I am a very outgoing woman

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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Close college-age friendships provide differential opportunities for reinforcing dispositional tendencies and fostering accommodation or change. Each pair of friends was extreme and either very similar or different with regard to extraversion-introversion.

Interviews with each friend were analyzed for references to each other's role in various friendship domains, including the setting of the friendship and position with regard to chatting, disclosing, expressing opinions about peers, and energizing the friendship.

Matched friends mutually reinforced each other's similar dispositional tendencies. Friends with contrasting personalities showed patterns of personality accommodation as well as complementary reinforcement. Implications are discussed for embedding reciprocal theories of personality development in close friendships. One person's experience of another person has a special quality, quite different from his perception of a piece of cheese…. It is marked by a recognition of mutuality…accompanied by an appreciation of the feelings of the other person and some willingness to adjust to them….

It is difficult to interpret any interpersonal proceeding without knowledge of the history of both personalities and a knowledge of their current thoughts and feelings. Murray,pp. Observational studies have long recognized that particular personalities produce a distinctive social press or force Block, ; Funder, ; Murray, To date, the social force of personality has usually been observed unilaterally, with less attention to how the personality of the observer interacts with that of the observed. While observations of strangers can reveal the instantaneous press of personality, interviews with friends can reveal how they come to live with and potentially adjust to each other's dispositional similarities and differences.

Accordingly, this unprecedented study explored how close friends who were extreme and either very similar or very different with regard to extraversion-introversion reportedly engaged in an array of friendship practices. The dynamic interaction of personality and environments has increasingly gained broad theoretical attention e. A commonality among dynamic approaches is adherence to the generally accepted view that personality has both bio-genetic and psychosocial foundations.

New, however, is an emphasis on examining trait processes e. Dynamic approaches also emphasize that individuals are not necessarily passive agents who respond on call to their environments. Self-reinforcement theories of personality stability, however, assume a pliable environment that bends to the force of an individual's personality. What if the environment is not so pliable? What if the environment is peopled with personalities that push back? The customary answer to how personality can be consistently reinforced across social environments is that individuals choose friends and mates whose personalities are similar to their own.

I am a very outgoing woman

A of studies have found evidence of personality similarity between friends and spouses e. Surprisingly, close friends with ificant personality differences rarely have been observed together in a systematic manner. However, two theories, Carson's interpersonal theory and Aron and Aron's self-expansion theory, challenge this assumption. Interpersonal theory Carson, posits that opposites attract for traits related to control; for example, in a complementary fashion dominance invites submission and vice versa.

In contrast, for affiliative traits similarities are theorized to mutually attract; for example, warmth invites warmth and coldness invites coldness. With regard to extraversion, interpersonal theory would predict that extraverts are attracted to both introverts and extraverts. Extraverts should be attracted to introverts because introverts are more likely to submit to and thereby reinforce in a complementary fashion the extravert's social dominance. On the other hand, extraverts should be attracted to other extraverts because extraverts are more likely to mutually reinforce each other's positivity and warmth.

Aron and Aron proposed a broader understanding of why personality differences can be attractive. They argued that people develop close relationships with dissimilar others in order to enhance or expand the self. To test the hypothesis that close relationships expand the self, Aron et al. When students were in love they reported more diverse selves, suggesting that close relationships produce more complex selves. In a similar vein, friends with different personalities might accommodate to each other's distinctiveness to expand their selves.

This expansion may not only be cognitive but also based in action, involving accommodation to the roles or activities of each friend.

I am a very outgoing woman

For example, extraverted friends might come to appreciate the stillness of bird watching with their introverted friends, and introverted friends might enjoy being a sidekick on the social adventures of extraverted friends. Although extraverts generally report having more friends than introverts Selfhout et al. A friendship with an introvert, however, may be qualitatively different than a friendship with an extravert. The nature of these friendship qualities is suggested by a host of prior correlational findings.

More recently, close ties between extraversion, reward sensitivity, and positive affect have challenged the notion that sociability is the key feature of extraversion e. However, when Ashton, Paunonen, and Lee separated social attention from reward sensitivity and positive affect, they found that extraversion was most strongly connected to social attention.

They concluded that extraversion is not simply sociability, but more specifically the tendency to both participate in and take pleasure in social interaction Ashton, et al. Because social interaction is so central to friendship, the dimension of extraversion-introversion should be associated with a of friendship activities or domains.

Companionship occurs in specific places or locales. Introverts, on the other hand, have been found to be more skilled at activities that are potentially advantageous for listening, such as focused concentration Blumenthal, The present study extended these findings, which are largely based on unilateral studies of individuals, to explore how both friends' personalities reportedly shaped the roles that each friend took in these domains of friendship.

During the college years, youth tend to be living away from home for the first time, starting new friendships, and exploring new venues of mutuality and intimacy. Personality may be particularly open to social influence during this transitional period. To date, however, close friendships in young adulthood typically have been studied at some remove from the activities in which friends actually engage. Although such global ratings indicate the general flavor of the relationship e. To achieve a proximal understanding of the experience of each other's personality in particular domains of friendship, the present study explored the press of personality phenomenologicallyin the words of the friends themselves, based on a private interview with each friend.

The research built on a prior study in which interviews were used to inform understanding of the press of similar and different personalities in brief conversations between strangers Thorne, In those interviews, introverts said that the conversation with the extraverted stranger was a breath of fresh air because they could relax and simply let the extravert talk. Some extraverts, on the other hand, said they did not feel so pressed to say nice things and to refrain from complaining when talking with an introverted versus extraverted stranger.

In deing the present study, we reasoned that friends, compared to strangers, have had much more occasion to observe each other's behavior and to experience each other's characteristic conduct and concerns. Therefore, interviews with each friend were expected to go beyond the immediate interaction to identify the characteristic activities and roles enacted by each friend in the relationship. Interviews with each friend were analyzed quasi-inductively by systematically coding s of each friend's characteristic roles in each of six domains.

Based on prior studies of friendship, we examined the characteristic roles that each friend played in the domains of Locale where the friendship generally took place—away from home or close to homeEnergy who energized the friendship and who steadied the friendshipDialog who did most of the talking and who did most of the listeningand Intimacy who usually disclosed personal information and who usually contained personal information.

We also studied two additional friendship domains, the general attitudes toward peers or Outsiders, and the primary Content of conversations. The latter domains emerged in the coding process as the informants discussed what each friend usually talked about with regard to their own life Content and the lives of their peers Outsiders. We developed three hypotheses to anticipate the roles played by each friend in matched E-E and I-I and mixed E-I dy.

The first hypothesis concerned mutual reinforcement in matched dy:. H1 Friends in matched dy will a report similar roles, b and the roles will be consistent with the personality of each individual. This hypothesis draws from the work of Caspi and Robertswho suggested that people seek out friends whose personalities are similar to their own because the similarity reinforces their own personality tendencies.

Such self-reinforcement was found in a comparison of the conversational styles of mutually extraverted versus mutually introverted strangers Thorne,but has yet to be established with friends. We expected that in the domain of Dialog, mutually extraverted friends would more often be described as the talkers, while mutually introverted friends would more often be described as the listeners Rim, The most intriguing and novel question in the present study concerned the roles of friends in mixed dy, one of whom was extremely introverted and the other extremely extraverted.

One viable possibility is that friends in mixed dy would reinforce each other's dispositional tendencies in a complementary fashion. This hypothesis draws from interpersonal theory Carson,which would predict that the control aspect of extraversion would accentuate the extravert's tendency to be socially dominant and the introvert's tendency to be socially submissive.

For example, complementarity might be manifest in the domain of Dialog by the extravert reportedly taking the role of talker and the introvert reportedly taking the role of listener, by the extravert serving as relationship energizer and the introvert as relationship stabilizer, and the other dispositional role differences referenced in hypothesis 1.

Thus, the second hypothesis predicted complementary reinforcement in mixed dy:. H 2 : Friends in mixed dy will a report complementary roles that are b consistent with the personality of the individual. The third hypothesis also concerned mixed friendship but countered the second hypothesis.

If people seek out friends whose personalities are similar to their own because such similarity is self-reinforcing, friends with different personalities might disrupt each other's typical expression of personality. Also in support of the accommodation hypothesis is that the mutuality of a friendship might be compromised if friends always assume different roles. For example, if one friend typically wants to stay home and the other usually wants to go out, some accommodation would have to be made for the friendship to endure.

Thus, the third hypothesis predicted accommodation on the part of the introverted friend in mixed dy:. H3 In mixed dy, when accommodation occurs, the introverted friend will report accommodating to the dispositional role of the extraverted friend rather than vice versa. Participants averaged One member of each dyad was recruited on the basis of pre-testing in a large psychology course, for which participation in the study fulfilled a course requirement.

I am a very outgoing woman

One member of each dyad was part of a pre-test group, averaging students per academic quarter, recruited between Fall,and Spring, Students were administered a survey in large psychology courses; the survey included 10 extraversion-introversion items and demographic questions. The scores for extraverted candidates ranged from 18—20, and introverted candidates ranged from 10 to These cut-offs were maintained for subsequent pre-test samples, which showed very similar distributions. Approximately nine candidates were randomly recruited each academic quarter, representing a small portion of the approximately potential participants available.

I am a very outgoing woman

This small percentage reflected the difficulty of scheduling a two-hour session in which the candidate was available to bring a friend along to the study. Cut-offs for the friend were relaxed one scale point 10—13 for introverts, 17—20 for extraverts to obtain viable sample sizes.

Friendship pairs consisting of two high scoring extraverts, two high scoring introverts, or a partner who scored high on extraversion and a partner who scored high on introversion were selected to form the three groups in the present study.

These 13 dy were not included in the present study. Upon arriving for the study, an undergraduate research assistant who was the same sex as the dyad greeted the friends. The research assistant was blind to the personality scores of the friends. The dyad was directed to a comfortable room decorated with children's art and seated on couches arranged in an L-shape.

The dyad was informed that we were interested in understanding friendship dynamics. They were asked to first engage in a brief minute conversation in order to catch up or talk about whatever came to mind. The research assistant promised anonymity, acquired consent for audio-recording the conversation, and then left the room. Conversations were ended when the research assistant knocked on the door. At the end of the conversation, the research assistant interviewed one of the friends in an adjacent private room while the other friend separately completed various questionnaires; the friends then switched rooms and activities.

The same research assistant separately interviewed both friends in a dyad. The interview was audio-recorded and typically lasted 30 to 40 minutes. The interview provided an opportunity for each friend to discuss the history and behavioral patterns of the friendship in increasing depth. Throughout the interviews, the research assistant treated participants as expert informants concerning their behavior and their friendship. The interviewer followed a semi-structured interview protocol.

When and how did you meet?

I am a very outgoing woman

In the second part of the interview the research assistant made use of the friends' catch-up conversation to further explore friendship dynamics. The interviewer described to the participant how the audiotape of the conversation would be played back for both of them to hear. The interviewer or the participant could stop the tape at any time to discuss what was happening.

I am a very outgoing woman

For example, if the friends started to laugh in the conversation, the interviewer might pause the tape and ask the participant to explain the laughter. This procedure allowed participants to elaborate on the meaning of specific communications. Like one time, we…. At the end of the interview, the participant was asked to add anything about the friendship not already discussed. While each friend was being interviewed, the other friend was administered surveys about the friendship, the conversation, and their personality.

Personality was assessed to determine the extraversion-introversion score of the friend who had been brought along. At no point were the participants told the study concerned extraversion or, in general, personality.

I am a very outgoing woman

This was done to avoid priming the participants to think about each other in terms of personality types see Thorne, With regard to the intent of the study, participants were only informed that the research centered on friendship dynamics.

I am a very outgoing woman

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I'm Outgoing and She's Reserved: The Reciprocal Dynamics of Personality in Close Friendships in Young Adulthood