Getting Along and/or Getting Ahead: Differential HEXACO Personality Correlates of Likeability and Popularity among Adolescents

Reinout E. de Vries*, Jeroen Pronk, Tjeert Olthof, Frits A. Goossens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Getting along (i.e. to be liked) and getting ahead (i.e. to be popular) are two fundamental psychological motives that have important consequences for adolescents' well-being. Especially antisocial behavioural tendencies, which are less well covered by the Big Five than by the HEXACO model, have been shown to differentially predict likeability and popularity. In this study, possible differential relations between personality and likeability and popularity were investigated using the HEXACO Simplified Personality Inventory and sociometric measures of likeability and popularity among 552 (12 to 14 years old) adolescents. Results showed that agreeableness was the most important likeability predictor, whereas extraversion (positive), openness to experience, honesty-humility, and agreeableness (all three negative) were the most important popularity predictors. Facet-level analyses revealed that selected HEXACO facets (greed avoidance, fearfulness, social boldness, gentleness, prudence, perfectionism, aesthetic appreciation, and altruism) most strongly—and in opposite directions—differentiated in the prediction of likeability and popularity. Furthermore, none of the expected interactions but several masking and cancellation effects were observed. The results, which are also discussed in light of interpersonal circumplex, resource control strategies, hierarchical differentiation, and socioanalytic frameworks, suggest that—among early adolescents—differential personality predictors may make it difficult to both get along and get ahead.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-261
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
Issue number2
Early online date12 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


This study was partially funded by take-off Grant 14458 of the Stichting voor de Technische Wetenschappen (currently the domain Applied and Engineering Sciences of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research; NWO-AES), awarded to Jeroen Pronk.

FundersFunder number
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek
Stichting voor de Technische Wetenschappen


    • adolescence
    • cancellation effects
    • HEXACO
    • likeability
    • masking effects
    • popularity
    • social preference
    • sociometric


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