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Extraversion as a process: The effects of extraverted "states"

Lisa M Pytlik Zillig, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Trait and processing approaches to the study of personality were combined to investigate processes associated with trait-extraversion (trait-E), and the validity of a measure of “trait-relevant states” of extraversion (TRS-E). Ninety-eight undergraduates were subjected in groups to two experimental manipulations intended to evoke or suppress TRS-E (on separate days). The participants also completed two measures of trait-E, one measure of trait positive affectivity (PA), and several pre and/or postmanipulation assessments, including assessments of TRS-E, a behavioral preferences measure, a social interaction preference task, and several cognitive tasks. Replicating previous findings, trait-E was shown to correspond to TRS-E levels; manipulations successfully evoked and suppressed TRS-E; the effects of trait-E, TRS-E and the manipulations on behavioral preferences were established; and TRS-E was shown to mediate many of the trait and manipulation effects on the behavioral dependent variables. Expanding beyond replication, the present study also demonstrated the convergent and divergent validity of TRS-E with two separate measures of trait-E and measures of trait and state-PA. The relationships between trait-E, TRS-E, and the cognitive and perceptual variables were also explored, as well as the effects of the manipulations upon those cognitive variables. The experimental manipulations rarely affected the cognitive variables, and few relationships existed between trait or state extraversion and the cognitive variables. Of the cognitive variables, Trait-E was somewhat more likely to predict cognitive variables assessing creative cognitive content. Meanwhile, the manipulations were more likely to affect responses to an extraversion-relevant cognitive estimation task. However, TRS-E did not significantly mediate these cognitive effects. Thus, trait-E and situations appeared to affect certain dependent variables independent of TRS-E. These results suggest that TRS-E is primarily behavioral and affective in nature; but there may exist a relatively separate cognitive component of extraversion. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Personality

Recommended Citation

Pytlik Zillig, Lisa M, "Extraversion as a process: The effects of extraverted "states"" (2001). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3000465.