Personality-trait descriptions of differentially liked persons

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Interpersonal attitudes are inferred from a variety of behaviors, among which should be the words people use to describe each other. Each S in 2 independent samples of 50 and 60 undergraduates listed 3 persons with whom he was very well acquainted but 1 of whom was very well liked, 1 disliked very much, and 1 regarded neutrally. These stimulus persons were then described by adjectives from N. H. Anderson's list of 200 personality-trait words. Results from both samples were consistent: the number of adjectives used to describe persons varied reliably with interpersonal attraction, in the direction of most to least, from liked to disliked to neutral, supporting theoretical assumptions regarding differences in salience among differentially liked persons. In addition, the particular words chosen to describe well-liked, neutral, and disliked actual persons differed significantly in Anderson's likableness values. Discriminating words were isolated, and a descriptive word measure of interpersonal attraction is suggested. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved). © 1970 American Psychological Association.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology