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ERIC Number: ED361825
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Jul
Pages: 39
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Excessive Intimacy: An Account Analysis of Behaviors, Cognitive Schemata, Affect, and Relational Outcomes.
Andersen, Peter A.
A study used a qualitative account analysis of excessively intimate encounters to investigate behaviors commonly described by male and female receivers, cognitive schemata invoked to explain why the intimacy was excessive, and the effect of the excessively intimate episode on the relationship. Subjects, 86 female and 37 male students enrolled in communication classes at a large public university in the southwestern United States, completed a survey asking for demographic information and written descriptions of excessively intimate encounters. Results indicated a huge variety of verbal and nonverbal behaviors were perceived as excessively intimate by both genders, and that no significant sex differences were found in unwanted intimacy behaviors. Results also indicated that, overwhelmingly, relational schemata were employed as explanations as to why the episode was perceived as excessively intimate. Personal traits and reward valence or attraction were also provided as common explanations. Excess intimacy typically had negative effects on the relationship with relational termination being the most likely outcome. Findings suggest that, to avoid charges of sexual harassment: interactants should be reasonable and cautious regarding excessive touch in all forms, excessive physical closeness, verbal behavior, and excessive eye contact; careful assessment of the relationship state is essential to avoid perceptions of sexual harassment; and unwanted intimacy in any relationship is resented, labelled negatively, and rarely produces increased closeness. Findings also provide support for cognitive valence theory. (Five tables of data are included; 24 references and a diagram of the cognitive valence theory are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A