INTRODUCTIONDomestic violence challenges society today. Studies show approximately 1 in 10 high school students has experienced physical violence in dating relationships; among college students, the figure rises to 22% (Gamache, 1991). In 1992, the American Medical Association reported as many as 1 in 3 women will be assaulted by a domestic partner in her lifetime--4 million in any given year ("When Violence", 1998). The American Bar Association`s Commission on Domestic Violence found at least 21,000 domestic violence crimes against women were reported to the police every week during 1991 (1998). Approximately 52% of women visiting hospital emergency rooms report at least one incident of violence during their lifetime (American Bar Association, 1998). Perhaps the reason these statistics exist can be found by understanding people. It would be desirable to establish a link between personality characteristics and behavior. Such a link might help predict and prevent future occurrences.Various studies have been conducted which investigate the correlation between a particular individual trait and violent behavior. One such study recommended a multi-determined model of characteristics to predict the explanation of family violence (Herron, Javier, McDonald-Gomez, & Adlerstein,1994). A few of the many studied traits include sociocultural factors, relationship and systematic factors, and the individual psychopathology of the abuser (Bryant, 1994).
Several different levels of individual psychopathology have been considered. Else, Wonderlich, Beatty and Christie conducted a study comparing the MMPI results of 42 males of which half were batterers. They found men who committed domestic violence have poor problem-solving skills, borderline-antisocial personality traits, hostility, and histories of abuse as children (1993). Other studies have also found a trend between exposure to family violence and later commission of domestic violence (Bitler, Linnoila, & George, 1994).
Kalichman conducted a study which used the MMPI. He found both male and female domestic homicide offenders had lower levels of social extroversion as compared to males convicted of murdering strangers in the course of another crime (1988). Similar findings appeared in a study which clustered psychopathology for the association of experience and expression of anger. The MMPI was used to determine the personality clusters. The disturbed personality cluster had both the highest scores in the social introversion scale and the highest level of anger expression (Greene, Coles, & Johnson, 1994). These findings support the hypothesis of this study that domestically violent individuals tend to be introverted.
The difference between introversion and extroversion is the most important of the measurements of personality. This distinction helps in comprehending people and predicting how they will behave. Keirsey defines the two concepts in terms of a social attitude: expressive versus reserved. Reserved people, or introverts, are quieter and private. They are quick to listen and slow to speak. Introverts seem to be more comfortable when alone. Therefore, they are thought of as socially reclusive. They like solitary activities and working quietly alone. These activities give the introverts energy. In contrast, spending time around many people tire the introverts (1998a).
The purpose of this experiment is to determine a positive relationship between domestic violence and introversion. In other words, people who are introverted are more likely to be involved in domestic violence.
The participants were 29 general psychology students from Missouri Western State College in St. Joseph, Missouri. The age of the participants ranged from 18 to 46. The participants were high school graduates and current college students. The gender composition was 13 male and 16 female. The racial composition was 27 white, one black and one other. All participants received extra credit for their participation. The specific demographic information for the participants was acquired by a brief survey.
A website was created to guide the participants through the various surveys (see Appendix). The Keirsey Temperament Sorter (Keirsey, 1998b) and the Keirsey Character Sorter (Keirsey, 1998c) were utilized to measure personality type. These sorters focus more on the desired trait of introversion while the MMPI gives broader results. Both of these surveys were located on the internet. Two personality surveys were employed to verify the internal validity of the tests. Two other surveys developed by the researcher were also administered: a short demographic survey (see Appendix) and an assessment of the degree of domestic violence experienced by each participant (see Appendix). All the surveys were conducted on a computer with the results recorded on an answer sheet (see Appendix).
The participants volunteered from general psychology classes. The researcher prepared the computers before the participants arrived. Simple instructions were displayed on the computer screen. Participants began with the short demographics survey. After recording the responses on an answer sheet, they continued on to take the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and the Keirsey Character Sorter. The computer automatically scored these two tests. The participants recorded their results on the answer sheets. Lastly, the domestic violence survey was completed. The participants were finished with the study at this time.
RESULTS A Pearson correlation was conducted comparing the average introversion score on the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and the Keirsey Character Sorter to the domestic violence score. No correlation was found, r(26)=.01,p>.05. The more introverted the subjects were had no relationship to the amount of domestic violence they had experienced. A median split was conducted forming one group of introverts and one group of extroverts. A t-test was conducted to compare the equality of the means for the two groups. No significant difference was found between the introverts and extroverts, t(27)=-0.554,p=0.58. In other words, whether the subject was introverted or extroverted did not correspond to the level of domestic violence experienced.
DISCUSSION The purpose of this experiment was to determine a positive relationship between domestic violence and introversion. People who are introverted are more likely to be involved in domestic violence. In fact, this study found no relationship at all between introversion and domestic violence. However, this finding has a few major limitations which must be noted. The average age of 21 and geographic location are limitations to the results. In this study only one subject responded to have experienced even a moderate level of domestic violence. In other words, only 3.4% of the subjects in this study experienced any significant level of domestic violence. This percentage is much lower than the 22% of college students experiencing physical violence in dating relationships as mentioned in the introduction (Gamache, 1991). Also, the average score on the domestic violence test was 19.6 of a possible 240 points. It is not likely twenty-one year old college students have lived with their partners in a setting where domestic would occur. The small amount of domestic violence that was recorded in this study could also be due to geographical factors. The data was collected at a small college where violence is not only rarer than in cities but it is also more shameful because of the small community.
The results in this study generalize to college age students in a small community. It is likely there is no difference in the amounts of domestic violence in introverts and extroverts at most small colleges. In fact, according to this study hardly any domestic violence is occurring at this age level in this environment.
In future research, older subjects should be used to establish a link between domestic violence and introversion. Future studies should focus on ages and environments where domestic violence is a known problem.
REFERENCES American Bar Association (1998). ABA Commission on Domestic Violence: Facts about Domestic Violence. [On-line]. Available: http://www.abanet.org/domviol/home.htmlBitler, D. A., Linnoila, M. & George, D. T. (1994). Psychosocial and diagnostic characteristics of individuals initiating domestic violence. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 182, (10) 583-585.
Bryant, N. (1994). Domestic violence and group treatment for male batterers. Special Issue: Men and groups. Group., 18, (4) 235-242.
Else, L., Wonderlich, S. A., Beatty, W. W., & Christie, D. W. (1993). Personality characteristic of men who physically abuse women. Hospital and community Psychiatry ,44, (1) 54-58.
Gamache, D. (1991). Domination and Control: The Social Context of Dating Violence. B. Levy (Ed.), Dating Violence: Young Women in Danger. Seattle, WA: Seal Press.
Greene, A. F., Coles, C. J., & Johnson, E. H. (1994). Psychopathology and Anger in Interpersonal Violence Offenders. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 50, (6) 906-912.
Herron, W. G., Javier, R. A., McDonald-Gomez, M., & Adlerstein, L. K. (1994). Sources of family violence. Special Issue: Multicultural views on domestic violence: Part II. Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless,3, (3) 213-228.
Kalichman, S. C. (1988). MMPI Profiles of Women and Men Convicted of Domestic Homicide. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44, (6).
Keirsey, D. (1998a). Please Understand Me II. [On-line]. Available: http://keirsey.com/pumII/ei.html
Keirsey, D. (1998b). The Keirsey Temperament Sorter. [On-line]. Available: http://keirsey.com/cgi-bin/keirsey/newks.cgi
Keirsey, D. (1998c). The Keirsey Character Sorter. [On-line]. Available: http://keirsey.com/cgi-bin/keirsey/kcs.cgi
"When Violence Hits Home." Time. June 4, 1994. (1998) Stats and Facts. [On-line]. Available: http://www.public.usit.net/hooligan/dv/
APPENDIX InstructionsPersonality and Behavior Study
This web site contains surveys being used to investigate a correlation between personality and behavioral characteristics. Fill in the blank or circle the most correct answer on the sheet provided. Answers that you submit are confidential.
1. First you will complete a simple demographics survey. After filling in the answer sheet, click on "back to instructions" at the bottom of the page. Click on Demographic Information to begin.
2. Take the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. Click on the dot next to the choice you prefer. Scroll down for more questions. When you are finished, click on the "score test" box. Record your results on the answer sheet. After recording your scores, click on "Back" at the top of the toolbar twice to return here. Click on Keirsey Temperament Sorter to begin. If you have any questions, please ask the experimenter.
3. Take the Keirsey Character Sorter. Answer the questions in Part I and then click the "Score Part I" box at the bottom of the page. Answer the questions in Part II and then click the "Score Part II" box. Record your results on the answer sheet. After recording your scores, click on "Back" at the top of the toolbar three times to return here. Click on Keirsey Character Sorter to begin.
4. Take the behavior survey. Record your answers on the sheet provided by circling a number. Remember, your answers are confidential. Click on Behavior Assessment to begin.
1. What is your age?
2. What is your sex?
3. What is your race?
4. What is your yearly household income?
Domestic Violence Survey
1. How many times has a friend, lover or other yelled at you during an argument?
2. How many times has a friend, lover or other grabbed you during an argument?
3. How many times has a friend, lover or other pushed you during an argument?
4. How many times has a friend, lover or other slapped you during an argument?
5. How many times has a friend, lover or other punched you during an argument?
6. How many times has a friend, lover or other kicked you during an argument?
7. If not already mentioned, how many times has a friend, lover or other physically hurt you during an argument?
8. How many times have you yelled at a friend, lover or other during an argument?
9. How many times have you grabbed a friend, lover or other during an argument?
10. How many times have you pushed a friend, lover or other during an argument?
11. How many times have you slapped a friend, lover or other during an argument?
12. How many times have you punched a friend, lover or other during an argument?
13. How many times have you kicked a friend, lover or other during an argument?
14. If not already mentioned, how many times have you physically hurt a friend, lover or other during an argument?
15. How many times have you attempted to physically hurt a friend, lover or other during an argument?
16. How many times have you wanted to physically hurt a friend, lover or other during an argument?
Personality and Behavioral Characteristics
Fill in the blank or circle the most correct answer. The answers that you submit to these surveys are confidential.
Keirsey Temperament Sorter Results
Your Temperament is ______________:________
Your variant temperament is _______________:_________
___+___ ___+___ ___+___ ___+___.
Keirsey Character Sorter Results
Your Temperament is ______________:________
Your variant temperament is _______________:_________
Details of questionnaire:
___:________________________=___/10 , ___:________________________=___/10
Your score of each temperament was: (lower number meaning preferred)
_____=_____; _____=_____; _____=_____; _____=_____;.
1. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
3. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
4. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
5. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
6. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
7. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
8. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
9. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
10. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
12. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
13. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
14. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10