Relationship context and personality shape people's preferences for network relationship partners


This study investigates how people weight potential relationship partners' personal characteristics (i.e., warmth and competence) when deciding to initiate professional versus personal network relationships, and it also examines how certain personality traits (extraversion and conscientiousness) shape this process. Results from two samples indicate that people tend to value competence more highly when initiating professional relationships, whereas they tend to value warmth more highly when initiating personal relationships. Furthermore, neither extraversion nor conscientiousness was related to how people weighted competence when initiating professional relationships. However, supplementary analyses demonstrated that people high in conscientiousness tend to value competence and people high in agreeableness tend to value warmth in their network relationship partners, regardless of whether they are initiating a professional or personal relationship.

Publication Title

Personal Relationships