All Things Come in Two: A Sequential Analytical Perspective of the Dynamic Role of Personality

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Personality psychologists have been inundated with a simple question. What forms, and at what level, do personality traits affect behaviors in social situations? Empirical evidence provided supports to the notion that personality dictates the way in which people engage in social interactions. The present research attempts to address the following question: Is the nature of the manifestation associated with personality involved in the emission of a single form of behavior or sequences of behavior? The present study uses speech act taxonomy that was developed by Stiles (1978; 1992). Statistical tools, such as Markov chains (Anderson & Goodman, 1957), will be deployed as a way to “process analyze” the verbal behavior of different personality traits. In a dyadic design, fifty-eight participants were given a controversial topic in which one took an opposing position to that of their opponent. The interactions were video recorded, transcribed, and then coded by independent observers. The Five-Factor-Model (Costa & McCrae, 1992) were used as a measure of personality. The results indicated it is worthwhile to analyze discourse at the individual level. This is in contrast to the discursive approach, where utterances are analyzed at the “thematic” (or integrative) level. The results indicated interpersonal behaviors were found to be sequential in nature. In particular, the sequential patterns conformed statistically to one representing the 1st order Markov chains.

Keywords: Personality, Linguistics, Markov Chain, Sequential Analysis, Big Five, Speech Act
Stream: Psychology, Cognitive Science and Behavioural Sciences
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: , All Things Come in Two

Dr. Kevin H C Cheng

Assistant Professor, Sociology and Social Policy, Lingnan University
Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Over the years I have realized a strong interest in social psychology with the strongest enthusiasm on personality and its effect on persuasion effectiveness. Pursuit of these interests had given me a great respect for the application of fine-grained statistical methods and associated rigors. From a linguistic perspective, I have expanded my interests in the use of qualitative methods for understanding of the role language play during persuasive episodes. My interests also include theories of personality in organizational and social settings (e.g., work-performance, speech-acts); cultural influences; performance appraisal; self-concept and adjustments; environmental psychology in urban environment & designs.

Ref: I08P0382