Personality and self-esteem in social interaction

Gudberg K. Jonsson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


There is a long-standing interest in hidden temporal patterns in behavior. The current chapter discusses the idea that face-to-face interaction can be construed as having a definite organization or structure, just as language is understood in terms of its grammar. The participant has, within that organization, options he can exercise, including the option of violating aspects of the organization. Numerous studies, using the T-pattern detection algorithm, have demonstrated that the organization of behavior is influenced by situation, personality and culture. Strong relationships have been found between the structure of verbal and non-verbal communication and cognition and social adaptation. Little research exists though on the relation between real-time behavior organization and self-esteem and personality. An earlier study suggests a strong relationship between level of subject's self-esteem and number of real-time behavioral patterns produced in dyadic interaction situations. Significant differences have also been found in real-time behavioral patterns produced in dyadic interactions between subjects who considered themselves to be friends versus those who were strangers. It is unknown whether such behavioral analysis would reveal a difference in real-time patterns produced by persons with different scores on the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. These ideas have been tested by analyzing twenty-four dyadic interactions between male students. A special software, THEME, was used to detect real-time patterns in real-time behavior records. Results indicate that these interactions are highly synchronized and structured. Strong correlation was found between subjects' self-esteem and complexity and frequency of behavioral patterns detected. Positive correlation was also found between subject's personality and complexity and frequency of patterns. Certain pattern types were found exclusively to be produced by extraverts and other by introverts. High and low self-esteem subjects' were also found to produce different types of behavioral patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom Communication To Presence. Cognition, Emotions and Culture Towards the Ultimate Communicative Experience - Festschrift in honor of Luigi Anolli
EditorsGiuseppe Riva, Teresa Anguera, Brenda Wiederhold, Fabrizia Mantovani
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameEmerging Communication: Studies in New Technologies and Practices in Communication
ISSN (Print)1566-7677
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8349


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