An Overview of Individual
Processes in Interpersonal
Barbara Mae Gayle and Raymond W. Preiss
The importance that theorists and researchers attach to relational dynamics and social interaction is evident in the thousands of experiments and monographs devoted to these issues. For example, a database search of the term interpersonal communication resulted in 27,067 hits. Expanding the search to synonyms and related terms exponentially increases the archive of germane literature. Faced with the magnitude of this domain, we use this chapter to lay out our criteria for selecting the meta-analyses included in this book, identify the logic used to group and organize the rneta-analyses, and provide the context for the first collection dealing with individual processes.
Establishing selection criteria was a formidable task. The sheer volume of material, the complexity of interpersonal processes, and the nuances of interpersonal communication pose risks for both meta-analysts and those interested in placing the empirical reviews in context. Cooper and Rosenthal (1980) addressed the judgment calls that a meta-analytic reviewer must make when coding effects and interpreting findings, but the decisions that must be made when selecting and organizing meta-analyses has received less attention.