Interpersonal Sensitivity: Theory and Measurement

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

behavioral unit might be more or less appropriate depending on the given research objectives. Also, the model as it was presented here is linear, and in the multivariate case, difficulties in interpretation can surface as cues become more intercorrelated.

A more fundamental limitation is that the model does not solve problems of criterion definition or cue operationalization. It is well beyond the scope of this chapter and edited volume to declare exactly how our personality and interpersonal constructs should be defined. It will forever remain a goal for psychologists, philosophers, and poets to work out a final definition for such things as love, rapport, well-being, and openness to experience. The reader must keep in mind that Brunswik's lens model does not attempt to define these constructs but merely describes the perception and judgment process once these constructs have been given an objective definition by the researcher. Thus, the outcome, interpretations, and conclusions based on lens model analyses will always be subject to criticisms involving the definition and operationalization of the psychological construct being investigated.

In this chapter we hope to have demonstrated the utility of applying Brunswik's lens model to the study of interpersonal sensitivity. Although a relatively simplistic framework within which to work, the model provides enormous potential for uncovering the mediation process connecting psychological constructs to their social judgment. For all its shortcomings we feel much can be learned, and has already been learned, from a Brunswikian approach to interpersonal perception and the study of interpersonal sensitivity.


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

The work described in this chapter was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation to Frank J. Bernieri.


REFERENCES

Ambady, N., Bernieri, F., & Richeson, J. (2000). Towards a histology of social behavior: Judgmental accuracy from thin slices of the behavioral stream. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 32, 201–271.

Ambady, N., & Rosenthal, R. (1992). Thin slices of expressive behavior as predictors of interpersonal consequences: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 111, 256–274.

Archer, D., & Costanzo, M. (1988). The Interpersonal Perception Task. Berkeley, CA: University of California Media Center.

Beal, D., Gillis, J. S., & Stewart, T. (1978). The lens model: Computational procedures and applications. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 46, 3–28.

Bernieri, F., Davis, J., Rosenthal, R., & Knee, C. (1994). Interactional synchrony and rapport: Measuring synchrony in displays devoid of sound and facial affect. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20, 303–311.

Bernieri, F., & Gillis, J. S. (1995a). The judgment of rapport: A cross-cultural comparison between Americans and Greeks. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 19, 115–130.

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