Interpersonal Complementarity and Individual Differences

Carey Bluhm, Thomas A. Widiger, Gloria M. Miele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Interpersonal circumplex theory has predicted complementarity in interpersonal interactions to be expressed in the form of correspondence along the affiliation dimension (e.g., friendly behavior evokes friendliness) and reciprocity along the control dimension (e.g., dominance evokes submission). Prior research has supported the first prediction but not the second. It was hypothesized in this study that the inconsistent findings were due in part to the neglect of the importance of individual differences (personality) variables. Interpersonal process and individual differences variables were assessed jointly in this study, and it was found that affiliative behavior was due largely to situational (complementarity) effects and control behavior was due largely to individual differences. The results are discussed with respect to an integration of group-interpersonal process and individual differences research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-471
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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