One hundred and seventeen randomly selected patients were assessed for different psychological variables (personality traits, wellbeing, and cognitive ability) in relation to somatic symptoms after common whiplash. Patients were investigated at an average of 7.4 (SD 4.2) days after trauma and again at three and six months. The course of recovery could not be explained by the patients' disposition. The results indicated that improvement in wellbeing was associated with recovery from somatic symptoms. There was, however, cognitive impairment in patients who suffered from symptoms. These findings support the view that the psychological and cognitive problems of patients with common whiplash are mainly related to somatic symptoms.