The effects of extraversion and neuroticism on subject's graphic expressive behaviour and preferences for graphic stimuli : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University
Much research has investigated the possibility of generalised personality dimensions, and two that have been most frequently demonstrated by factor-analytical studies are those of Extraversion-Introversion and Neuroticism-Stability. Physiological and perceptual research have produced evidence suggesting that extraverts have a higher sensory threshold than introverts, which probably causes, behavioural differences between individuals at the extremes of the Etraversion-Introversion continuum. Other studies have indicated that Extraversion and Neuroticism may interact to produce overt behaviour that is contradictory to the behaviour that would be expected for an individual's recorded Extraversion level. It is recognised that artist's produce work with an individual "style", and its relationship with personality has been investigated. Also, the effect of works of art as perceived sensory stimuli has been examined and theories have evolved to explain the sensory arousal experienced with different types of stimuli. The level of sensory stimulation required to produce optimum arousal is higher in extraverts than introverts, and personality research has shown that extraverts tend to prefer more complex, angular stimuli, which have more arousal potential, than introverts. This need for greater sensory stimulation leads to more active, impulsive behaviour being produced by extraverts, and this is demonstrated graphically by more expansive expressive movements. The present study is an attempt to examine the differences between extraverts and introverts in graphic expressive movements and in preference for sensory stimulation. It also attempts to investigate the effect on these differences of higher or lower levels of Neuroticism. Subjects for the study were patients at the psychiatric unit of a public hospital, who presented varying levels of Neuroticism as measured by the Eysenck Personality Inventory. No significant results were obtained, but trends tended to support previous research that indicated extraverts preferred more complex and angular stimuli than introverts, and that high levels of Neuroticism altered this relationship. Information was also produced which generated hypotheses for future research and indicated improvements in the experimental design which might produce more significant results.