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CAUSAL PREFERENCES AS A FACTOR IN THE CHOICE AND DIAGNOSIS OF SOCIAL CONTINGENCIES

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Abstract:

A variety of social contingencies have been described in terms of the patterning of self and/or social causality along a chain of responses between two persons. Non-reciprocal (pseudo and asymmetrical) contingencies focus the researcher on the comparative implications of self and socially caused behavior as a matter of causal preference and relationship style. Two laboratory studies were conducted with this point of view in mind. In the first study it was shown that subjects who had indicated a preference for socially caused behavior were more likely to choose spontaneous interactions with strangers while those who preferred self causality were more likely to choose scripted or nonspontaneous interactions. In the second study it was found that subjects who preferred social causality were more accurate in assessing their own influence over in the behavior of others in a self disclosure task than were those who preferred self causality. The findings were discussed in terms of both the need for a causal preference assessment technique as well as further research into the phenomena of “pseudo relationships.“

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1988.16.1.11

Publication date: January 1, 1988

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