Macquarie University
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Trait Self-Reflection and Psychological Health

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posted on 2022-11-28, 03:03 authored by Andy Hall

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.


Table of Contents

General Introduction -- Paper I: Is Any Level or Type of Self Reflectiveness Related to Reduced Emotional Distress? A Narrative Review -- Paper II: A New Self-Report Scale to Test the Dimensionality of Trait Self Reflection -- Paper III: A Test of the Relationships Between Dimensions of Trait Self Reflection and Psychological Health -- General Discussion -- Appendix


This thesis is presented for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


Thesis (PhD), Macquarie University, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences, Department of Psychology, 2019

Department, Centre or School

Department of Psychology

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Ronald Rapee

Additional Supervisor 1

Natasha Magson


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