Summary of Chapter 15: Personality and Social Interaction, from Personality Psychology: Domains of Knowledge About Human Nature

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Part 5: The Social & Cultural Domain
Chapter 15: Personality & Social Interaction
-Emphasis on personality as it is affected by and expressed through social institutions, social roles and expectations, and through relationships with other people in our lives. -Interpersonal traits have long-term outcomes in our lives. For ex. Whether a person is controlling or easy going can affect aspects from: the conflicts he gets into with his spouse and work partners to the strategies he uses to achieve his goals. Whether a person tends to be nervous or optimistic affects the likelihood of diverse social outcomes, such as divorce or success in a sales career. -Many of the most important individual (ind) differences and personality traits are played out in our interpersonal relationships. -3 key processes whereby personality affects social interactions are described: 1. Selection: people may choose specific social environments according to their personalities. 2. Evocation: we determine how people evoke distress, as well as positive feelings, in others. 3. Manipulations: for influencing others. What are the strategies that people use to get what they want from others? -One important interpersonal context concerns relationships between men and women. -An essential part of our social identity is our gender.

-Differences between the personalities of men and women have long been of interest to personality psych. Some researchers emphasize that sex differences are small and that the variability within a sex exceeds the variability between the sexes. Other researchers focus on the differences between sexes and emphasize that some are large and are found in different cultures. -Men tend to score higher on aggressiveness; women tend to score higher on measures of trust and nurturance. Where do sex differences come from? -“Gender” may actually have its origins in culture, i.e. how society makes up different rules/expectations for men and women. -Other theories emphasize gender differences are due to hormones, ex. Testosterone levels differ greatly between men and women, and testosterone has been associated with personality traits of dominance, aggression, and sexuality. -Another theory refers to evolution, and suggests that men and women faced different challenges and have evolved solutions to these different challenges. -Gender differences are clearly part of the social and cultural domain because they refer to and are played out in interpersonal relations. -Another socially important difference between people derives from their culture, the system of social rules, expectations, and rituals in which a person is raised. Ex. A crying baby may always be picked up/comforted in one culture, while in another the baby is left to cry. Could being raised in 2 different cultures result in differences in adult personality? Do people in different cultures have different personalities? -An important goal of personality psych is in understanding how cultures shape personality and how specific cultures are different from, or similar to, each other. Identifying similarities between cultures is also looked at by cultural psychologists. Ex. of a cultural universal appears to be the expression of specific emotions. Another aspect of personality that appears to show cultural universalities is described by the 5 factor model of traits. Chapter 15 Summary

-The beginning episode illustrates several key ways in which personality plays an important role in social interaction. -As discussed in Chap. 4, personality interacts with situations in 3 ways: through selection, through evocation, and through manipulation of the situation. These can be applied to an understanding of how personality affects interpersonal situations. 1st, personality characteristics of others influence who we select as dates, friends, even marriage partners. People’s personality characteristics also play a role in the kinds of interpersonal situations they select to...
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