The Inluences of Prosocial and Antisocial Behaviour on Social Support and Subjective Well-Being
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Tarran-Jones, Abigail RL
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The study objectives were to decipher whether the prosocial and antisocial personality traits of Altruism and Machiavellianism respectively could offer any explanation for perceived levels of social support and subjective well-being. It is evident in the literature that researchers concentrate on the stabilising and destabilising effects of Extraversion and Neuroticism. The present study proposes that this view is too restricted and that further prosocial and antisocial personality traits are essentially conducive or deleterious for social support and subjective well-being. A battery of questionnaires including the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, Satisfaction With Life Scale, Mach-IV, International Personality Item Pool-Agreeableness Scale, International Personality Item Pool-Honesty-Humility Scale and the Self Report Altruism Scale, was administered to 127 mixed sex adult participants. Pearson’s product-moment correlations uncovered a robust inverse correlation between Machiavellianism and both social support and subjective well-being. Hence, highly Machiavellian individuals have less perceived social support and are less satisfied than their lower counterparts. Altruism however, did not produce significant correlations with either of the outcome variables although Agreeableness correlated with social support. This implies that broader prosocial personality characteristics have a moderate influence over perceived social support. Multiple regressions indicated that only Machiavellianism could account for the variance in both social support and subjective well-being. Such evidence strongly implicates that antisocial personality dispositions are detrimental to perceived levels of social support and subjective well-being. The insignificant findings for a relationship between Altruism and the two outcome variables should be interpreted with caution - prosocial personality traits have been found to correlate with social support and subjective well-being in previous literature. The author proposes the possibility that prosocial behaviour is important for a higher subjective well-being and perceived level of social support, but that the relationship may only become apparent in the absence of these prosocial and moral values.