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The theory of healthy neuroticism, that neuroticism can impact health through both negative and positive pathways, often relies on descriptions of vigilance to illustrate beneficial effects. The current study is among the first to describe the relationship of neuroticism to body vigilance and test the degree to which this relationship impacts health. In an online participant panel (N = 1,055), neuroticism was associated with one factor of vigilance: sensation awareness belief. This factor had a suppression effect on the relationship between neuroticism and healthy behavior, such that the effect of neuroticism through vigilance was healthy, whereas the direct effect was unhealthy. We discuss the implications of these findings and caution against using vigilance to explain the heterogeneity in neuroticism- health relationships.
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