The neurobiology underlying personality traits and conflict behavior : Examining the similarities in brain regions between agreeableness, aggression and dominating conflict style
Sammanfattning: Conflicts are part of our everyday life and the field of psychology describes how specific personality traits relate to specific conflict styles. However, the question remaining is why these relations exist? Recently, personality neuroscience has begun pinning down the neurobiology of personality traits, providing a deeper understanding of the human behavior. The present thesis utilizes the Five Factor Model (FFM; Costa & McCrae, 1990) of personality to investigate the neurobiology underlying the inverse relation between the specific personality trait of Agreeableness and dominating conflict style (a conflict management style characterized by aggressiveness, authoritarianism and/or need for dominance). Agreeableness overlaps both empathy and aggression which can work as each other’s opposites in explaining conflict behaviors. The goal of the thesis was to investigate whether the inverse relation between Agreeableness and dominating conflict style can be explained by brain regions. Brain regions such as the medial prefrontal cortex and regions involving anterior cingulate appear to be the most prominent neurobiology describing the relation. Serotonin is the neural substance involved in most cortical and subcortical brain structures and it also regulates the suppression of aggression, making it an important substance both within Agreeableness and the preference for dominating conflict style. The thesis will sum up with a discussion including some limitations within the research and further aspects such the consequences of the findings will be discussed.
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