Consequences of responsiveness in dyadic interaction: Effects of probability of response and proportion of content-related responses on interpersonal attraction

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Abstract

“Responsiveness” is defined in terms of 2 sequential response contingencies: (a) the probability with which each person in an interaction responds to the communicative behaviors of the other and (b) the proportion of responses that are related in content to the preceding behaviors of the other. Two experiments examined the effects of responsiveness in a verbal exchange on attraction. Under the guise of a study of the “acquaintanceship process,” 176 male and female undergraduates exchanged information about themselves with another S (actually a same-sex confederate) by taking turns choosing and answering 1 of either 2 or 3 questions about themselves on each trial. For Exp I, Ss were required to answer on all trials, whereas the probability and frequency with which the confederate responded to the S were orthogonally manipulated. For Exp II, the proportion of content-related responses was varied. The confederate answered the same question as the S on either 80 or 20% of the trials. Both the probability of response and the proportion of content-related responses were positively related to (a) attraction to the confederate, (b) Ss' perceptions of the confederate's attraction to themselves, and (c) the degree to which Ss felt that they and the confederate had become acquainted with one another. (57 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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