Pessimistic expectations and poorer experiences: The role of (low) extraversion in anticipated and experienced enjoyment of social interaction.
Given research suggesting that social interactions are beneficial, it is unclear why individuals lower in extraversion engage less in social interactions. In this study, we test whether individuals lower in extraversion reap fewer hedonic rewards from social interactions and explore social psychological processes that explain their experiences. Before participants socialized, we measured extraversion, state positive affect, cognitive capacity, and expectations about the social interactions. After participants socialized with one another, we measured state positive affect and cognitive capacity again as well as fear of negative evaluation and belief in limited cognitive capacity. Participants also rated the social skillfulness of each interaction partner. We found that less extraverted individuals expect to feel worse after socializing. However, all but those extremely low in extraversion (17% of sample) actually experience an increase in positive affect after socializing. Surprisingly, those low in extraversion did not show reduced cognitive capacity after socializing. Although they are more likely to believe that cognitive capacity is limited and to be fearful of negative evaluation, these characteristics did not explain the social experience of those low in extraversion.
Duffy, KA; Helzer, EG; Hoyle, RH; Fukukura Helzer, J; Chartrand, TL
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