Relation between self-esteem, personality dimensions of extraversion and emotionality and real-time patterning of social interaction

G.K. Jonsson

Human Behavior Laboratory, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland

A pilot study is presented where the real-time structure and synchronization of verbal and non-verbal behavior is analyzed and related to self-esteem and personality dimensions of extraversion and emotionality. Twenty-four dyadic interactions between male students were analyzed. The software package Theme was used to detect real-time patterns in real-time behavior records [3,4,5].

Research has shown a strong relationship between verbal and non-verbal communication and cognition and social adaptation [1]. An earlier study suggests a strong relationship between the level of a subject's self-esteem and the number of behavioral patterns produced in dyadic interaction situtations [2]. No research exists on the relation between real-time behavior organization and personality. It is unknown whether such behavior analysis would reveal a difference in real-time patterns produced by persons with different scores on Eysenck Personality Questionnaire.

Initial results indicate that these interactions are highly synchronized and structured. A strong correlation was found between a subject's self-esteem and complexity and frequency of behavioral patterns detected. A high correlation was also found between a subject's personality and complexity and frequency of patterns.

Certain pattern types were found exclusively to be produced by extroverts and other by introverts. High and low self-esteem subjects were also found to produce different types of behavioral patterns. The type and amount of behavior emitted by extroverts and subjects with high self-esteem also differed from behavior emitted by introverts and subjects with a low self-esteem.


  1. Ghiglione, R. (1986). L'Homme Communiquant. Armand Colin.
  2. Jonsson, G.K. (1997). Self-esteem, friendship and verbal and non-verbal interaction. In: A. Schmitt, K. Atzwanger & K. Grammer (Eds.). New Aspects of Human Ethology. New York: Plenum.
  3. Jonsson, G.K. (1998). Detecting patterns in complex behavioural processes with The Observer and Theme. In L.P.J.J Noldus (Ed.), Measuring Behavior '98. 2nd International Conference on Methods and Techniques in Behavioral Research (Groningen, The Netherlands, 18-21 August 1998), 176.
  4. Magnusson, M.S. (1996). Hidden real-time patterns in intra- and inter-individual behavior: description and detection. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 12, 112-123.
  5. Magnusson, M.S. (2000). Discovering hidden time patterns in behavior: T-patterns and their detection. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments & Computers, 32, 93-110.

Poster presented at Measuring Behavior 2000, 3rd International Conference on Methods and Techniques in Behavioral Research, 15-18 August 2000, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

© 2000 Noldus Information Technology b.v.