Relationships between Personality and Perceptions of Sexual Interactions

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Personality researchers have suggested that since personality traits have been found to be related to various life dimensions, ranging from health behaviors to job satisfaction, it stands to reason that they should also be related to various aspects of sexuality (e.g., Costa et al., 1992). Eysenck (1947) originally hypothesized a link between extraversion and positive, increased sexual behaviors and attitudes and a link between neuroticism and negative, problematic sexual behavior and attitudes. However, subsequent research using the Five Factor Model (FFM) has yielded mixed results. The current research compared the predictive ability of the FFM with two more sexual domain-specific measures of personality, Sociosexuality Orientaiton (SOI; Simpson & Gangestad, 1991) and the Sexy Seven (Schmitt & Buss, 2000). For three weeks, 118 undergraduates described and rated each of their sexual interactions on nine dimensions (e.g., intimacy, guilt, desire) using a variant of the Rochester Interaction Record. Participants also completed the personality measures. Correlation analyses revealed some overlap between the FFM and the other sexually-specific typologies, however no correlations exceeded .50. A series of multilevel random coefficient modeling analyses found that the Sexy Seven typology had greater explanatory power than either the FFM or the SOI in predicting people’s responses to their sexual interactions. The results suggest that domain-specific measures of personality may be better predictors of sexual outcomes, compared to more general personality measures. However, this study also reveals that there are differences between domain-specific personality measures, with the Sexy Seven being more predictive than the SOI.


Organizational Behavior and Theory | Psychology

Research Areas

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources


Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Meeting, 26-28 January 2006, Palm Springs

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Palm Springs, CA, USA

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