Title

Extraversion, Introversion and Anxiety in Relation to Affiliation in College Students

Date of Award

5-1-1981

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Counseling Psychology & Community Services

Abstract

Similarities between personality defects resulting from disruptive, inadequate affective development and problems of extreme extraversion and introversion suggested that developmental ego psychology and object relations theories might be useful in understanding interpersonal functioning in general and how people affiliate in particular. Research on affiliation indicated that extraverts are more affiliative and introverts less affillative, under a condition of high anxiety. A greater predisposition to become anxious (trait anxiety) was also associated with reduced affiliative tendencies under a high anxiety condition. Other research suggested that women and first born subjects were more affiliative than men and later born subjects. The present stuay went beyond this research by examining extraversion-introversion and anxiety and their relationship to affiliation. Specifically this study researched the relationships among extraversion-introversion, trait anxiety, birth order, sex and affiliation.

Subjects were 43 male and 117 female undergraduate students, between the ages of seventeen and twenty-two, from sociology and psychology classes at Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana, pre-test session to assess sex, birth order and age, and measure the other independent variables. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was used to measure extraversion- introversion. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory was used to measure anxiety. One of the two measures of affiliation was obtained during the pre-test session using a scale from the Personality Research Form. The procedure required experimental subjects to make an affiliative choice (the second measure of affiliation) under a condition of high anxiety. This experimental treatment exposed subjects visually and tactually to physiological apparatus and used taped instructions to create the expectation that physiological measurements would be taken on them during a stressful interpersonal interview. Instructions led subjects to believe that there would be a waiting period prior to this interview. An affiliative preference rating was then made by each subject.

The findings of the present study were as follows:

Finding One. The extraversion-introversion variable correlated significantly with affiliation need; extraverts scored higher in affiliation need than introverts.

Finding Two. The extraversion-introversion variable was not found to correlate significantly with affiliation choice under a condition of stress.

Finding Three. The low and high trait anxiety ex- traverted groups were significantly higher in affiliation need than the two introverted groups (low and high trait anxiety). Differences were not significant between the high and low trait anxiety introverted groups or the hiqh and low trait anxiety extraverted groups. However, female subjects were found to be significantly higher in affiliation need than male subjects.

Finding Four. The low and high trait anxiety extraverted groups and the low and high trait anxiety introverted groups were not significantly different on affiliation choice under stress. However, female subjects scored significantly higher than male subjects on affiliation choice under stress.

Finding Five. Extraversion-introversion, trait anxiety, affiliation need, sex and birth order, examined in combination, showed no significant relationship to affiliation choice under stress.

Finding Six. Of the variables extraversion-introversion, thinking-feeling, trait anxiety, state anxiety (pre-test), birth order, sensation-intuition and sex; extraversion and thinki.iy were associated with greater affiliation need.

Finding Seven. Of the variables thinking-feeling, trait anxiety, age, birth order, affiliation need, and sex; thinking, high trait anxiety and an older age were related to lower affiliation choice scores under stress.

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