Relationship of parotid saliva flow rate and composition with personality traits in healthy men

Paul T. Costa, Howard H. Chauncey, Charles L. Rose, Krishan K. Kapur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


A number of studies have investigated the relationship between parotid saliva flow rate and clinical depression. However, no comprehensive study of the intercorrelations between parotid gland secretion and normal personality traits has been reported. The stimulated flow rate, pH, osmolality, and eleven composition variables were measured in 390 normal men and correlated against eight personality dimensions derived from scores obtained from the Cattell Sixteen Personality Factor questionnaire (16PF) and a modified form of the Eysenck Personality Inventory. Flow rate, pH, osmolality, and eight of the eleven salivary components were significantly correlated with four personality traits: anxiety, conscientiousness, shrewdness, and introversion. The relationship of personality traits to the parotid gland flow rate and saliva composition is discussed in terms of both physiologic models and the possible mediating effect by the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-422
Number of pages7
JournalOral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • General Dentistry


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