Potential Project Description for 2011-12


Title: Examining the association between extraversion and more extreme expressivity
Domain Expert: Donna McMillan (Psychology)

The concept of extraversion includes an element of enthusiasm, prompting the question: Does extraverts’ enthusiasm carry over into how they respond to everyday situations, items or concepts? To examine the relation between extraversion and extreme responses (e.g. the extreme points on a Likert scale, such as a "1" or a "7"), the responses of extraverts and introverts to an online questionnaire can be analyzed. In order to determine participants’ level of extraversion, the Extraversion scale from the NEO-PI-R was used (Costa & McCrae). The questionnaire then asked participants to rate their reactions to a variety of distinct stimuli which included: positive and negative self-relevant qualities, positive, negative and neutral hypothetical scenarios, positive and negative photographs. In addition, participants were given a word preferences task which required them to choose the word they preferred from a matched pair of words that differed in intensity. In a previous study, extraverts were found to endorse significantly more positive extreme responses than introverts did. This research will investigate whether extraverts have a bias toward more extreme responses, which could affect future research using self-report measures. A second potential project is the refinement of a measure to assess to what extent an individual sees intrinsic meaning, extrinsic meaning, or fails to find meaning in life.