Embracing the Social in Personal Relationships and Research
Linda K. Acitelli
University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA
University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA
The question “What is a personal relationship?” was offered over ten years ago as a central issue facing researchers of personal relationships (Kelley, 1979; Duck, 1990), but the importance of the question is not limited to local issues within the field of personal relationships (or interpersonal attraction and close relationships). Relational studies, and the issues surrounding them, are significant for the larger field of social psychology as it heeds the call to embrace the social more warmly (Ickes & Gonzalez, 1996). Some form of interpersonal relationship must be presupposed in any explanation of social behavior. As Berscheid and Reis (1998) observe, “knowledge about interpersonal relationships is essential to the further development of social psychology” (p. 196).
The Social Psychology of Personal Relationships.
Edited by William Ickes and Steve Duck. © 2000 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.