Seeing I to I: a pathway to interpersonal connectedness.

Department of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, 16802, USA.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Impact Factor: 5.08). 03/2006; 90(2):243-57. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.90.2.243
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The authors introduce the construct of I-sharing--the belief that one shares an identical subjective experience with another person--and the role it plays in liking. In Studies 1-3, participants indicated their liking for an objectively similar and an objectively dissimilar person, one of whom I-shared with them and the other of whom did not. Participants preferred the objectively similar person but only when that person I-shared with them. Studies 4 and 5 highlight the role that feelings of existential isolation and the need for closeness play in people's attraction to I-sharers. In Study 4, people with high needs for interpersonal closeness responded to I-sharers and non-I-sharers with great intensity. In Study 5, priming participants with feelings of existential isolation increased their liking for I-sharers over objectively similar others. The results highlight the importance of shared subjective experience and have implications for interpersonal and intergroup processes.


Available from: Kira Alexander, Mar 16, 2014
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In two studies, we found that sharing an experience with another person, without communicating, amplifies one's experience. Both pleasant and unpleasant experiences were more intense when shared. In Study 1, participants tasted pleasant chocolate. They judged the chocolate to be more likeable and flavorful when they tasted it at the same time that another person did than when that other person was present but engaged in a different activity. Although these results were consistent with our hypothesis that shared experiences are amplified compared with unshared experiences, it could also be the case that shared experiences are more enjoyable in general. We designed Study 2 to distinguish between these two explanations. In this study, participants tasted unpleasantly bitter chocolate and judged it to be less likeable when they tasted it simultaneously with another person than when that other person was present but doing something else. These results support the amplification hypothesis.
    Psychological Science 10/2014; 25(12). DOI:10.1177/0956797614551162 · 4.43 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The present research was guided by two primary goals: 1) replicate the empirical structure of the Think-ing about Life Experiences (TALE) questionnaire (Bluck, Alea, Habermas, & Rubin, 2005); and 2) ex-plore how the functions of autobiographical memory may interact and support one another. Toward the second goal, it is suggested that the potential functions of autobiographical memory may be understood from an existential framework that is grounded by two principles: humans are driven by a need for mean-ing and meaning is found in relation to others and other things in the world. In this pursuit of meaning making, and a desire to know what to expect from the world, humans seek to create a coherent set of rela-tions among the various existential elements in their lives (Heine, Proulx, & Vohs, 2006); accordingly, humans strive to reduce uncertainty about the world and their place in it. As such, the TALE was reinter-preted using a relational framework and a 28-item self-report measure was developed. Participants com-pleted the TALE and the reinterpreted TALE (RTALE). The results provide some support for the 3-factor structure of the TALE. The proposed 4-factor structure of the RTALE was supported.
    Psychology 01/2012; 03(02). DOI:10.4236/psych.2012.32028
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Even though painful experiences are employed within social rituals across the world, little is known about the social effects of pain. We examined the possibility that painful experiences can promote cooperation within social groups. In Experiments 1 and 2, we induced pain by asking some participants to insert their hands in ice water and to perform leg squats. In Experiment 3, we induced pain by asking some participants to eat a hot chili pepper. Participants performed these tasks in small groups. We found evidence for a causal link: Sharing painful experiences with other people, compared with a no-pain control treatment, promoted trusting interpersonal relationships by increasing perceived bonding among strangers (Experiment 1) and increased cooperation in an economic game (Experiments 2 and 3). Our findings shed light on the social effects of pain, demonstrating that shared pain may be an important trigger for group formation.
    Psychological Science 09/2014; 25(11). DOI:10.1177/0956797614545886 · 4.43 Impact Factor