Personality, Individual Differences, and Social Influence – A Conceptual Overview


  1. Fabrigar, L.R.
  2. Kan, M.
  3. Vaughan-Johnston, T.
  4. Seaboyer, A.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Toronto Research Centre , Toronto ON (CAN);Queen's Univ, Kingston ONT (CAN) Dept of Psychology;Royal Military Coll of Canada, Kingston Ont (CAN) Dept of Political Science
The study of personality and individual differences is one of the oldest and most extensive literature in all of psychology (see Pervin, 1990; Barenbaum & Winter, 2008; Revelle, Wilt, & Condon, 2011). Variations in personality and individual differences have been linked to a vast array of behavioral, cognitive, and affective outcomes within the context of many social processes (e.g., see Chamorro-Premuzic, von Stumm, & Furnham, 2011; John, Robbins, & Pervin, 2008). The study of social influence is no exception. Over the past few decades, a sizeable amount of empirical literature has accumulated documenting the effects of numerous personality traits and individual differences in social influence processes such as conformity, compliance, obedience, and persuasion (e.g., see Briñol & Petty, 2005). The goal of the present report is to provide an overview of the research literature on the role of personality and individual differences in social influence. Our overview will draw primarily from the discipline of social-personality psychology, but as will be seen, at various points we will also draw on research from areas as diverse as consumer behavior, organizational behaviour, communications, health psychology, clinical psychology, and political psychology. The intent of this report is not to provide a detailed scholarly review of the many individual studies comprising this literature (although a number of specific research findings will be discussed). Rather, our objective is to
Personality;Influence;Individual Differences;Review;Social Psychology
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2016-C291 — Contract Report
Date of publication
25 Nov 2016
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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