the self on psychological health. Results revealed that an adaptive relationship between curiosity about the self and psychological health appeared to have been suppressed but that inflexibility, negative valence, and need for absolute self-knowledge were not jointly responsible for the suppression. This suggested that some isolated aspect of curiosity about the self may be adaptive for the psychological health of individuals.