Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Pamela Sadler

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The current studies examined people’s (and, more peripherally, their perceptions of others’) interpersonal behavior using two different methodologies. This research utilizes the framework of Interpersonal Theory, which indicates that there are two orthogonal dimensions of interpersonal behavior—dominance and friendliness (Caron, 1969; Kiesler, 1983; Wiggins, 1982). People’s interpersonal behaviors were characterized by dimension scores for each interaction partner. In Study 1 a new, one-time measure was administered in the lab that assessed behaviors based on 45 specific interaction partners. In Study 2, a Palm Pilot was used to collect people’s interpersonal behaviors over multiple occasiosn of interactingwith the same interaction partners across 21 days. We were interested in whether individual differences in these behaviors could be reliably captured using both of these methodologies, with a particular focus on people’s variability in these two contexts. We calculated means, standard deviations, and correlations between interpersonal dimensions from the participant’s behaviors. Additionally, we examined how these behaviors and perceptions related to different interpersonal measures. More specifically, we investigated whether people’s interpersonal problems reflect a mean behavioral problem across their various interpersonal interactions, or whether too much consistency or too much variability over their interpersonal interactions is an important additional factor. The means for both dominance and friendliness showed expected patterns. That is, someone who reported being too dominant, also engaged in many dominance behaviors across their 45 interaction partners and across 21 days. The results revealed that the relationship between interpersonal problems and both self-standard deviation were not of a “too variable” or a “too consistent” sort.

Convocation Year


Included in

Psychology Commons