Saturday, November 11, 2017

Sexual insults are linked to narcissistic, non-compliant and misanthropic character, & to socially repugnant behavior like bullying & intimate partner violence

Hyatt, Courtland, Jessica L Maples-Keller, Chelsea Sleep, Donald Lynam, and Josh Miller. 2017. “The Anatomy of an Insult: Popular Derogatory Terms Connote Important Individual Differences in Externalizing Behavior”. PsyArXiv. November 7.

Abstract: A large body of academic literature on personality has roots in the lexical hypothesis, the idea that the language contains information about the important individual differences among people. In the current series of studies, we investigate the psychosocial connotations of common insults, or terms used to derogate others. In Studies 1 and 2, we investigated the most frequently used insults to denigrate men and women (asshole, dick, bitch), and generated trait profiles that can be considered prototypical of each insult. In Studies 3 and 4, we expanded the scope of our investigation by examining how these insults are relevant to other key indicators of interpersonal functioning, including aggression, social information processing, personality disorders, and substance use. We also gathered thin-slice and informant reports to compare to self-reported insult endorsement. Each of the insults was strongly associated with trait Antagonism, as well as other behaviors that comprise Antagonism’s nomological network (e.g., bullying, psychopathy, social discounting, etc.) Additionally, informants and strangers tended to converge in their insult ratings. Results are discussed in terms of the importance of everyday language to psychological research.

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