Personality Test: The Affiliative Tendency (or Affiliation, Sociability) Test & Software
Affiliative Tendency Defined
Affiliative persons are friendly, sociable, helpful, skillful in dealing
with people, and open about their feelings. They make good companions
because they are pleasant and agreeable. Others feel comfortable with
them and like them.
The Affiliative Tendency Scale is a measure of individual differences in
affiliation, friendliness, or sociability. The version being used
(Mehrabian, 1994b) was developed by Mehrabian (1976). It contains
26 items and subjects report the degree of their agreement or
disagreement with each item using a 9-point agreement-disagreement
Affiliation Scale Software
Software for administering, scoring, and interpreting the Affiliative Tendency Scale is available.
It runs on the Windows operating system and provides (a) total score, equivalent percentile score,
equivalent z-score, and interpretation of these scores for each person tested and (b) a database
of all three scores (total, percentile, z-score) for all individuals tested. The software is extremely
easy to use and is password protected so that the Administrator can control access to the database
of results. In this way, individuals being tested cannot have access to the results, unless the
Administrator chooses to report such results to them.
- I am much more attracted to warm, open people than I am to stand-offish ones.
- I enjoy a good movie more than a big party.
- Administration: does not require tester to be present
- Test format: questionnaire, 26 items
- Appropriate population: English fluency, ages 15 and older
- Time required for administration: approximately 10 minutes
- Scoring: hand-scored version yields a single total-scale score; with software, scoring and interpretation are automated
- Manual: contains complete scale, scoring directions, norms
- Background literature: includes a review article on reliability and validity by Mehrabian (1994a)
- Possible uses: (See validity data below.) To select
individuals who have generally positive attitudes toward others and who are comfortable and adept
in dealing with people.
Reliability and validity data for the Affiliative Tendency Scale (MAFF) were reported by Mehrabian (1994a).
Experimental work, reviewed by Mehrabian (1976, 1994a), can be summarized as follows: Persons with higher Affiliative Tendency Scale scores, compared with those with lower scores, are more likely to:
Considerable additional reliability and validity information on the Abbreviated Affiliative Tendency Scale were provided by Mehrabian (2000). In particular, findings showed the Abbreviated MAFF to be a positive correlate of emotional success (i.e., general emotional well-being), relationship success (i.e., healthy and happy inter-personal relationships), and overall life success (Mehrabian, 2000, Table 10).
- like others,
- suffer less from "social anhedonia" (i.e., the inability to derive pleasure from social contacts),
- avoid others less and feel less distress in the presence of others,
- judge themselves as similar to others and as more compatible with others,
- form favorable impressions of others,
- make good adjustments to crowded living environments,
- work at looking pleasing and attractive to others,
- self-disclose intimate personal information to others,
- feel confident in dealing with others,
- talk more during social contacts,
- act positively toward others.
Construct validity for the Affiliative Tendency Scale was also supplied by Mehrabian (1997) from a theoretical analysis of traits that are approximately related to affiliation and sociability (i.e., sensitivity to rejection, empathy, dependency, conformity, popularity, loneliness, and shyness).
Mehrabian, A. (1976). Questionnaire measures of affiliative tendency
and sensitivity to rejection. Psychological Reports, 38,
Mehrabian, A. (1994a). Evidence bearing on the Affiliative Tendency
(MAFF) and Sensitivity to Rejection (MSR) scales. Current
Psychology, 13,, 97-116.
Mehrabian, A. (1994b). Manual for the Affiliative Tendency Scale
(MAFF). (Available from Albert Mehrabian, 1130 Alta Mesa Road,
Monterey, CA, USA 93940).
Mehrabian, A. (1997). Analysis of affiliation-related traits in
terms of the PAD Temperament Model. Journal of Psychology, 131,
Mehrabian, A. (2000). Beyond IQ: Broad-based measurement of individual
success potential or "emotional intelligence." Genetic, Social, and
General Psychology Monographs, 126, 133-239.