Psychologists have not determined the defining characteristics of extraversion. In four studies, the authors tested the hypothesis that extraversion facets are linked by reward sensitivity. According to this hypothesis, only facets that reflect reward sensitivity should load on a higher order extraversion factor. This model was tested against a model in which sociability links the facets. The authors also tested the generalizability of the model in a diverse sample of participants from 39 nations, and they tested the model using widely used extraversion scales. Results of all studies indicate that only facets that reflect reward sensitivity load on a higher order extraversion factor and that this factor correlates strongly with pleasant affect. Although sociability is undoubtedly an important part of extraversion, these results suggest that extraverts' sociability may be a by-product of reward sensitivity, rather than the core feature of the trait.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science