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Realo, Anu

Realo, Anu


Anu Realo, born in Viljandi, Estonia, in 1971. Ph.D. from the University of Tartu. Research Professor of the Estonian Academy of Sciences and Professor of Personality and Social Psychology at the University of Tartu.

Fellow (1 September 2014 – 30 June 2015)

Cognitive and Affective Aspects of Personality, Health, and Well-Being

Research Question

How are people’s health status and health behaviour related with personality traits and subjective well-being (SWB)? What are the genetic variants underlying the personality trait of excitementseeking?

Project Description

Based on our previous work, I aim to examine how the perception and evaluaton of disease symptoms and health behaviour is related both with the trait (i.e., personality) and the state (mood, situational factors etc) level factors. Secondly, I will examine the relationship between health and cognitive and affective aspects of SWB, using both self-rated and objective health status. Finally, I will explore the genetics of excitement-seeking. Previous research has shown the importance of dopamine-related genes in excitement-seeking behaviour, and a recent study identified a genome-wide significant association between excitement-seeking and a polymorphism in the CTNNA2 gene. Our aim is to examine if a similar relationship also exists in individuals who voluntarily engage in high-risk behaviours such as skydiving, for instance.

Selected Publications

1) Kööts-Ausmees, L., Realo, A., & Allik, J. (2013). The relationship between life satisfaction and emotional experience in 21 European countries. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44, 223-244.

2) Mõttus, R., Realo, A., Allik, J., Deary, I. J., Esko, T., & Metspalu, A. (2012). Personality traits and eating habits in a large sample of Estonians. Health Psychology, 31, 806-814.

3) Realo, A., & Dobewall, H. (2011). Does life satisfaction change with age? A Comparison of Estonia, Finland, Latvia, and Sweden. Journal of Research in Personality, 45, 297–308.

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