|The Interplay of Personality and Social Interactions in Adolescence: Investigating The Role of Metaperceptions
|interpersonal perception; adolescence; personality; social interaction dynamics
|Tag der mündlichen Prüfung:
A longstanding assumption in psychological research is that how people are—their personality—is reciprocally linked to the people who surround them—their social environments. Empirical evidence has affirmed the close link between personality and social relationships, yet the underlying processes within social interactions that drive this interplay remain largely uncharted. Understanding the processes that characterize the interplay between personality and social interactions becomes particularly important during adolescence, a stage in which social interactions represent a central context for achieving the developmental tasks of forming a clear view of one’s own personality and establishing meaningful peer relationships. Drawing from the research fields of personality psychology, social interaction processes, and developmental psychology, this dissertation aimed to explore three interrelated processes that characterize the interplay between personality and social interactions by focusing on adolescents’ metaperceptions as a key element within this interplay. First, the dissertation examines how adolescents’ stable personality traits act as default settings that are associated with metaperceptions within social interactions. Second, it investigates how metaperceptions feed back into momentary changes in personality. Third, the dissertation zooms in on the situational dynamics between metaperceptions, other interpersonal perceptions, and behaviors that constitute adolescents’ social experiences. To illuminate these three processes, this dissertation comprises three preregistered studies drawing on data from two samples (individuals aged between 14 and 18) that provide insights into adolescents’ virtual and face-to-face social interactions with peers.
Study 1 focused on the formation of meta-liking as a specific metaperception type that becomes increasingly important in adolescents’ social interactions with peers. Using latent change score modeling, this study investigated how personality traits and social interaction experiences captured in adolescents’ perceptions and behavioral signals of their interaction partners inform meta-liking and meta-liking changes in virtual zero-acquaintance interactions. Study 2 used multilevel modeling to examine sociometer processes, detailing how adolescents’ meta-liking contributes to momentary self-esteem in face-to-face interactions at zero-acquaintance and with familiar interaction partners. Moreover, this study investigated how personality traits act as moderators of the link between meta-liking and momentary self-esteem. Finally, Study 3 explored sociometer processes and situational dynamics between personality metaperceptions (i.e., meta-accuracy and meta-positivity) and meta-liking judgments in adolescents’ virtual interactions. To unravel the links between personality metaperceptions, meta-liking, and momentary self-esteem, this study employed a combination of multilevel modeling and a path-analytical framework.
Collectively, the three studies offer comprehensive insights into the three interrelated processes that underlie the interplay of personality and social interactions in adolescence. The findings support the notion that personality traits operate as default settings within social contexts: Higher extraversion and trait self-esteem were associated with more positive meta-liking at the beginning of social interactions, while neuroticism was linked to more negative expectations of being liked and attenuated the positive link between meta-liking and momentary self-esteem. Furthermore, the results underscore the central role of meta-liking judgments in short-term sociometer processes that contribute to adolescents’ momentary self-esteem in both face-to-face and virtual social interactions. Finally, the findings illustrate the dynamic connections between different perceptions and behaviors within social interactions: Subjective perceptions of adolescents (i.e., liking others) as well as behavioral cues of their interaction partners (i.e., expressive behaviors) were linked to increases in meta-liking. In addition, more positive personality metaperceptions (i.e., meta-positivity) were associated with higher meta-liking during interactions.
Given these findings, this dissertation provides three key contributions that increase our understanding of the dynamic interplay between personality and social interactions in adolescence. First, it supports and extends assumptions on the functionality of personality in social contexts, the generalizability of sociometer processes, and the formation of metaperceptions in adolescence. Second, this dissertation underscores the importance of adopting a process-oriented approach, as well as employing multiple methods including different perspectives (self-, other-, and metaperceptions) and externally coded behavioral data to gain a nuanced understanding of the interplay between personality and social interactions in adolescence. Lastly, the insights gained from the three studies hold practical implications for supporting adolescents in navigating their social interactions to foster positive self-esteem, prevent mental health problems, and facilitate the formation of peer relationships. As an outlook, the current findings offer a starting point for comprehensive investigations of social interaction processes, where future studies should explore the role of interaction partners’ personalities and integrate a process-oriented approach with long-term assessments. This holistic approach will help unraveling how momentary changes in personality and social interactions are linked to long-term outcomes in both personality development and social relationship formation in adolescence and beyond.
|Ein Artikel befindet sich derzeit im Publikationsprozess. Die angegebene DOI (doi: 10.31234/osf.io/r26jz) bezieht sich auf einen Preprint des akzeptierten Artikels.
|Enthalten in den Sammlungen:
|Elektronische Dissertationen und Habilitationen
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