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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Is possession of desirable personality characteristics the only predictor that someone will be well-liked in a group of acquaintances, or will similarity to others in the group also matter? Participants assessed self and peer personalities in a round-robin de.
We found that after controlling for attributions of desirable and undesirable personality characteristics, individuals with similar personality patterns liked each other more than individuals with dissimilar patterns. Further analysis revealed similarity of undesirable traits mattered more for liking than similarity of desirable traits. provide the first comprehensive analysis of relations between personality similarity and liking among acquaintances in a randomized, naturalistic de. In every social network, individuals may find they connect with some colleagues and peers, but remain distant from others.
Given opportunities to meet and interact with everyone, what determines who will be liked and who will not? At a fundamental level, people like others who they believe have desirable traits, and dislike others who they believe have undesirable traits. We call this tendency the fundamental principle of liking FPL. Over and above the FPL, there may be more subtle factors, such as similarity of personality, that draw certain acquaintances together and push others apart. Researchers have investigated the role of personality similarity for over half a century, updating what was known about the magnitude of its influence which appears to be small as new theoretical frameworks e.
The present study is the first to investigate the role of similarity in liking while controlling for the FPL using a randomized, naturalistic de. The FPL is the notion that people like others to whom they attribute desirable personality traits e. In studies, there was often no way to know if similarity between personality characteristics predicted liking independent of the positive and negative personality traits people attributed to each other, perhaps because peer attributions of personality are rarely collected Vazire, For example, there might be two good-humored individuals who like each other simply because funny people are easy to like, not because of their similarity per se.
As a result, the effects of personality similarity may have been confounded with the effects of personality itself. In the current study, we circumvent this limitation by assessing personality similarity after controlling for the desirable and undesirable traits peers attribute to each other. Although a of studies have inquired into the nature of personality similarity and liking, none that we know have been able to control for the confounding influence of the FPL. When researchers investigate whether people with similar personalities like each other more, what exactly do they mean by similar personality?
Researchers have typically defined similarity as either a difference between or interaction of mean scores on self-reports of a single personality dimension or, much less commonly, as a high positive correlation between the personality patterns of two persons across many traits.
It is often not recognized that these two aspects of similarity in personality are potentially Are you more about the personality than the stats of each other as noted by, e. In the current study, we attempt to disentangle the effect of pattern similarity from mean level similarity by measuring both in the same population of randomly ased acquaintances. To measure similarity of patterns, we compute correlations between the profiles of pairs of individuals, so the magnitude of the correlation is independent of the mean levels of either member of the pair. Due to the nature of close relationships, many prior studies of personality similarity did not randomly as participants to peer groups; instead, they assessed the similarity of already-established couples or friends and investigated whether their similarity predicted relationship satisfaction.
When random asment was implemented, it was usually at the expense of external validity; participants often rated the qualities and likeability of hypothetical or fictional characters e. Thus, most studies were limited in that they had either random asment with a contrived paradigm—using information about personality that people might not rely on in natural interactions—or a naturalistic de Are you more about the personality than the stats random asment.
The current study is one of only a few to use data from well-acquainted, randomly ased individuals in a naturalistic setting to assess personality similarity and liking see also Bernieri et al. Within each group, members had relatively equal opportunity to meet and spend time with each other, so associations between personality similarity and liking would not be due to mere propinquity, but would suggest an active preference for similar others.
In addition to controlling for the FPL and comparing pattern and mean level similarity in a naturalistic experiment, this study assesses the relationship between personality similarity and liking using round-robin information about how participants perceive themselves and each other Kenny, Using hierarchical linear regression models, we for non-independence in responses arising from raters some participants like people more than others or targets some participants are better liked across peers.
For example, in one study, undergraduate participants who scored particularly high or low on a depression inventory read about the personality of other classmates who had scored similarly or dissimilarly to them on the inventory. suggested that the positive effect of similarity on liking was ificant for only nondepressed i. In later research, the actual interpersonal interactions between combinations of individuals with and without depression were explored. We believe that exploring the similarity of desirable and undesirable personality characteristics separately after controlling for the FPL could shed light on this discrepancy.
In the studies involving individuals with depression, the absence of an effect of similarity of depression on liking may have occurred because the effect was masked by the tendency for raters, regardless of their own level of depression, to perceive nondepressed others as easier to like.
The current study extends literature on personality similarity and relationships in several ways. We use random asment and a naturalistic de with groups of acquaintances 2. We compare similarity of personality patterns and similarity of levels of traits to predict peer liking; 3. We compare the effects of positive and negative personality dimensions; 4. We control for the fundamental principle of liking; and 5. We use random effect models to for correlations among observations arising from the same target or the same rater.
The major goals of the study are to determine whether similarity in patterns or mean levels predicts peer liking after controlling for peer attributions of personality traits, and whether personality similarity findings apply equally to positive and negative traits.
Based on the findings from the romantic couples literature, we predict that patterns rather than mean levels will be positively related to liking, and that similarity of negative traits will matter more than similarity of positive traits. Participants were Air Force recruits women; men; median age 19 who were several days from completion of 6 weeks of basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base.
The participants were enlisted personnel not pilotswho were going to be trained for a wide variety of jobs e. There were twenty-two flights included in this study; 16 of the flights were mixed-sex and 6 were all male. Participants were predominantly White The MAPP instrument was written in the third person for peer-report and translated into the second person for self-report.
Participants rated each member of the group for how much they liked them on a scale of 0 do not like at all to 3 like extremely well. Participants ed informed consent statements and participated on a voluntary basis. All measures were presented on a computer monitor, one participant to a computer. Members of each flight were tested simultaneously, in a single 2-hour session.
Participants rated how much they liked members of their group before completing the MAPP. You will be presented with descriptions of various personal characteristics. For each characteristic, you will be asked to click the mouse button when the cursor is pointing to the names of the people in your group who best fit that description.
The MAPP items were presented in a quasi-random order and were listed one at a time on the top of the computer screen. To obtain peer-reports of personality, the names of all members of the flight group excluding the name of the participant completing the MAPP appeared below the item. Participants nominated from one to as many people in their group as they saw fit for each particular item and used the scale from 0 to 3 to indicate the extent to which those people exhibited the characteristic in question. Mixed model regression controls for clustering of observations within samples.
In the round-robin de of the current study, in which each target was rated by multiple raters and each rater rated multiple targets, observations arising from the same rater or pertaining to the same target were correlated with each other. For a rating of liking y ijkin which target i is rated by rater j, with both i and j in flight k, we estimated the equation:. The 79 items in the MAPP corresponding to DSM criteria for PD were initially classified as negative traits, and the 24 additional items were initially classified as positive traits. We then examined the relation between each item and liking using a mixed model in which liking was predicted from an individual item on the MAPP as a fixed effect, with random variability attributable to flights and to targets and raters within flights.
Twenty-one non-DSM items were positively associated with liking and Are you more about the personality than the stats considered positive traits in subsequent analyses. Forty-six of the DSM items were ificantly negatively associated with liking and were considered negative traits in subsequent analyses. We computed coefficients of similarity for each pair of rater and target using the MAPP. The pattern similarity coefficient was computed as a correlation between the self-reports of the pair, computed across the items. The mean level similarity coefficients were computed as absolute differences between the self-reports of the pair summed across items.
We then estimated a series of random effects models, with liking as the dependent variable, predicted by peer attributions of positive and negative traits representing the FPL and one of the similarity coefficients either pattern similarity or absolute mean level similarity using the equation given above. Random variances were estimated for the effects of raters, targets and flights.
Models were developed to predict liking based on the following factors: Model 1: liking predicted from peer reports of positive and negative traits and the pattern correlation of self-reports of positive and negative traits. Model 2: liking predicted from peer reports of positive and negative traits and the pattern correlation of only negative traits. Model 3: liking predicted from peer reports of positive and negative traits and the pattern correlation of only positive traits.
Model 4: liking predicted from peer reports of positive and negative traits and the mean difference of self-reports of only negative traits. Model 5: liking predicted from peer reports of positive and negative traits and the mean difference of self-reports of only positive traits. of the mixed effects models are provided in Table 1.
Effects on liking of pattern and absolute mean level personality similarity, controlling for the FPL peer attributions of negative and positive traits. The mean similarity coefficient is greater than zero because some items are more frequently endorsed than others across the entire sample. The mean level matching coefficients for the negative traits ranged from 0. The mean level similarity coefficients for the positive traits ranged from 0. The current study investigated whether similarity between self ratings of positive and negative personality characteristics in a group of peers predicted liking.
The suggest that, even after controlling for the tendency for people to like others who have desirable traits and dislike others who have undesirable traits i. Echoing research with romantic couples, this effect was due primarily to similarity of patterns of negative traits rather than positive traits cf. The finding that the absolute mean difference in levels of self-reported positive and negative traits was negatively associated with liking only when the FPL was not controlled provides an interesting example of why controlling for the FPL is important in naturalistic studies of personality similarity and liking.
Because most people rated themselves as having positive traits, the participants who rated themselves positively had the smallest average differences in level because they were similar to the majority of people who rated themselves positivelythereby inducing a positive correlation between self-reported positive traits and similarity in level. Self-reported positive traits were correlated with peer-reported positive traits, which in turn predicted liking via the FPL. Therefore, similarity in level and liking were related as long as the FPL was not controlled statistically, but the relation disappeared once peer-reported positive traits were in the model.Are you more about the personality than the stats
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