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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|34170||2002||20 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9082 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 33, Issue 4, September 2002, Pages 533–552
In a university sample (n=245) and a community sample (n=222), we replicate the higher-order factor solution for the Five Factor Model (Big Five) reported by Digman (Digman, J. M. (1997). Higher-order factors of the Big Five. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 1246–1256). We present a biologically predicated model of these two personality factors, relating them to serotonergic and dopaminergic function, and we label them Stability (Emotional Stability, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness) and Plasticity (Extraversion and Openness). Based on this model, we hypothesize that Stability will positively predict conformity (as indicated by socially desirable responding) and that Plasticity will negatively predict conformity. A structural equation model indicates that conformity is indeed positively related to Stability (university sample: β=0.98; community sample: β=0.69; P<0.01 for both) and negatively related to Plasticity (university sample: β=−0.48, P<0.07; community sample: β=−0.42, P<0.05). These findings suggest that there are pros and cons of conformity, such that the most thorough conformists will tend to be stable but also rigid, less able to adjust to novelty or change.
The reliability and validity of the standard Five Factor Model of personality (commonly known as the Big Five) have been reasonably established (Costa & McCrae, 1992a, Digman, 1990 and McCrae & John, 1992). However, it is not yet obvious that five factors constitute the simplest and broadest possible level of personality description (Becker, 1999 and Digman, 1997), in part because the five traits have consistently been found to be intercorrelated (e.g. Costa & McCrae, 1992b, Goldberg, 1993 and Norman, 1963). Digman (1997) assessed the pattern of correlations reported in 14 studies employing various Big Five instruments and both self- and observer-ratings, and he demonstrated the emergence of two consistent higher-order factors, which he labelled Alpha and Beta. Digman suggested that Alpha, incorporating Emotional Stability, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness, might be regarded as a socialization factor, while Beta, consisting of Extraversion and Openness, might be considered a factor of personal growth. Following Becker (1999), we will refer to the higher-order factors, or metatraits, as the Big Two. 1 The discovery of a consistent higher-order factor solution for the Big Five is an important observation of statistical regularity. Two relevant questions, following this discovery, are how these higher-order factors should be interpreted and whether consideration of them can advance our understanding of personality. To address these questions, we first offer a theoretical model of the Big Two, informed by neuropsychology, neural network modelling theory, and psychology of myth and religion. Then we present two studies, designed (1) to assess the replicability of the Big Two factor structure, and (2) to determine if this structure is meaningfully related to social conformity, as our theoretical model suggests. 1.1. What might the Big Two represent? Digman's interpretation of the Big Two as socialization and personal growth allows him to associate these factors intelligibly with constructs drawn from classic theories of personality. However, the terms “socialization” and “personal growth” suggest outcomes rather than basic tendencies or traits. This connotation is problematic, first, because the heritability of the Big Five traits ranges from approximately 0.40 to 0.50 (Bouchard, 1994 and Reimann et al., 1997) and second, because aspects of the Big Two structure appear very early in life. Digman himself observed that there are almost certainly individual differences in the ease with which people are socialized, resulting from “genetic endowment, prenatal, or early life circumstances” (Digman, 1997, p. 1250), and the tendency to undergo personal growth seems likely to be similarly influenced. Abe and Izard (1999) recently demonstrated that 18-month-olds' facial expressions of emotion in the strange situation paradigm (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978) predicted parent-ratings of Big Five traits at 3.5 years, in a manner entirely consistent with the Big Two model. Negative emotional expression predicted Emotional Stability, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness, while strong positive emotional expression predicted Extraversion and Openness. Because the Big Two appear to reflect traits that are inherited or instantiated very early in ontogeny, we feel that a more basic, biologically predicated, interpretation of the Big Two might be justified. The shared variance of Emotional Stability (reversed Neuroticism), Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness appears to reflect stability in emotional, social, and motivational domains. Emotional Stability (a term already consistent with this claim) primarily reflects comparative freedom from negative affect and behavioral or motivational withdrawal (Carver et al., 2000, Costa & McCrae, 1992b, Larsen & Ketelaar, 1991 and Watson & Clark, 1992). Agreeableness, which covers such lower-level traits as trust, straightforwardness, and altruism, entails the maintenance of stable social relationships, with the negative end of the scale characterized by traits such as mistrust and hostility (Costa & McCrae, 1992b and Graziano & Eisenberg, 1997). Conscientiousness, consisting of traits such as self-discipline, orderliness, and achievement-striving (Costa & McCrae, 1992b), appears to reflect motivational stability—the tendency to set goals and work toward them in an organized fashion. That these three traits vary together suggests an underlying connection in the processes through which humans maintain stability. Such a connection might well be biologically mediated through the functions of the ascending rostral serotonergic system. The ascending rostral serotonergic system consists of a neuronal group whose cell bodies originate primarily in the midbrain and rostral pons and project extensively upwards, to the cerebral cortex, limbic system, and basal ganglia (Spoont, 1992 and Tork, 1990). Its functions are typical of both a neurotransmitter and a neuromodulator (Tork, 1992), and its extended distribution affords influence over a wide array of brain functions. Meltzer (1990) observed, for example, that the serotonergic system plays a vital role in the regulation of emotional, motivational and circadian processes disturbed in the affective disorders, and Vogt (1982) hypothesized that the serotonergic system is central to the control of helplessness and depression (low Emotional Stability). This is in keeping with repeated observations linking reductions in brain stem serotonin metabolite 5HIAA to violent suicidal tendencies (Mann, Arango, & Underwood, 1990). Similarly, individuals high in aggressiveness (low Agreeableness) and impulsiveness (low Conscientiousness and low Emotional Stability) are characterized by reduced levels of cerebro-spinal fluid 5HIAA. These reductions have been observed in a number of populations, all of whom seem accurately characterized by a lack of stability, including children who display severe cruelty toward animals (Kruesi, 1989) or who are otherwise aggressive (Kruesi et al., 1990), individuals who score highly on the MMPI psychopathic deviate scales (Brown et al., 1982), or who have extensive histories of aggressive behavior (Brown et al., 1982 and Brown et al., 1979), individuals with poor impulse control (Leyton et al., 2001, Linnoila et al., 1989 and Linnoila et al., 1983), and criminal recidivists who commit violent crimes (Virkkunen, De Jong, Bartko, Goodwin, & Linnoila, 1989). Serotonin agonists, furthermore, are effective antidepressants and antianxiety agents (e.g. Hidalgo & Davidson, 2001 and Shelton & Brown, 2001), and supplementation with the serotonin precursor l-tryptophan reduces aggressive displays in very aggressive psychiatric patients (Morand et al., 1983 and Volavka et al., 1990). In her review of serotonergic function, Spoont (1992) hypothesized that the ascending rostral serotonergic system is vital to behavioral and emotional constraint and control, processes that clearly contribute to the general stability of the person. The shared variance of Extraversion and Openness, by contrast, appears to reflect the tendency to explore or to engage voluntarily with novelty and may, in consequence, be associated with plasticity or flexibility in behavior and cognition. Extraversion classically brings to mind sociability (McCrae & Costa, 1987 and Watson et al., 1994), but it has been more broadly linked with positive affectivity, incentive reward sensitivity, approach behavior and novelty/excitement seeking (Carver et al., 2000, Costa & McCrae, 1992b, Depue & Collins, 2000, Lucas et al., 2000 and Watson & Clark, 1997). The alternate label Surgency (Goldberg, 1992 and Goldberg, 1993) is intended to capture the active, exploratory sense of this factor more strongly. Similarly, Costa & McCrae, 1992a and McCrae, 1987 proposed the term Openness to Experience to replace arguably narrower conceptions such as Intellect (Digman & Inouye, 1986, Goldberg, 1992 and Goldberg, 1993) or Culture (Tupes & Christal, 1961/1992). Openness reflects “the recurrent need to enlarge and examine experience”—curiosity and imagination, and flexibility in considering novel ideas, behaviors, or feelings (McCrae & Costa, 1997, p. 167). The two related traits of Extraversion and Openness might be considered different aspects of a more basic disposition—one associated with the function of the central dopaminergic (DA) system. The central DA system originates in the ventral tegmental area of the midbrain and projects to the limbic system, motor output centers, the anterior cingulate, and the prefrontal cortex. It mediates approach behavior, positive affect, and incentive reward sensitivity (Ashby et al., 1999 and Panksepp, 1999). The relation between Extraversion and DA function has been extensively reviewed by Depue and Collins (2000). Both Extraversion and Openness have been linked to reductions in latent inhibition (Peterson & Carson, 2000 and Peterson et al., in press), an alteration in attention associated with increased DA neurotransmission (Gray et al., 1997 and Lubow, 1989). Providing a further conceptual link between DA and Openness, Ashby et al. (1999) review evidence that DA activity in the prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate mediates cognitive flexibility. The DA system is associated with response to novelty (Gray, 1982 and Panksepp, 1999). It seems reasonable to propose that extraverts are more likely to explore or investigate novelty in the concrete, behavioral sense (perhaps associated with the limbic/motor system DA projections), while individuals high in Openness are more likely to explore abstractly (perhaps associated with the anterior cingulate/prefrontal DA projections), altering current categories and reconceptualizing or renovelizing the world in that manner. In light of the above review, we suggest that the Big Two might be better labelled Stability and Plasticity. Our hypotheses that Stability is associated with individual differences in serotonergic functioning and Plasticity with individual differences in dopaminergic functioning should not be viewed as exclusive; other brain systems may also contribute to the two metatraits. We believe, however, that evidence is particularly strong for the claim that these two biological systems are important sources of variance in the Big Two. The terms Stability and Plasticity are derived from work on computer modeling of neural networks. Grossberg (1987) observed that classification-oriented neural network models that had achieved reliable classification outputs frequently collapsed when presented with a novel object combining elements of previously discrete entities. He therefore postulated that any information processing system designed for stable classification but capable of adapting to novel inputs must necessarily be composed of two distinct subsystems: one responsible for stability (capable of maintaining category and output across context and time); the other responsible for plasticity (capable of processing novel information and adjusting categories without causing destabilization). Though Grossberg provides evidence for his claim mainly in terms relevant to computer science, the information processing demands placed on humans by their complex and ever-changing environments must also require both capacities: maintenance of stability, but also plasticity, adaptation to novelty. Peterson (1999) has proposed a historically predicated theoretical framework, based in part on analysis of narrative structure in myth and religion, in which the necessity of maintaining stability or order and the need to adapt to novelty or change constitute the most basic challenges to human adaptation. Given the fundamental nature of these needs, it is sensible that they should be reflected in the most basic level of personality description. Narrative accounts of the world, devoted to dramatic representation of phenomenological reality, consistently portray human experience as consisting of a domain of order (representing all that remains constant) and a domain of chaos (representing variability or novelty). While this representational structure has been most abstractly presented in the Taoist conception of experience (emphasizing the balance between yin and yang), similar conceptions underlie ancient Mesopotamian, Jewish and Christian worldviews (Eliade, 1978 and Peterson, 1999). These sources also clearly indicate that the processes of adapting to novelty and maintaining stability are mutually dependent, as adaptation to novelty is necessary for the continued integrity of the domain of order, while stability is necessary if contact with the domain of chaos is not to result in the destruction of order. Though Stability and Plasticity may, at first glance, seem semantically opposed, they can in fact be complementary, as both Grossberg's (1987) analysis and the narrative material imply. In a changing environment, plasticity is necessary for the maintenance of stability. Likewise, stable social relationships and motivational/emotional tendencies afford the individual a solid foundation upon which to base his or her explorations. It is certainly possible to imagine someone both stable and plastic, capable of remaining secure and composed, while adapting readily to new situations. Conversely, it is possible to imagine someone rigid and unstable, unwilling or unable to change a situation in which he or she feels unhappy and incapable. The opposite of plasticity is not stability but rigidity, while the opposite of stability is not plasticity but instability. While extreme plasticity could potentially render stability more difficult (and vice versa), in general the two traits should be considered mutually supportive—separable, but positively related. 1.2. Stability, plasticity, and conformity If the Big Two model is to be regarded as anything but another addition to psychology's endless profusion of terminology, it must prove empirically and parsimoniously related to other trait and behavioral phenomena of interest. We believe that such relationships are particularly likely to emerge with regard to issues of conformity and individuality. These constructs are central to human psychology, and have a long history of conceptualization within philosophy and personality theory. Individuals need to express themselves in their own unique manners, but society strives to impose its values and goals, its moral ideals, on those who compose it. In relation to this conflict, Nietzsche pondered the possibility of “neuroses of health,” a phrase which calls to mind his contention that conformity with the moral ideals of society is not always, in fact, ideal (Nietzsche, 1886/1966b). Nietzsche's observation is particularly apropos in the case of clearly pathological societies, like those of Nazi Germany or the Stalinist USSR. Freud pondered similar notions. In his view, the ego—individual consciousness—clashed inescapably with the often tyrannical superego—the internalization of social order. Jung, strongly influenced by Nietzsche, likewise discussed the necessity (and difficulty) of separating the self, creative individuality, from the persona, the publicly displayed mask of social identity. Despite its conflict with individuality, however, conformity cannot be considered a purely negative quality. Human beings are social animals and depend heavily on society for their safety and well-being. We must comply with social expectations to some unspecified degree, if we are to exist peaceably with others. Nonconformists are likely to receive reduced social support, or to be penalized for their peculiarities, regardless of their individual merits, as they pose a threat to the integrity of the current social order, concretely or conceptually (Peterson, 1999 and Dodge & Frame, 1982). Nonconformists, therefore, seem likely to experience more difficulty in maintaining the stability of their lives. Furthermore, many of the traits that make up Stability constitute important preconditions for adherence to cultural moral strictures. Individuals who are disagreeable, unhappy, anxious and unreliable may well be less motivated or even less able to meet societal expectations. Plasticity, by contrast, should be opposed to conformity, because it is theoretically related to the tendency to engage flexibly and creatively with novelty, while conformity denies expression of unsanctioned ideas and engagement in behaviors beyond those prescribed by society. Our hypotheses, then, are that Stability will be positively and Plasticity negatively related to conformity, meaning that the most thorough conformists should be stable but rigid (and therefore most prone to “neuroses of health”). In order to assess the tendency to conform, we used self-report measures drawn from the extensive literature on socially desirable responding. Factor analyses of social desirability scales have identified two distinct response patterns (Paulhus & John, 1998 and Raskin et al., 1991). One is characterized by the tendency to claim heightened abilities, especially social and intellectual; the other is characterized by the tendency to claim heightened conformity with moral ideals and to deny impulses deviating from these. Paulhus and John (1998) identified these response patterns as representing “egoistic” and “moralistic” bias, while Raskin et al. (1991) identified “narcissistic” and “conformist” personality styles. To obtain estimates of conformity, we employed Paulhus' (1991) Impression Management scale and the Lie scale from Eysenck's Personality Questionnaire (Eysenck, Eysenck, & Barrett, 1985), both of which ask participants to report manifestations of common immoral behaviors, such as lying, gossiping, cheating, and littering. The names of these scales (Impression Management and Lie) reflect the fact that they were originally designed to control for the response bias of people likely to exaggerate socially desirable qualities on personality questionnaires. However, these “response bias” scales appear to be associated with more genuine variance than bias, particularly when responses are anonymous (Borkenau & Amelang, 1985, McCrae & Costa, 1983 and Piedmont et al., 2000). Although social desirability measures are correlated with discrepancies between self-reports and observer ratings of personality (Paulhus & John, 1998), Borkenau and Amelang (1985) and Piedmont et al. (2000) have demonstrated that controlling for them tends to decrease, rather than increase the correlation between self-reports and observer ratings of personality. Furthermore, controlling for socially desirable responding does not appear to improve criterion-related validities of personality predictors of job performance (Hough, 1990 and Ones et al., 1996). This seemingly paradoxical pattern of results suggests that although some of the variance in social desirability scores may be due to overstatement, the larger portion is genuine. Paulhus and John (1998, p. 1048) note that “self-perceptions are often exaggerations of a kernel of truth.” Someone who is genuinely agreeable, for example, may see him or herself as a bit more agreeable than the truth would warrant. McCrae and Costa (1983) pointed out that the most genuine adherents of morality will be identified as most prone to a biased response style, if high scores on social desirability measures are always assumed to be exaggerated. They concluded that measures of social desirability reflect “more substance than style.” Further justification for confidence in our measures of conformity comes from experimental demonstrations that people high in socially desirable responding are particularly susceptible to the expectations of their social environment (Millham & Jacobson, 1978 and Strickland & Crowne, 1962).