"Who's side are you on?" : side-taking motives of lay third parties and the influence of personality

Lange, Hanna Cornelia Gerarda (2007) "Who's side are you on?" : side-taking motives of lay third parties and the influence of personality.

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Abstract:Side-taking is one of the main reactions of lay third parties when disputants expect him/her to take sides. What motivates individuals to take side with one instead of the other party? And can their side-taking motives be predicted by their personality? The primary goal of this study is to investigate the motives for side-taking by lay third parties and to explore the factors influencing those motives. Lay third parties got unintentionally involved in an interpersonal conflict between two individuals. When lay third parties make up their minds in choosing a side, they have to collect information and form judgements from three different perspectives. First, they may concern about the conflict issue. Thus they will make self-judgement of whose arguments are right, reasonable, and appropriate (legitimacy motives). Second, lay third parties may worry about the consequences of the conflict, such as sanction or rewards. This concerns their self-interests (interest motives). Third, lay third parties may take their relationship with disputants into account. They prefer to choose those with whom they have a close pre-existing relationship (relationship motives). Side-taking motives differ from person to person. In this study, the focus is on the influence of personality on side-taking motives. Five broad types of personality traits defined, known as the 'Big-Five personality dimensions'. The influence of four personality traits - Conscientiousness, Autonomy, Agreeableness and Extraversion – on the three side-taking motives are investigated in this study. Theoretical evidence suggests that extraversion will moderate the link between personality and side-taking. The research process consisted of the following steps: 1) Literature research and formulating hypotheses. 2) Questionnaire development. 3) Conduct survey: 212 respondents from the Netherlands were invited in this project. They completed the Five-Factor Personality Inventory (FFPI) and the side-taking motives questionnaire. The first sample of 111 students was to explore the structure of side-taking motives, and initially test the relationship between personality and side-taking motives. The second sample of 101 employees was to confirm the structure and validate the relationship between personality traits and side-taking, 4) Factor analyses, regression analyses and simple slopes are executed for exploring side-taking motives and testing the impact of personality on these side-taking motives. Results demonstrate that three types of side-taking motives are distinct; legitimacy, interest (sanction-avoiding or reward-receiving), and relationship. This study contributes to two links between personality and side-taking motives which confirms our hypotheses. 1) Autonomy has a negative influence on interest motivated side-taking. When Extraversion is low, Autonomy has a negative effect on sanction avoiding motivated side-taking. However, when Extraversion is high, the above mentioned negative relationship disappeared. 2) Students with a high score on Agreeableness show more tendencies to side with the disputant they have the best pre-existing relationship with. In this study, the link only appears in the student sample and not in the employee sample. It seems that age and work experience have influence on how Agreeableness functions in terms of side-taking. Moreover, Conscientiousness appears to be a poor predictor for side-taking motives which was not assumed in advance.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/58901
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