Instrumental and expressive traits: Their relationship and their association with biological sex

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Nikos Bozionelos
Giorgos Bozionelos
Cite this article:  Bozionelos, N., & Bozionelos, G. (2003). Instrumental and expressive traits: Their relationship and their association with biological sex. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 31(4), 423-430.


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The study tested a part of Helgeson's (1994) model and examined the association between instrumental and expressive traits, and their relationship to biological sex in a sample of 242 university students. Women scored higher on expressive traits and marginally lower on instrumental traits. Unmitigated instrumentality was negatively related to expressiveness, but unmitigated expressiveness was not related to instrumentality. Finally, there was no association between instrumental and expressive traits. The findings imply that the interplay of instrumental and expressive traits may not be symmetrical, the former having stronger influence on the manifestation of the latter than vice versa.

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