Although affectionate communication is vital for the maintenance of close, personal relationships, it has the potential to generate negative as well as positive outcomes, which may in part be a function of what attributions are made for affectionate expressions. The present experiment applied principles of attribution theory to unexpected changes in affectionate communication within dyads of adult platonic friends. Results indicated that attributions are more often made for decreases in affection than for increases. Contrary to the prediction of the fundamental attribution error, all the participants more often made external, noncontrollable attributions for changes in affectionate behavior, and the intimacy level of the friendship moderated this effect. Finally, the types of attributions made were associated with a recipient's evaluations of the giver's affectionate behavior and his or her assessment of the giver's character.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied|
|State||Published - Jan 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)