ERIC Number: ED233416
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-May
Reference Count: 0
A Typology for Interpersonal Situations or, How Do I Class Thee, Let Me Count the Ways.
Biggers, J. Thompson; Masterson, John T.
It is axiomatic that context influences interpersonal behaviors, yet communication researchers have had limited success in generating a set of conceptual or operational definitions for the situation variable. Two studies were conducted to examine emotion-eliciting qualities as the basis for such a typology and the relationship of situations classified by this system to other variables. Specifically, the first study investigated whether interpersonal situations could be described reliably in terms of emotion-eliciting qualities, while the second study tested specific predictions about approach toward or avoidance of interpersonal situations based on emotions elicited. In the first study, 102 college undergraduates completed emotion-eliciting scales for a variety of situations, and, in the second, 170 students completed scales measuring anticipated approach-avoidance. Results indicated that emotion-eliciting qualities comprise a system for classifying situations that is exhaustive, mutually exclusive, and related to the theoretical purposes of explanation and prediction. Further, the findings showed that emotion-eliciting qualities of interpersonal situations relate systematically to other variables. Approach toward or avoidance of interpersonal situations, for example, was predicted and explained in terms of emotions elicited by those situations. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (Dallas, TX, May 26-30, 1983).