Positive personality resources as buffers against psychological reactions to uncertainty
Since March 2020, Russia has been facing three lasting challenges of uncontrollable threat and uncertainty: the COVID-19 pandemic taking place at the global scale, and two national-level ones, the radical amendments to the Constitution and a drop in oil prices and national currency. We used this opportunity to investigate the way personality resources predict individual differences in the cognitive evaluations of uncertainty and emotional responses associated with each situation. We conducted a longitudinal study with 4 measurement waves between April and November 2020 in a sample of Russian-speaking volunteers (N = 219). The assessment of each of the three situations at each measurement occasion included the evaluation of its degree of certainty/uncertainty, general orientation, positive and negative emotions. We used repeated-measures ANOVA to explore the differences in cognitive appraisals and emotional reactions across time and situations, and multilevel modeling with random slopes to investigate the individual differences in the change trends for these variables. The results suggest that individuals with higher levels of personality resources tend to appraise the challenging situations as more certain, have a better sense of orientation in these situations, show more positive emotional responses, and exhibit more positive change trends over time reflecting successful adaptation.