Personality, Travel Exposure, and Change – Research Article Summaries


Personality, Travel Exposure, and Change – Research Article Summaries

Article summaries

Article 1

  • (Jani, 2014)

This study aimed at finding out the relationship between personality factors, curiosity how this affects the type of tourism travel destination. Five main factors were used to represent personality and two aspects of curiosity were used. The study preceding a literature review hypothesised that two of the five personality factors positively related to tourism based on interest while three of the factors were positively related to depravation – putting the mind from the unease of not knowing – kind of tourism.

The hypothesis was tested by conducting a self-administered survey to tourists in Korea. 376 questionnaires were issued out to tourists at 3 attraction sites. All respondents were Korean and this avoided the effect of culture on differences in information search. The questionnaires used the Big Five Factors of personality dimensions and curiosity scales from previous studies to formulate Likert scale type of questions. Descriptive statistics was used to test the data.

The results showed that only three of the five hypotheses were supported. Being open to experiences influenced interest-type of travel while extraversion did not. Conscientiousness did not affect deprivation kind of travel while neuroticism and Agreeableness showed positive influence on the same tourism.  The implication of these results is that authors were able to demonstrate that being open to experiences, expression of feelings under neuroticism, and being agreeable positively influence travel curiosity and could be applied in marketing to cater for different personalities.

Article 2

  • (Cao, Galinsky and Maddux, 2014)

The main objective of this was to find out the correlation between depth and breadth of travel experiences on generalized trust or the general trust a person possesses. Depth was viewed as the time spent travelling while breadth was the number of countries travelled. They authors, based on extant literature, hypothesized that breadth rather than depth of experiences in foreign scenarios was more likely to lead to generalized trust.

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Five different studies were done to test the hypothesis. Study 1 was in form of a trust-game in a lab involving 237 students and measured their trust levels as well as travel abroad. Study 2 and 3 adjusted focus between breadth and depth to see how generalized trust would be affected. In study 2 and 3, students were asked to recall countries they visited (in breadth and depth) and then played a trust game. Study 4 measure trust level before and after a travel period – within a span of two months. Study 5 tested focus on similarities versus differences of different countries travelled and the effect on trust.

The results indicated that the hypothesis was right as they found a relationship between breadth of travel experiences with generalized trust in individuals. The implication, based on the research problem indicated, is that it the findings shed light on the exact circumstances of intergroup contact that lead to generalized trust.

Article 3

  • (Greischel, Noack and Neyer, 2016)

In this study, the authors sought to find out how travelling abroad for a school exchange year affected the personality and development traits of adolescent students. The hypothesis by the authors was that before departure, personality traits of openness and agreeableness would be higher while the trait of neuroticism would low. After the travel, the hypothesis was that openness and agreeableness would increase and neuroticism would decrease – a stable personality. The last hypothesis was that fluctuation in personal relationships would mediate between travel and personality development.

To test the hypothesis, the authors use a sample of 457 high school students (those travelling) and 284 students as a control group (not travelling) in Germany’s largest exchange program for students. The participants were assessed for Big Five personality traits and Social Network measures (like a friendship map) three times within the year – once before the departure, once two months after settling and once again give months after the second test. All questions were answered online and in sync between those who travelled and those in the control group.

The results supported the hypotheses put forward by the researchers. Those students who travelled had significant increase in openness and agreeableness as traits, they had a bit less neuroticism, and had experienced fluctuating personal relationships that in part mediated personality development. The implication of the findings is that the authors definitively answer the research question on what the role of travelling abroad is on personality and development traits in youth by proving that international mobility positively affects personality and development in youth.


Jani, D. (2014). Big five personality factors and travel curiosity: are they related?. Anatolia, 25(3), 444-456.

Cao, J., Galinsky, A. D., & Maddux, W. W. (2014). Does travel broaden the mind? Breadth of foreign experiences increases generalized trust. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5(5), 517-525.

Greischel, H., Noack, P., & Neyer, F. J. (2016). Sailing uncharted waters: Adolescent personality development and social relationship experiences during a year abroad. Journal of youth and adolescence, 45(11), 2307-2320.

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