Personality and Social Interaction

Part 5: The Social & Cultural Domain Chapter 15: Personality & Social Interaction -Emphasis on personality as it is affected by and expressed through social institutions, social roles and expectations, and through relationships with other people in our lives. -Interpersonal traits have long-term outcomes in our lives. For ex. Whether a person is controlling or easy going can affect aspects from: the conflicts he gets into with his spouse and work partners to the strategies he uses to achieve his goals.

Whether a person tends to be nervous or optimistic affects the likelihood of diverse social outcomes, such as divorce or success in a sales career.

-Many of the most important individual (ind) differences and personality traits are played out in our interpersonal relationships. -3 key processes whereby personality affects social interactions are described: 1. Selection: people may choose specific social environments according to their personalities. 2. Evocation: we determine how people evoke distress, as well as positive feelings, in others. 3. Manipulations: for influencing others.

What are the strategies that people use to get what they want from others? -One important interpersonal context concerns relationships between men and women. -An essential part of our social identity is our gender. -Differences between the personalities of men and women have long been of interest to personality psych. Some researchers emphasize that sex differences are small and that the variability within a sex exceeds the variability between the sexes. Other researchers focus on the differences between sexes and emphasize that some are large and are found in different cultures.

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Men tend to score higher on aggressiveness; women tend to score higher on measures of trust and nurturance. Where do sex differences come from? -“Gender” may actually have its origins in culture, i. e. how society makes up different rules/expectations for men and women. -Other theories emphasize gender differences are due to hormones, ex. Testosterone levels differ greatly between men and women, and testosterone has been associated with personality traits of dominance, aggression, and sexuality. Another theory refers to evolution, and suggests that men and women faced different challenges and have evolved solutions to these different challenges. -Gender differences are clearly part of the social and cultural domain because they refer to and are played out in interpersonal relations. -Another socially important difference between people derives from their culture, the system of social rules, expectations, and rituals in which a person is raised. Ex. A crying baby may always be picked up/comforted in one culture, while in another the baby is left to cry.

Could being raised in 2 different cultures result in differences in adult personality? Do people in different cultures have different personalities? -An important goal of personality psych is in understanding how cultures shape personality and how specific cultures are different from, or similar to, each other. Identifying similarities between cultures is also looked at by cultural psychologists. Ex. of a cultural universal appears to be the expression of specific emotions. Another aspect of personality that appears to show cultural universalities is described by the 5 factor model of traits. Chapter 15 Summary The beginning episode illustrates several key ways in which personality plays an important role in social interaction. -As discussed in Chap. 4, personality interacts with situations in 3 ways: through selection, through evocation, and through manipulation of the situation. These can be applied to an understanding of how personality affects interpersonal situations. 1st, personality characteristics of others influence who we select as dates, friends, even marriage partners. People’s personality characteristics also play a role in the kinds of interpersonal situations they select to enter and stay in.

Sue was turned off by Michaels’s aggressive and self-centered personality characteristics but someone with a different personality than Sue may have been attracted to Michael and be able to put up with his brash behaviour. -2nd, the personality qualities of others evoke certain responses in us. Michael’s aggressiveness upset Sue, evoking an emotional response that would not have been evoked if he had been kinder and more caring. Behaviours related to personality can evoke many responses in others, ranging from aggression to social support, and from marital satisfaction to marital infidelity. rd, personality is linked to the ways in which we try to influence or manipulate others. Michael 1st tried the charm tactic, then he pulled out the boasting tactic, and finally coercion, trying to force himself on Sue. A man with a different personality would have used different tactics of social influence, such as reason or reward. -Selection, evocation, and manipulation are key ways in which personality interacts with the social environment. Selection -In everyday life, people choose to enter some situations and avoid other situations. These forms of situation selection can hinge on personality dispositions and how we view ourselves. Social selections permeate daily life and are decision points that direct us to choose one path and avoid another. Choices can range from trivial (should I attend this party? ) to profound (should I marry this person? ). These decisions are often based on the personality of the selector. -Mate selection provides a dramatic example of this mechanism. When you select a long-term mate, you place yourself into close and prolonged contact with one particular other, thus altering the social environment to which you are exposed and in which you will reside.

By selecting a mate you are also selecting the social acts you will experience and the network of family and friends in which those acts will be carried out. -Who do we seek as potential mates? Are there common personality characteristics that are highly desired by everyone? Personality Characteristics Desired in a Marriage Partner: International Investigation -The focus of this study was “What do people want in a long-term partner? ” -10, 047 individuals from 6 continents and 5 islands from around the world. Largest study of its kind. Total of 37 samples from 33 countries: every major racial group, religious group, & political system. -Economic status varied from middle and upper middle class college students to lower socioeconomic groups, such as Gujarati Indians and Soviet Estonians. -50 researchers collected data. Standard questionnaires were translated into the native lang. of each culture and then were administered by locals in each culture. -Revealed that personality characteristics play a central role in the selection of a mate. -Table 15. 1 shows mutual attraction or love was the most favoured characteristic by almost everyone in the world.

After mutual attraction or love, personality characteristics proved highly important-dependable character, emotional stability, and pleasing disposition. All 3 of these are close to the labels given to 3 of the factors in the 5 factor model of personality. (Dependable character is close to Conscientiousness. Emotional stability is identical to Neuroticism, and pleasing disposition is close to Agreeableness. ) -Other personality factors rated highly included sociability, refinement & neatness, and ambition and industriousness. Assortative Mating for Personality: The Search for the Similar Complementary needs theory: “opposites attract”.

People are attracted to those who have different personality dispositions than they have. Ex. People who are dominant, might need to be with someone whom they can control and dominate. People who are submissive, need to choose a mate who can dominate and control them. Attraction similarity theory: “birds of a feather flock together”. People are attracted to those who are similar to themselves. Ex. People who are dominant might be attracted to other dominant people, and people who are extroverted might be attracted to others who share the same trait so they can party together. Although there are supporters of both theories, the results show an overwhelming support for the attraction similarity theory and no support for the complementary needs theory. The only characteristics on which “opposites attract” has shown to be biological. Men tend to be attracted to women, and women tend to be attracted to men. -Assortative mating: a phenomenon by which people are married to people who are similar to themselves. For nearly every variable that has been examined-from single actions to ethnic and racial status- people seem to select mates who are similar to themselves.

Positive correlations have been shown for physical characteristics such as height, weight, and even nose breadth and earlobe length. -Personality trait assessment based solely on judgments of photographs shows assortative mating. -Couples who have been together longest appeared most similar in personality, a finding that may result from couples growing more similar in personality over time or from dissimilar couples breaking up more often. -Are these positive correlations caused by the active selection of mates who are similar or simply are they by-products of causal processes? Ex.

Proximity: people tend to marry those who are close by. Since people who live close by share certain characteristics, the positive correlations found in married couples could be a side effect of marrying someone close by, rather than an active selection of similar partners. -Cultural institutions (colleges, universities) may promote assortative mating by admitting people who are similar in certain variables such as intelligence, motivation and social skills. -Botwin & colleagues tested these competing predictions by studying 2 samples of subjects: dating couples and newlyweds.

Participants expressed their preferences for the personality characteristics in a potential mate on 40 rating scales, which were scored on 5 dimensions of personality: Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, and Intellect-Openness. The 2nd stage used 3 data sources: self-reports, reports by their partners, and independent reports by interviewers. Correlations were computed between the ratings made by the subject (self) and the average of the peer and interviewer ratings on the subject (aggregate). -Table 15. 2 shows the correlations were consistently positive.

Those who scored high on Extraversion wanted to select an extroverted mate; those who scored high on Conscientiousness desired the same in a mate. Other studies have confirmed this and added that most people want someone who is similar as well as higher than themselves in the traits of Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability. -Therefore, positive correlations on personality variables between husbands and wives are due, at least in part, to direct social preferences, based on the personality characteristics of those doing the selecting.

Do People Get the Mates They Want? And Are They Happy? -We don’t always get what we want in life and this is true of mate selection as well. -Many people end up with mates who fall short of their ideals. It is reasonable to predict that these individuals will be less satisfied than those whose mates embody their desires. -Table 15. 3 shows the correlations between the ideal personality characteristics of individuals obtained mates across 3 subsamples- women who are dating, women who are married, & men who are married.

As a general rule, people seem to get the mates they want in terms of personality. -Are people who get what they want happier with their marriages than people who do not? Botwin et al. examined this issue by creating difference scores between the preferences each ind expressed for the ideal personality of a mate and assessments of the spouse’s actual personality. These scores were then used to predict marital satisfaction, after 1st controlling for the main effects of the spouse’s personality. Results: One’s partner’s personality had a substantial effect on marital satisfaction. The key to marital happiness is having a partner who is agreeable, emotionally stable, and open. -Table 15. 4 shows correlations between the participants’ marital satisfaction scores and the partners’ personality scores, obtained through partners’ self-reports. Having a partner who is agreeable is an especially strong predictor of being happy with one’s marriage for both men and women. -People married to agreeable partners are more satisfied with their sex lives, view their spouses as more loving and affectionate, as a source of shared laughter, and as a source of stimulating conversation. People married to disagreeable partners are the most unhappy with the marriage and are at more risk of divorce. -Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, and Openness are other characteristics linked with marital satisfaction. -Men whose wives score high on Conscientiousness are significantly more sexually satisfied with the marriage than are other husbands. -Women whose husbands score high on Conscientiousness are generally more satisfied, and happier with their spouses as sources of stimulating conversation. Both men and women whose spouses score high on Emotional Stability are generally more satisfied, view their spouses as sources of encouragement, and support, and enjoy spending time with their spouses. -Both men and women whose spouses score high on Openness are generally satisfied and perceive that a lot of love and affection are expressed in the marriage. -Women whose husbands score high on Intellect-Openness view their husbands as sources of stimulating conversation. -“Optimism” also predicts high levels of satisfaction in romantic relationships over time. In the newlywed year, people rate their spouses high on Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion and Openness. Over the next 2 years, ratings of spouse’s personalities become increasingly negative on these traits, illustrating a “Honeymoon effect”. And those who show the most marked negative ratings of their spouse’s personality over time show the largest decreases in marital satisfaction. -Those who select mates high on Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, and

Openness show the greatest happiness with their marriages. Personality and the Selective Breakup of Couples -According to violation of desire theory, break-ups should be more common when one’s desires are violated than when they are fulfilled. People actively seek mates who are dependable and emotionally stable, and those who fail to choose such mates are at risk for divorce. -Across a wide variety of studies, emotional instability has been the most consistent personality predictor of marital instability and divorce.

One reason could be that emotionally unstable individuals display higher levels of jealousy within a relationship- they worry more about a partner’s infidelity, try to prevent social contact between their partner and others, and react more explosively when their partner is unfaithful. -Low impulse control, or low conscientiousness, particularly by husbands, is also a good predictor of divorce. -Low agreeableness predicts marital dissatisfaction and divorce, this finding is less consistent and less powerful than that of emotional instability and low conscientiousness. 2 other influences of personality on relationship satisfaction or dissatisfaction are similarity in overall personality profile (rather than similarity in ind personality traits) and the closeness of match between an individual’s conception of an ideal mate and their partner’s personality. Both of these are linked with positive relationship outcomes. -Those who fail to get what they want—including a mate who is similar—tend to selectively break-up more often than those who get what they want. Shyness and the Selection of Risky Situations Shyness is defined as a tendency to feel tense, worried, or anxious during social interactions or even when anticipating a social interaction. -It is a common phenomenon, and more than 90% of the pop reports experiencing shyness at some point in their lives. Some people seem to be dispositionally shy- they tend to feel awkward in most social situations and usually avoid situations in which they will be forced to interact with others. -During high school and early adulthood, shy individuals tend to avoid social situations, resulting in a form of isolation. Shy women are also more likely to avoid going to the doctor for gynecological exams, putting themselves at greater health risks. They are also less likely to bring up the awkward issue of contraception before sex, and so put themselves in potentially dangerous situations. -Shyness also affects whether a person is willing to select risky situations in the form of gambles. -Experiment using the Cheek shyness scale: Participants were given a choice to gamble with very good odds but a low amount of money or very low odds with a much higher amount of money. Heart rate was also measured while the choice was being made.

Results: Shy women chose the smaller bets that were linked with a higher likelihood of winning, while non-shy women chose the higher risk with a lower likelihood of winning but with a larger payoff if they did win. During the task, the shy women showed a larger increase in heart rate, suggesting that fearfulness might have led to avoid the risky gambles. Other Personality Traits and the Selection of Situations -Other personality traits have been shown to affect selective entry into, or avoidance of certain situations. -People who are more empathetic are more likely to enter situations such as volunteering for community activities.

People high on psychoticism seem to choose volatile and spontaneous situations more than formal or stable ones. People high on Machiavellianism prefer face-to-face situations, perhaps bc these offer a better chance to manipulate others. -High sensation seekers are more likely to volunteer for unusual experiments (involving sex or drugs) and have been found to enter into risky situations. High school students high in sensation seeking frequent parties where alcohol/marijuana is available, and are more likely to have unwanted sex when drunk. High sensation seekers also tend to select situations characterized by high-risk sexual behaviour. 112 heterosexual sensation seeking men were more likely to have unprotected sex (and more often) than low sensation seekers. No links between a sample of 104 homosexual sensation seeking men and risky sexual behaviour. Evocation -Once we select others to occupy our social environment, the evocation of reactions from others is set in motion. -Evocation may be defined as the ways in which features of personality elicit reactions from others. -Ex. Recall from Chap 3 the study of highly active children.

Compared with their less active peers, highly active children tend to elicit hostility and competitiveness from others. Parents and teachers tend to get into power struggles with these children. The social interactions of less active children are more peaceful and harmonious. -Another example: you are walking down a hallway when someone bumps into you. You interpret the intentions behind this behaviour depending on your personality. If you are aggressive, you will most likely interpret the behaviour as hostile and intentional. If you are more agreeable, you are more likely to interpret the bump as an accident.

Aggression and the Evocation of Hostility -Well known fact: aggressive people evoke hostility from others. People who are aggressive expect that others will be hostile toward them. -One study has shown that aggressive people chronically interpret ambiguous behaviour from others, such as being bumped into, as intentionally hostile. This is called a hostile attributional bias, the tendency to infer hostile intent on the part of others in the face of uncertain or unclear behaviour from them. -Because they expect others to be hostile, they will be hostile with others.

People treated in an aggressive manner often aggress back. The aggressive actions of others will confirm what the aggressive person already believes- that others have hostility toward him or her, not realizing that the hostility is a product of their own making- or evocation. Evocation of Anger and Upset in Partners -2 ways in which personality can play a role in evoking conflict in close relationships after selection has taken place: 1. A person can perform actions that cause emotional response in a partner. Ex. a dominant person might act in a condescending manner, habitually evoking upset in the partner. . A person can elicit actions from another that upset the original elicitor. Ex. an aggressive man might elicit the silent treatment from his mate, which in turn upsets him bc she won’t speak to him. A condescending wife might undermine her husband’s self-esteem, and then become angry bc he lacks self-confidence. -Study by Buss (1991): Role of personality on evocation of anger and upset in married couples -Assessed personality characteristics of husbands and wives with self-report, spouse report, and independent reports by 2 interviewers.

Page 478 shows an example of the instrument used. -Strongest predictors of upset are low agreeableness and emotional instability. If you marry someone with these attributes, your mate will be likely to behave in anger-evoking ways. -Links between personality and conflict show up at least as early as early adolescents-young teenagers low in agreeableness evoke more conflict and are more likely to become victimized by their peers in high school. -Agreeable individuals also tend to use effective conflict resolution tactics, which will lead to harmonious social interactions. In general, one’s personality can create the social environment to which one is exposed through the process of evocation. Extraverted people tend to crack more jokes, evoking greater laughter from others than do introverts. Agreeable people tend to evoke more social support from their parents, and aggressive people tend to evoke more hostility from strangers. Evocation Through Expectancy Confirmation -Expectancy confirmation: Expectancy confirmation: People’s beliefs about personality characteristics of others cause them to evoke in others actions that are consistent with initial beliefs.

A. K. A. self-fulfilling prophecy. -Snyder and Swann (1978): People’s beliefs led them to behave in an aggressive manner toward an unsuspecting target, and then the target behaved in a more aggressive manner, confirming initial beliefs. This behaviour from the target was evoked by the person who expected hostility. -Beliefs about a person’s personality characteristics may have far-reaching effects on evoking behaviour that confirm our initial beliefs. -It is sometimes said that in order to change your personality, you must move to a place where people don’t already know you.

Through expectancy confirmation, people who already know you may unwittingly evoke in you behaviour that confirms their beliefs, thereby constraining your ability to change. Manipulation -Personality is linked to ways in which we try to influence or manipulate others -Manipulation, or social influence, includes ways in which people intentionally alter, change, or exploit others. No malicious intent is implied with this term but is also not excluded. -Part of social living is that we influence others all the time. -The term manipulation is used descriptively, with no negative connotation. -Evolutionary perspective of anipulation: natural selection favours people who successfully manipulate objects in their environment. -Some manipulable objects are inanimate, such as the raw materials used to build shelters, tools, clothing, and weapons. Other objects are alive, such as predator and prey, as well as mates, parents, children, rivals, and allies. -The manipulation of others can be summarized as the various means by which we influence the psychology and behaviour of other people. -Manipulation can be examined from two perspectives within personality psychology: 1. Are some individuals consistently more manipulative than others? . Given that all people attempt to influence others, do stable personality characteristics predict tactics that are used? A Taxonomy of Eleven Tactics of Manipulation -A taxonomy is a classification scheme- the identification of naming of groups within a particular subject field. Ex. Periodic table -A taxonomy of tactics of manipulation was developed through a two-step procedure: 1. Nominations of acts of influence 2. Factor analysis of self-reports and observer-reports of the previously nominated acts -11 tactics of social influence were identified, including charm, coercion, silent treatment, reason.

Table 15. 5 full list of taxonomy of 11 tactics Sex Differences in Tactics of Manipulation -Women and men equally performed almost all of the tactics of social influence. Only one small exception: the regression tactic (crying, whining, pouting, & sulking). Women more than men use this tactic to get their way. Personality Predictors of Tactics of Manipulation -Are people with certain personality traits more likely to use certain tactics of manipulation than others? -200 participants; each rated act of influence on the degree to which they used t in each of the 4 relationships: spouse, friend, mother, father.

Correlations were then computed between the personality traits of the participants and their use of each tactic of manipulation. -Those who scored high in dominance (extraversion) used coercion, such as demanding, threatening, cursing, criticizing, in order to get their way. They also used responsibility invocation, getting others to make commitments to a course of action and saying that it was their duty. -Those who scored low in dominance (relatively submissive) used the self-abasement tactic to influence others. They lowered themselves, or tried to look sickly.

They also tended to use the hardball tactic-deception, lying, degradation, and even violence- more often than the dominant participants. -Highly agreeable people use pleasure induction and reasoning. They describe how enjoyable the activity will be, explain the rationale for wanting others to engage in particular behaviour, and point out all the good things that will come from doing them. -Disagreeable people use coercion and the silent treatment. They will criticize, yell, scream, and also give the silent treatment to get their way. They are also likely to seek revenge on people who they believe have wronged them.

They tend to be more selfish in their use of collective resources, whereas highly agreeable people show more self-restraint when the group’s resources are scarce or threatened. -Conscientious individuals use reason. They explain why they want the other person to do something, provide logical explanations for wanting it done, and explain the rationale for doing it. -Emotionally unstable people use a wide variety of manipulation tactics: hardball and coercion, but also reason and monetary reward. Most commonly used is regression. The emotional volatility is strategically motivated, used to get what they want.

A Closer Look: Machiavellian Personality -Niccolo Machiavelli, an Italian diplomat wrote a classic treatise, The Prince, in 1513. It is a book of advice on acquiring and maintaining power, which he wrote to ingratiate himself to a new ruler after the one he had served had been overthrown. It is based on manipulation tactics and is entirely lacking in traditional values (trust, honour, decency). -Machiavellianism eventually came to be associated with a manipulative strategy of social interaction and with a personality style that uses other people as tools for personal gain. 2 psychologists, Christie & Geis, developed a self-report scale to measure ind differences in Machiavellianism. -High Mach: manipulative, has a cynical worldview, treats people as tools for personal ends, is not trusting, lacks empathy, make very believable liars. This type of strategy works best in politics. -Low Mach: trusting, empathetic, believes that things are clearly right or wrong, views human nature as basically good. Strategies of cooperation based on reciprocity- both will be better off in the end, not just one.

This is a long-term social strategy, unlike the short-term strategy of the high Mach. -Real world setting: stockbrokers who were high Machs in loosely structured organizations had more clients and earned twice as many commissions as low Machs. In more tightly structured organizations, low Machs earned twice as much money as high Machs and teice as much in commissions. -This proves that the success of Machiavellian social strategies is highly context dependent. It is not a social strategy that works all the time.

Social situations with lots of rules do not allow high Machs to con others, tell lies, and betray others who trust them with impunity because they will get caught and most likely fired. -High Machs are more likely than low Machs to feign love in order to get sex (they will say “I love you” when they don’t mean it to get sex), get a partner drunk to induce them into having sex, and express a willingness to use force to achieve sex with an unwilling partner. Also more likely to be unfaithful. -The links between Machiavellianism and manipulation tactics are stronger in men than women. High Machs tend to select situations that are loosely structured, untethered by rules that would restrict the deployment of an exploitative strategy. The high Mach tends to evoke specific reactions from others, such as anger and retaliation for having been exploited. The high Mach tends to manipulate other people in predictable ways, using tactics that are exploitative, self-serving, and deceptive. Panning Back: An Overview of Personality and Social Interaction -Personality does not reside passively within an ind, but rather reaches out and profoundly affects each person’s social environment. -Table 15. highlights the 3 processes by which personality can influence an individual’s social environment (selection, evocation, manipulation). -Selection- In the physical domain, an introvert is more likely to select a rural habitat and avoid cold climates. An extrovert is more likely to choose city living with all opportunities for social interaction. In the social domain, an introvert is more likely to choose an introvert/extrovert is more likely to choose an extrovert. -Evocation- In the physical domain, a loud, heavy person who treads heavily is more likely to evoke an avalanche while climbing a snowy mountain.

In the social domain, narcissistic people evoke admiration from followers/contempt from those who dislike self-centeredness. -Manipulation- Conscientious people keep their rooms tidy, neat, free of clutter. Low Conscientious people have dirty, cluttered, messy rooms. A person high on openness creates stylish, colourful rooms with a varied collection of books and CDs. High Intellect types use reason and rationality to get their way and narcissists try to blame other for their failures. A Closer Look: Narcissism and Social Interaction Narcissism is a personality dimension involving high levels of self-absorption and conceitedness, placing one’s own wants and needs above others, displaying unusual grandiosity, showing a profound sense of entitlement, and lacking empathy for other people’s needs, feelings, and desires. Tend to be exhibitionistic, and interpersonally exploitative. -Female celebrities, such as women in reality tv shows, tend to be more narcissistic than others. -Tend to believe they are very good-looking but empirical evidence shows they are average. Selection: Narcissists tend to choose people who admire them and think highly of them. They don’t want people around who think they are less than extraordinary, beautiful, or brilliant. -They tend to select social situations where they will receive their “opportunity for glory”, and avoid situations where their self-perceived magnificence will go unnoticed. -When rejected, they tend to lash out with great anger to those who have wronged them. They view themselves as victims of interpersonal transgressions far more frequently than those low on narcissism. They view themselves as “better”or more desirable than their romantic partners, do not doubt their partners level of commitment even though they score low on commitment, and have a greater willingness to accept a dating invitation from someone else. -Due to sense of entitlement, they may also lack the ability to forgive others. Evocation: -Narcissists evoke predictable responses from others in social environment. Some view them as brilliant, entertaining, and “not boring”, some see them as boorish and selfish. -They evoke anger because of their self-aggrandizing actions, such as pulling rank on others to make a point. They tend to create self-promoting FB pages, more likely to wear expensive and flashy clothing, if female: they wear more make-up and revealing clothing. Manipulation: -They are highly exploitative of others, can be described as “users”. They use friends for wealth or connections. They use positions of power to exploit subordinates and humiliate others. -They react to failure with ferocious attempts to derogate others. -They lash out in anger and aggression against others when confronted with their own failure.

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Personality and Social Interaction
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