Few studies have reported gender differences in explanatory style. The present study investigated the links between explanatory style and established personality variables as measured by the California Psychological Inventory (CPI). Data collected from 49 male and 56 female college students revealed that the stable and global dimensions of explanatory style accounted for most of the correlations with a pessimistic explanatory style. Correlations with a pessimistic explanatory style were heavily concentrated among the Class I variables of the CPI for men, whereas women's pessimistic explanatory style was linked with well-being and good impression. Two major scales (sociability and socialization) showed significant sex differences with respect to their correlations with explanatory style for negative events. The differential pattern of correlations suggests that explanatory style may be relevant to different personality domains for males and females. The numerous CPI correlations with explanatory style for positive events suggest that it warrants further study.
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