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Interpersonal liking from bivariate attitude similarity


Ullrich, Johannes; Krueger, J I (2010). Interpersonal liking from bivariate attitude similarity. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 1(3):214-221.

Abstract

There exists robust evidence for attitude similarity as a major cause of interpersonal liking, but previous research has ignored the case of similarity in attitudinal ambivalence or indifference. Whereas extensions of Heider’s balance theory predict that people are indifferent toward other’s ambivalence versus indifference, Byrne’s reinforcement theory of attraction predicts that people prefer interaction partners that match their own degree of ambivalence and indifference. Furthermore, Shafir’s principle of compatibility predicts preferences for ambivalent over indifferent partners in a choosing mode and the reverse in a rejecting mode. In a within-participants experiment (N = 42), the authors found that regardless of decision mode, (a) ambivalent individuals preferred ambivalent partners over indifferent ones and (b) indifferent individuals preferred indifferent partners over ambivalent ones, thus supporting reinforcement theory. The experiment provides the first evidence of interpersonal sensitivity to gradations of neutral attitudes.

There exists robust evidence for attitude similarity as a major cause of interpersonal liking, but previous research has ignored the case of similarity in attitudinal ambivalence or indifference. Whereas extensions of Heider’s balance theory predict that people are indifferent toward other’s ambivalence versus indifference, Byrne’s reinforcement theory of attraction predicts that people prefer interaction partners that match their own degree of ambivalence and indifference. Furthermore, Shafir’s principle of compatibility predicts preferences for ambivalent over indifferent partners in a choosing mode and the reverse in a rejecting mode. In a within-participants experiment (N = 42), the authors found that regardless of decision mode, (a) ambivalent individuals preferred ambivalent partners over indifferent ones and (b) indifferent individuals preferred indifferent partners over ambivalent ones, thus supporting reinforcement theory. The experiment provides the first evidence of interpersonal sensitivity to gradations of neutral attitudes.

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2 citations in Web of Science®
3 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Date:2010
Deposited On:13 Feb 2013 15:58
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:32
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN:1948-5506
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550610368315

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