Interpersonal Sensitivity: Theory and Measurement

By Judith A. Hall; Frank J. Bernieri | Go to book overview

3
In Search of the Good Judge
of Personality:
Some Methodological
and Theoretical Concerns
C. Randall Colvin
Matthew J. Bundick
Northeastern University

Jeff is looking for his friend and roommate, Mike, who is mingling with friends and acquaintances and no doubt enjoying the back-to-school dorm party. In contrast, Jeff, who is in no mood to mingle, sits and samples the party cuisine with vigor while keeping an eye out for his friend. His attention is drawn to an attractive young woman who, from hearing bits of her conversation, is telling a humorous story to three female friends about a male student who lives in their dorm. After another unsuccessful scan for Mike, Jeff's attention returns to the woman, whose demeanor has become more serious as she is talking to a man who Jeff guesses might be a current or former boyfriend. With the passing of minutes, the interaction between the woman and man lightens and a smile returns to the woman's face. Jeff, to his surprise, experiences a sense of relief on the woman's behalf, as though a critical impasse had been favorably resolved. Jeff finally spots Mike. To Jeff's surprise, Mike approaches the woman and man, shakes hands with the man and then embraces the woman. They talk in loud laughing voices for several minutes.

Later that evening when both roommates were back in their dorm room, Jeff asked Mike about the woman at the party. Mike indicated that he and Julie had known each other since high school and were pretty good friends. Jeff said

-47-

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