A study in cognitive complexity of the self: An evaluation of the Linville's index

Fumitoshi Hayashi, Takashi Horiuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of the present study was to evaluate H statistic, proposed by Linville (1985, 1987), as an index for cognitive complexity of the self. Linville asserted that high self-complexity would act as a buffer against life stress or depression. One hundred and eighty-seven undergraduates sorted 40 personality-trait adjectives into as many categories as necessary in order to describe themselves. In addition, 126 participants filled out several scales including self-consciousness and esteem. Main findings were as follows: (a) H statistic was not significantly associated with any variable related to the self-ratings, and showed no stress-buffering effect. (b) On the other hand, participants who had high cognitive complexity for the negative aspects of the self, as operationalized by Woolfolk, Novalany, Gara, Allen, and Polino (1995), were low in self-esteem and high in public self-consciousness. The results suggest that cognitive complexity of the negative self may indicate a predisposition for depression or neurosis. (c) Also, women scored significantly higher than men on cognitive complexity of the negative self.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)452-457
Number of pages6
JournalShinrigaku Kenkyu
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive complexity of the negative self
  • Cognitive complexity of the self
  • Linville's H

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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