A within subjects correlation study was conducted to test the hypotheses that individuals who know one another either well/very well are more likely to produce consistent scores for extraversion The participants were psychology students (n = 49). The participants were asked to sit next to a “partner” who they knew/knew well/knew very well. They first completed a self-evaluation questionnaire on their personality and then their partner was required to complete the personality questionnaire on their behalf.
There was a significant correlation for the self and peer rating on extraversion and also a significant correlation on the ratings of those individuals who had stated that they knew their “partner” well/very well. Hence, individuals do have a good insight into their self-concept and are able to self-report, that is introspect on their self-concept. Introduction Personality can be described as characteristics, which can influence a person’s behaviour and a basis from which other people can predict an individual’s behaviour. The humanistic approach to personality was centered on the idea of self-concept.
Roger’s believed that we all have a self-concept about ourselves, which contains information about ourselves, our attitudes, and our beliefs. The Q-sort method was generally used to examine an individual’s self-concept, it involved giving the participant cards which contained statements on the personality, such as ‘ I find it hard to get over things’. The participant works through the cards dividing them into three separate sets: one which best describes the participant; one for the less applicable statements and one for those statements which are not consistent with their ideas about their self.
The participant then rates his/her self, using the grouped statements. Roger’s stipulated that it is our self-concept, which determines the individual’s behaviour. Many psychologists have tried to provide an extensive description of the personality. Cattell (1943) attempted this by gathering all the personality terms in the dictionary. He reduced the total number of trait words- 4500- to 160 trait words to which he then added 11 more trait words taken from previous tests.
To further diminish the number of personality traits, Cattell used information from previous studies to eliminate those traits, which were very similar to one another. This led him to his final total of 16 personality traits, from which he formed his Sixteen-Personality Factor Questionnaire. However, Howarth and Browne (1971) argue that ‘the 16PF does not measure the factors which it supports to measure’. Their analysis of the 16PF produced around seven to nine traits. Eysenck (1944) also attempted to investigate the various dimensions of the personality.
However, Eysenck believed that first order factors were difficult to note frequently, he stipulated that second-order factors were of more importance. His first study was based on a group of 700 patients who were suffering from neurotic disorders. Eysenck examined the ratings of psychiatrists on 39 rating scales through the method of factor analysis. He discovered two second-order factors: neuroticism and extraversion. Eysenck & Eysenck (1985) proposed that ” neuroticism resembles trait anxiety, which is the predisposition or susceptibility to experience anxiety”.
Moreover, it was stipulated that extraverts are more outgoing and spontaneous compared to introverts. Eysenck (1967) believed that introverts had higher levels of activity- cortical arousal- in the brain when compared to extraverts. These differences between extraverts and introverts have been in examined in various psychophysiological studies. The most significant studies are those which involve EEG (brain-wave activity), this is an indirect method of measuring the level of activity in the visceral brain.
Gale (1983) examined 33 studies, which contained 38 comparisons between personality groups. Introverts were considerably more cortically aroused than extraverts in 22 comparisons. Yet in 5 comparisons, introverts were lesser aroused than extraverts. Therefore it was concluded that introverts are more cortically aroused than extraverts are because introvert, in trying to avoid stimulation, they had increased levels of arousal. Nevertheless, many personality theoreticians have concluded that there are five main personality dimensions.
McCrae and Costa (1985) accumulated ratings on 80 scales and specified five dimensions: Extraversion, agreeableness; conscientiousness; neuroticism and openness. However, Goldberg (1990) conducted a study where the participants provided self-descriptions using various terms presented by Goldberg. These terms were then divided into 75 groups and analysed via ten methods of factor analysis. The five factors, which were constantly produced, were extraversion; agreeableness; conscientiousness; emotional stability and intellect. The most traditional method, used to assess the personality is the self-report questionnaire.
In such questionnaires participants provide information about their feelings and behaviors through questions in personality tests. Self-report questionnaires are useful for analysing the personality because people know a great deal about themselves and also as they are reliable. Moreover, self-report questionnaires allow the individual to introspect and this way again the results can be reliable as it is the individual him/herself who is best at describing his/her own feelings, attitudes and beliefs. Wundt used this technique of introspection.
The present study is also using a self-report questionnaire to compare the self-ratings on extraversion to the peer ratings on extraversion, yet the questionnaire will contain various questions based on the other four dimensions of personality. The aim of the present study is to investigate a person’s insight into his or her self-concept, this is being done through the use of the self-report questionnaire. It is expected that those who indicate that they know their partner “well/very well” will have a greater correlation between their scores on extraversion.