Boundary Areas in Social and Developmental Psychology by John C. Masters

By John C. Masters

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Of course, research spanning a longer period of time is needed to understand the evolution of friendships or any other relationships. We also believe that a temporal perspective would enrich our theories of relationships. Many of the early theories of interpersonal attraction focused on the role of static characteristics of individuals, such as physical attraction or similarity. Because relationships change over time, the role of these characteristics can also be expected to change. For example, different processes may be central in the initiation and maintenance of relationships (Graziano & Musser, 1982).

It seems unlikely, however, that broad categories such as friendship are a homogeneous cluster. Additionally, the relative merits of dimensional and typological approaches to relationships have not been examined. Research on relationships can also benefit from recently developed analytical techniques. Early observational work was principally composed of static descriptions of participants' behavior. With the development of techniques such as sequential analysis or time series, work has started on the more difficult, but essential, task of describing the pattern of interaction in the relationship (Cairns, 1979; Lamb, Suomi, &c Stephenson, 1979; Sackett, 1978).

The analysis of social interactions: Methods, issues, and illustrations. Hillsdale, N J : Erlbaum, 1 9 7 9 . Cairns, R. B . , 8c Green, J . A. How to assess personality and social patterns: Observations or ratings. In R. B. ), The analysis of social interactions: Methods, issues, and illustrations. Hillsdale, N J : Erlbaum, 1 9 7 9 . Ciminero, A. , Nelson, R. , 8c Lipinski, D. P. Self-monitoring procedures. In A. R. Ciminero, K. S. Calhoun, 8c H. E. ), Handbook of behavioral assessment. New York: Wiley, 1 9 7 7 .

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