Abstract reasoning and agreeableness: A deeper understanding of cognition

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Embargo End Date
Zidarita, Amelie
Skinner, Ryley
Wallace, Taylor
Clark, Charles B.

Zidarita, Amelie, Skinner, Ryley, Wallace, Taylor and Clark, Charles B. Abstract reasoning and agreeableness: A deeper understanding of cognition. -- Fyre in STEM Showcase, 2023.


In an age set in technology and social media, abstract thinking has become more prominent in the way communication occurs and how ideas are conveyed. Its influence on the modern person has altered the way information is processed and deemed valuable or trustworthy. Current research on this form of cognitive thinking reports less violent tendencies as well as higher creativity and problem-solving abilities. As abstract thinking continues to adapt into the new world, it brings forth the question of how our behavioral patterns may be influenced by a change in cognitive thinking. To examine its effect in a broader term, one of the Big Five personality factors was settled to be observed for this study: agreeableness. The Big Five factors are made up of the following traits: openness, consciousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, and extraversion. Agreeableness is correlated with traits such as trustworthiness, compassion, and lenience. Within this research, six assessments were conducted (Digit Span, Similarities, Stroop Task, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Figurative Language Interpretation Task, and SHIPLEY-2) to test cognitive abilities and strengths of participants, as well as to observe how the presence of agreeable traits influence overall assessment scores. The Ten Item Personality Inventory was given, following the assessments. Results from the assessments assessing abstract thinking (similarities and SHIPLEY-2) demonstrate an overall positive correlation between agreeableness and abstract thinking. In other words, participants that scored highly in the assessments were found to have also marked themselves as agreeable within the Ten-Item Personality Inventory. This revelation further demonstrates the important relationship between abstract thinking and personality traits.

Table of Content
Poster and abstract presented at the FYRE in STEM Showcase, 2023.
Research project completed at the Department of Psychology.