ERIC Number: ED209607
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Surprised by the Other: Choice Points in Relationships.
Research has shown that most individuals assume that they have realistic perceptions of the significant people in their lives, be they family, friends or adversaries. However, under special circumstances, images of significant others may be shattered as they are seen "for the first time." A phenomenological analysis of 60 descriptions suggest that this transformation occurs in one of four basic types of contexts. For example, persons may become empathically aware of others when they are seen responding emotionally to an unanticipated occurrence, such as the death of a friend. Fundamentally, the situation in which this new awareness of the other occurs is one in which a person is deeply engaged and which strongly speaks to basic values and concerns. But this new awareness does not simply happen; it requires an implicit decision to remain open to the implications of the other's behavior and to allow one's preconceptions to be challenged. The characteristics of this decision process are in contrast with decision making as it is typically conceptualized in the psychological literature. (Author/KMF)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Significant Other
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (89th, Los Angeles, CA, August 24-26, 1981).