Thursday, November 10, 2005

Who's in control?

A recent study on the "locus of control" within friendships -- the degree to which enjoyment of a situation is determined by the personalities of others -- reaches some interesting conclusions:

For women, they found that when a friend was perceived to have a high external locus of control, friendship satisfaction tended to be lower. The opposite was found for men: high external locus of control correlated with higher friendship satisfaction. In addition, high internal locus of control for male friendships correlated with low friendship satisfaction.

Women tended to be more satisfied when their friends were perceived to be constructive (i.e. high voice and loyalty ratings) and less destructive (i.e. low exit and neglect ratings). Men, on the other hand, were more satisfied when friends talked about problems but they themselves did not. Women, too, displayed some of this counterintuitive behavior, feeling more satisfied when they simply neglected problems rather than addressing them in some way.


a.) Women prefer friends who do not look to them for enjoyment/satisfaction.
b.) Men prefer friends who do.

c.) Women like to be helped and paid attention to.
d.) Men like to help, but not be helped.
e.) Women don't like to help themselves.

I can't say that this maps exactly to my experience, but perhaps I've been involved with women from far ends of the bell curve.