Personality Chapter 15.odt

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Chapter 15
Personality and Social Interaction
Everyday people choose to enter some situations and avoid other
situations, situation selection can hing on personality dispositions and
how we view ourselves
Social selections are decision points that direct us to choose one path and avoid another
Personality characteristics of others influence whether we select them as dates, friends, or
marriage partners
Our personality characteristics play role in kinds of situations we select
Personality Characteristics Desired in a Marriage Partner
Buss et. Al did an international investigation representing every major racial group,
religious group and political system, which concluded that mutual attraction or love was
the most favored characteristic
After mutual attraction or love, personality characteristics loom large in people’s mate
selection preferences – dependable character, emotional stability, and pleasing
disposition. (All close to the labels given to three of the factors in the five-factor model)
Dependability is close to consciousness, pleasing disposition is close to agreeableness
Thus, personality factors play a central role in what people worldwide are looking for in a
long-term mate
Correlations are consistently positive: Positive correlations between spouses are due, in
part, to direct social preferences, based on personality characteristics of those doing the
Assortatitve Mating for Personality: The Search for Similar
Complementary Needs Theory: postulates that people are attracted to those who have
different personality dispositions than they have. Ex: People who are dominant might
have a need to be in a relationship with someone they can control
Attraction Similarity Theory: postulates that people are attracted to those who have
similar personality characteristics.
There is an overwhelming support for the attraction similarity theory and no support for
the complementary needs theory
People are married to people who are similar to themselves which is known as
assortative mating.
Do People get the Mates they want? And Are they Happy?
Individuals whose mates deviate from their ideals will be less satisfied than whose mates
embody their desires
Correlations between the preferences that individuals express for the ideal personality
characteristics of their mates and the actual personality characteristics of their obtained
mates: there are modest but consistently positive correlations between the personality
desired in a partner and the actual personality characteristics displayed by the partner.
Especially strong for Extraversion and Openness. In short a general rule, people seem to
get the mates they want in terms of personality
The key to marital happiness is having a partner who is agreeable emotionally stable, and
open regardless of whether the partner departs in specific ways from what one wants.
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Having a partner who is agreeable is an especially strong predictor of being happy with
one’s marriage for both men and women. They are more satisfied with their sex lives,
more loving and affectionate, share laughter and have a source of stimulating
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 the conscientiousness are generally more satisfied
Both men and women whose spouses score high on Emotional Stability are generally
more satisfied, view their spouses as sources of encouragement and support
Men and women whose spouses score high on openness are generally satisfied with the
Optimism also predicts high levels of satisfaction
Spouses in progressively unhappy marriages actually display progressively more
unpleasant personalities, such as lower levels of agreeableness but only within the marital
context itself.
Personality and the Selective Breakup of Couples
According to one theory of conflict between the sexes, breakups should occur more when
one’s desires are violated than when they are fulfilled
Violation of Desire: predict that people married to others who lack desired characteristics,
such as dependability and emotional stability will more frequently
Emotional instability has been the most consistent personality predictor of marital
instability and divorce. One reason might be that emotionally unstable individuals display
high levels of jealousy within relationships
Low impulse control or low conscientiousness emerges as a good predictor of marital
A study of 52 nations found that the personality traits of low agreeableness and low
conscientiousness were linked with higher rates of sexual infidelity
Being married to someone who lacks the personality characteristics that are most widely
desired puts one most at risk for breakup
Tow other influences of personality on relationship satisfaction or dissatisfaction. (1)
Similarity in overall personality profile (2) closeness of mat between an individuals
conception of an ideal mate and their partners personality.
Shyness and the Selection of Risky Situations
Shyness: a tendency to feel tense, worried, or anxious during social interactions or even
when anticipating a social interaction. Over 90% of the population reports experiencing
shyness at some point in their lives
Shy women are also more likely to avoid going to the doctor for gynecological exams,
and hence they put themselves at greater risk. They are less likely to bring up the
awkward issue of contraception
Shyness also affects whether a person is willing to select risky situation in the form of
gambles. In one experiment it showed that shy participants showed a larger increase in
heart rate, suggesting that fearfulness might have led them to avoid the risky gambles
Other Personality Traits and the Selection of Situations
Those high on psychotocism seem to choose volatile and spontaneous situations more
than formal or stable ones
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