Seeing I to I: A Pathway to Interpersonal Connectedness.

Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
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


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.

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Available from: Kira Alexander, Mar 16, 2014
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    • "Moreover, it has been shown that social movement coordination between interacting people could be used to assess their mutual rapport [9] [10] [11]. These observations have led to the development of a theory of similarity which predicts that the level of synchronisation in joint actions is enhanced if the participants are similar in terms of morphology and movement dynamics and are willing to match their behaviours [12] [13] [14]. Despite previous attempts in the literature [15], the theory of similarity have not been tested in controlled experiments. "
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    • "I-sharing has been found to increase interpersonal attraction overruling the preference for in-group over out-group members (Pinel & Long, 2012; Pinel et al., 2006). As Pinel suggests that people ''might draw I-sharing inferences on the basis of whether they happen to find themselves in similar circumstances'' or based on ethnicity (Pinel et al., 2006, p. 244), it might be that in-group status had initially fostered I-sharing inferences and wherefore the dissimilarity information was perceived as particularly threatening. Future research is necessary to address this issue. "
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    • "I-sharing is known to lead to a feeling of sharing an experience with a previously unfamiliar other and thus increases judgments of similarity towards the other person. Following previous research [21], the task consisted of 12 items, each with four response categories. In the low similarity condition, the simulated answers given by the fictitious partner of the participant corresponded twice over twelve trials (below chance): in trial 4 and trial 10. "
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