What is the central feature of extraversion? Social attention versus reward sensitivity

  • Ashton M
  • Lee K
  • Paunonen S
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R. E. Lucas, E. Diener, A. Grob, E. M. Suh, and L. Shao (2000) recently argued that the core of the personality dimension of Extraversion is not sociability but a construct called reward sensitivity. This article accepts their argument that the mere preference for social interaction is not the central element of Extraversion. However, it claims that the real core of the Extraversion factor is the tendency to behave in ways that attract social attention. Data from a sample of 200 respondents were used to test the 2 hypotheses with comparisons of measures of reward sensitivity and social attention in terms of their saturation with the common variance of Extraversion measures. The results clearly showed that social attention, not reward sensitivity, represents the central feature of Extraversion.

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  • Michael C. Ashton

  • Kibeom Lee

  • Sampo V. Paunonen

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