A Focus on Extraversion

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In lecture last week, we learned about the Big 5 Personality Traits, which include Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. These Big Five Traits are said to have emerged from factor analyses, which is a statistical way of looking at the correlations between different responses on personality assessments. In an article I found on Science Daily, researchers present a view on one trait in particular; extraversion. In this article, Ronald E. Riggio talks about how extraversion and leadership correlate. Although a lot of people may assume that those who are extraverts are automatically good leaders, Riggio uses the critical thinking principle of ruling out rival hypotheses to present an alternate viewpoint. He says that social skills could be a better predictor of leadership. In his longitudinal study (one in which he studied the same group of individuals at different points in time), Riggio used a sample of everyday adults, not leaders, to assess social skills. Even though previous, replicable research has found that extraversion was correlated with both attainment of leadership and measures of effectiveness, Riggio also found that social skills are a predictor of leadership. So, when social skills were put into the mix, only extraverts with high levels of social skills were considered to be good leaders. I feel that this study is a very effective way of showing not only ruling of rival hypotheses, replicability and falsifiability, but it also includes a lot of important psychology terms and ways to look deeper and be more analytical in the psychology world. Personality is an important factor, but this article helps show that other complex matters, such as social skills, may matter more when it comes to social behaviors such as leadership.

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Interesting article. Explain what they mean by social skills. How is it different from extraversion? A picture would help your post.

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This page contains a single entry by schm3270 published on November 20, 2011 5:10 PM.

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