Gullibility and the Fundamental Social Motives

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Social motives have been found to be associated with basic personality traits (e.g., agreeableness). Conceptualizing gullibility as a maladaptively high level of agreeableness, the present study examined whether gullibility was associated with the fundamental social motives (e.g., self-protection, disease avoidance, group affiliation) when controlling for basic personality dimensions (e.g., extraversion, conscientiousness). The sample consisted of 542 undergraduate students at Oakland University. The results revealed that gullibility was positively associated with the fundamental social motives pertaining to group belonging and avoiding exclusion (e.g., group affiliation, break up concerns, exclusion concerns) and negatively associated with disease avoidance. The discussion will focus on the implications of these findings for the understanding of gullibility and how these results may expand our understanding of the links between gullibility and motivation.



Gullibility, Social motivation, Personality, Fundamental social motives, Affiliation