Psychological need satisfaction is essential for daily human functioning and one of its sources is high quality interactions. Rapport is essential to high quality interactions and may be one way that various relationships types can provide the nutriments of healthy functioning. We hypothesized that when people perceive interactions to be higher in rapport, they will experience greater satisfaction of their needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. We also explored whether this would be a basic process that would be altered by the relationship between interactants, testing this with multiple operationalizations. We conducted an event-contingent diary study in which participants (nparticipants = 124) responded to items at baseline, each time they experienced an interaction (ninteraction = 1293), and at two-week follow-up. Supporting hypotheses, rapport in interactions was positively associated with need satisfaction within-persons, between-persons, cross-sectionally, and when examining temporal change. Moreover, rapport tended to predict the satisfaction of one’s needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness independently. Finally, relationships between interactants did not moderate these associations.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Ideally, there might be reports from both interactants. This is an issue we return to in the discussion.
Controlling for both satisfaction and intimacy did not alter the results of our cross-sectional, lagged, or chronic rapport- > follow-up need satisfaction analyses.
For psychometric information pertaining to the rapport items within different kinds of relationships and for all measures included in this study including measurement occasions and exact scale and text of those measures please visit https://osf.io/a53vy/?view_only=d4bc3f0200ae4e4eb53393aceeb810cd.
We repeated our tests of temporal precedence with need satisfaction entered as predictors of rapport (see supplemental tables). The lagged models revealed that each need was a statistically significant predictor of rapport controlling for the rapport of the previous interaction. The between-persons models of baseline need satisfaction predicting chronic rapport did not provide converging evidence in that none of the needs were statistically significant predictors of rapport.
Allen, K. M., Blascovich, J., Tomaka, J., & Kelsey, R. M. (1991). Presence of human friends and pet dogs as moderators of autonomic responses to stress in women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,61, 582–589. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.1242.
Altman, I. (1990). Conceptualizing “rapport”. Psychological Inquiry,1(4), 294–297. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327965pli0104_2.
Baard, P. P., Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2004). Intrinsic need satisfaction: A motivational basis of performance and weil-being in two work settings. Journal of Applied Social Psychology,34(10), 2045–2068. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2004.tb02690.x.
Baker, Z. G., Nguyen, T. T., & Knee, C. R. (revise and resubmit). Quality and quantity: Weak and close tie interactions, need fulfillment, and their associations with well-being and goal progress.
Baker, Z. G., Tou, R. Y. W., Bryan, J. L., & Knee, C. R. (2017). Authenticity and well-being: Exploring positivity and negativity in interactions as a mediator. Personality and Individual Differences,113, 235–239. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2017.03.018.
Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin,117(3), 497–529. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.117.3.497.
Bernieri, F. J., Davis, J. M., Rosenthal, R., & Knee, C. R. (1994). Interactional synchrony and rapport: Measuring synchrony in displays devoid of sound and facial affect. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,20(3), 303–311. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167294203008.
Berscheid, E., Snyder, M., & Omoto, A. M. (2004). Measuring closeness: The relationship closeness inventory (RCI) revisited. In D. J. Mashek & P. Aron (Eds.), Handbook of closeness and intimacy (pp. 81–101). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Bolger, N., Davis, A., & Rafaeli, E. (2003). Diary methods: Capturing life as it is lived. Annual Review of Psychology,54(1), 579–616. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.54.101601.145030.
Chen, B., Vansteenkiste, M., Beyers, W., Boone, L., Deci, E. L., Van der Kaap-Deeder, J., …, Verstuyf, J. (2015). Basic psychological need satisfaction, need frustration, and need strength across four cultures. Motivation and Emotion, 39, 216–236. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-014-9450-1.
Chopik, W. J. (2017). Associations among relational values, support, health, and well-being across the adult lifespan. Personal Relationships,24, 408–422. https://doi.org/10.1111/pere.12187.
Cohen, J. (1992). A power primer. Psychological Bulletin,112(1), 155. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.112.1.155.
Cohen, S. (2004). Social relationships and health. American Psychologist,59, 676–684. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.59.8.676.
Crocker, J., & Canevello, A. (2008). Creating and undermining social support in communal relationships: The role of compassionate and self-image goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,95(3), 555. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35126.96.36.1995.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). The general causality orientations scale: Self-determination in personality. Journal of Research in Personality,19(2), 109–134. https://doi.org/10.1016/0092-6566(85)90023-6.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The “What” and “Why” of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry,11(4), 227–268. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327965PLI1104_01.
Deci, E. L., Ryan, R. M., Gagné, M., Leone, D. R., Usunov, J., & Kornazheva, B. P. (2001). Need satisfaction, motivation, and well-being in the work organizations of a former eastern bloc country: A cross-cultural study of self-determination. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,27(8), 930–942. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167201278002.
DePaulo, B. M., & Bell, K. L. (1990). Rapport is not so soft anymore. Psychological Inquiry,1(4), 305–308. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327965pli0104_6.
Duffy, K. A., & Chartrand, T. L. (2015). The extravert advantage how and when extraverts build rapport with other people. Psychological Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797615600890.
Elliot, A. J., & Dweck, C. S. (2005). Competence and motivation. In A. J. Elliot & C. S. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of competence and motivation (pp. 3–12). New York: Guilford Press.
Faul, F., Erdfelder, E., Buchner, A., & Lang, A. (2009). Statistical power analyses using G*Power 3.1: Tests for correlation and regression analyses. Behavior Research Methods,41(4), 1149–1160. https://doi.org/10.3758/BRM.41.4.1149.
Feeney, B. C., & Collins, N. L. (2015). A new look at social support: A theoretical perspective on thriving through relationships. Personality and Social Psychology Review,19, 113–147. https://doi.org/10.1177/1088868314544222.
Fingerman, K. L. (2009). Consequential strangers and peripheral ties: The importance of unimportant relationships. Journal of Family Theory & Review,1, 69–86. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1756-2589.2009.00010.x.
Fredrickson, B. L. (2013). Chapter one: Positive emotions broaden and build. In P. Devine & A. Plant (Eds.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 47, pp. 1–53). New York: Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-407236-7.00001-2.
Fredrickson, B. L. (2016). Love: Positivity resonance as a fresh, evidence-based perspective on an age-old topic. In L. F. Barrett & J. M. Haviland (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (4th ed., pp. 847–858). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Gable, S. L., & Reis, H. T. (2010). Good news! Capitalizing on positive events in an interpersonal context. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 42, pp. 195–257). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0065-2601(10)42004-3.
Gagne, M. (2003). Autonomy support and need satisfaction in the motivation and well-being of gymnasts. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology,15(4), 372–390. https://doi.org/10.1080/714044203.
Grantiz, N. A., Koernig, S. K., & Harich, K. R. (2008). Now it’s personal: Antecedents and outcomes of rapport between business faculty and their students. Journal of Marketing Education.
Gurland, S. T., & Grolnick, W. S. (2003). Children’s expectancies and perceptions of adults: Effects on rapport. Child Development,74(4), 1212–1224. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00602.
Gurland, S. T., & Grolnick, W. S. (2008). Building rapport with children: Effects of adults’ expected, actual, and perceived behavior. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology,27(3), 226–253. https://doi.org/10.1521/jscp.2008.27.3.226.
Gurland, S. T., Grolnick, W. S., & Friendly, R. W. (2012). The role of expectations in children’s experience of novel events. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology,113(3), 305–321. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2012.06.010.
Hadden, B. W., Rodriguez, L. M., Knee, C. R., DiBello, A. M., & Baker, Z. G. (2016). An actor-partner interdependence model of attachment and need fulfillment in romantic dyads. Social Psychological and Personality Science.,7, 349–357. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550615623844.
Hall, J. A. (2018). How many hours does it take to make a friend? Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407518761225.
Heppner, W. L., Kernis, M. H., Nezlek, J. B., Foster, J., Lakey, C. E., & Goldman, B. M. (2008). Within-person relationships among daily self-esteem, need satisfaction, and authenticity. Psychological Science,19(11), 1140–1145. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02215.x.
Hodgins, H. S., Koestner, R., & Duncan, N. (1996). On the compatibility of autonomy and relatedness. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,22, 227–237. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167296223001.
Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T. B., & Layton, J. B. (2010). Social relationships and mortality risk: A meta-analytic review. PLoS Medicine,7(7), e1000316. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316.
Hove, M. J., & Risen, J. L. (2009). It’s all in the timing: Interpersonal synchrony increases affiliation. Social Cognition,27(6), 949–960. https://doi.org/10.1521/soco.2009.27.6.949.
Huang, L., Morency, L.-P., & Gratch, J. (2011). Virtual rapport 2.0. In Intelligent virtual agents (pp. 68–79). Springer.
Karremans, J. C., Schellekens, M. P., & Kappen, G. (2017). Bridging the sciences of mindfulness and romantic relationships: A theoretical model and research agenda. Personality and Social Psychology Review,21(1), 29–49.
Kasser, V. G., & Ryan, R. M. (1999). The relation of psychological needs for autonomy and relatedness to vitality, well-being, and mortality in a nursing home. Journal of Applied Social Psychology,29, 935–954. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.1999.tb00133.x.
Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., Loving, T. J., Stowell, J. R., Malarkey, W. B., Lemeshow, S., Dickinson, S. L., et al. (2005). Hostile marital interactions, proinflammatory cytokine production, and wound healing. Archives of General Psychiatry,62(12), 1377–1384. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.62.12.1377.
Knee, C. R., Hadden, B. W., Porter, B., & Rodriguez, L. M. (2013). Self-determination theory and romantic relationship processes. Personality and Social Psychology Review,17(4), 307–324. https://doi.org/10.1177/1088868313498000.
La Guardia, J. G., & Patrick, H. (2008). Self-determination theory as a fundamental theory of close relationships. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne,49(3), 201–209. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0012760.
La Guardia, J. G., Ryan, R. M., Couchman, C. E., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Within-person variation in security of attachment: A self-determination theory perspective on attachment, need fulfillment, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,79(3), 367–384. https://doi.org/10.1037//0022-35188.8.131.527.
Lakin, J. L., & Chartrand, T. L. (2003). Using nonconscious behavioral mimicry to create affiliation and rapport. Psychological Science,14(4), 334–339. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9280.14481.
Luo, Y., Hawkley, L. C., Waite, L. J., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2012). Loneliness, health, and mortality in old age: A National Longitudinal Study. Social Science Medicine,74, 907–914. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.11.028.
Major, B. C., Le Nguyen, K. D., Lundberg, K. B., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2018). Well-being correlates of perceived positivity resonance: Evidence from trait and episode-level assessments. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44(12), 1631–1647.
Markey, P. M., Funder, D. C., & Ozer, D. J. (2003). Complementarity of interpersonal behaviors in dyadic interactions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,29(9), 1082–1090. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167203253474.
Milyavskaya, M., Gingras, I., Mageau, G. A., Koestner, R., Gagnon, H., Fang, J., et al. (2009). Balance across contexts: Importance of balanced need satisfaction across various life domains. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,35(8), 1031–1045. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167209337036.
Patrick, H., Knee, C. R., Canevello, A., & Lonsbary, C. (2007). The role of need fulfillment in relationship functioning and well-being: A self-determination theory perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,92(3), 434–457. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.2064.
Philippe, F. L., Koestner, R., Beaulieu-Pelletier, G., & Lecours, S. (2011). The role of need satisfaction as a distinct and basic psychological component of autobiographical memories: A look at well-being. Journal of Personality,79(5), 905–938. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.2010.00710.x.
Pietromonaco, P. R., Uchino, B., & Dunkel Schetter, C. (2013). Close relationship processes and health: Implications of attachment theory for health and disease. Health Psychology,32(5), 499–513. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0029349.
Puccinelli, N. M., Tickle-Degnen, L., & Rosenthal, R. (2003). Effect of dyadic context on judgments of rapport: Dyad task and partner presence. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior,27(4), 211–236. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1027393716225.
Reis, H. T., Sheldon, K. M., Gable, S. L., Roscoe, J., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). Daily well-being: The role of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,26(4), 419–435. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167200266002.
Reis, H. T., & Wheeler, L. (1991). Studying social interaction with the Rochester Interaction Record. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology,24, 269–318. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0065-2601(08)60332-9.
Rogers, C. R. (1963). Actualizing tendency in relation to “Motives” and to consciousness.
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2017a). Self-determination theory: Basic psychological needs in motivation, development, and wellness. New York: Guilford Publications.
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2017b). Relationships motivation theory: The self in close relationships. In R. Ryan & E. Deci (Eds.), Self-determination theory: Basic psychological needs in motivation, development, and wellness (pp. 293–318). New York: Guilford Publishing.
Sandstrom, G. M., & Dunn, E. W. (2014a). Is efficiency overrated? Minimal social interactions lead to belonging and positive affect. Social Psychological and Personality Science,5(4), 437–442. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550613502990.
Sandstrom, G. M., & Dunn, E. W. (2014b). Social interactions and well-being the surprising power of weak ties. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,40(7), 910–922. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167214529799.
Sheldon, K. M., Abad, N., & Hinsch, C. (2011). A two-process view of Facebook use and relatedness need-satisfaction: Disconnection drives use, and connection rewards it. APA PsycNET,1(S), 2. https://doi.org/10.1037/2160-4134.1.S.2.
Sheldon, K. M., & Hilpert, J. C. (2012). The Balanced Measure of Psychological Needs (BMPN) scale: An alternative domain general measure of need satisfaction. Motivation and Emotion,36(4), 439–451. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-012-9279-4.
Sheldon, K. M., & Niemiec, C. P. (2006). It’s not just the amount that counts: Balanced need satisfaction also affects well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,91(2), 331. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35220.127.116.111.
Slotter, E. B., & Finkel, E. J. (2009). The strange case of sustained dedication to an unfulfilling relationship: Predicting commitment and breakup from attachment anxiety and need fulfillment within relationships. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,35(1), 85–100. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167208325244.
Tickle-Degnen, L., & Rosenthal, R. (1990). The nature of rapport and its nonverbal correlates. Psychological Inquiry,1(4), 285–293. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327965pli0104_1.
Uchino, B. N. (2009). Understanding the links between social support and physical health: A life-span perspective with emphasis on the separability of perceived and received support. Perspectives on Psychological Science,4, 236–255. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-6924.2009.01122.x.
Uysal, A., Lin, H. L., & Knee, C. R. (2010). The role of need satisfaction in self-concealment and well-being. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,36, 187–199. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167209354518.
Vacharkulksemsuk, T., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2012). Strangers in sync: Achieving embodied rapport through shared movements. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology,48(1), 399–402. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2011.07.015.
Vallerand, R. J. (1997). Toward a hierarchical model of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
Vallerand, R. J. (2000). Deci and Ryan’s self-determination theory: A view from the hierarchical model of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Psychological Inquiry,11, 312–318.
Vallerand, R. J. (2007). A hierarchical model of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for sport and physical activity.
Vicaria, I. M., Bernieri, F. J., & Isaacowitz, D. M. (2015). Perceptions of rapport across the life span: Gaze patterns and judgment accuracy. Psychology and Aging,30(2), 396–406. https://doi.org/10.1037/pag0000019.
Weinstein, N., Hodgins, H. S., & Ryan, R. M. (2010). Autonomy and control in dyads: Effects on interaction quality and joint creative performance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,36(12), 1603–1617.
Wiltermuth, S. S., & Heath, C. (2009). Synchrony and cooperation. Psychological Science,20(1), 1–5. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02253.x.
Wuyts, D., Soenens, B., Vansteenkiste, M., & Van Petegem, S. (2018). The role of observed autonomy support, reciprocity, and need satisfaction in adolescent disclosure about friends. Journal of Adolescence,65, 141–154. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2018.03.012.
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers F31AA026195. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
This study was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (F31AA026195). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
Conflict of interest
Zachary Baker declares that he has no conflict of interest. Emily Watlington declares that she has no conflict of interest. C. Raymond Knee declares that he has no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Electronic supplementary material
Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.
About this article
Cite this article
Baker, Z.G., Watlington, E.M. & Knee, C.R. The role of rapport in satisfying one’s basic psychological needs. Motiv Emot (2020) doi:10.1007/s11031-020-09819-5
- Need satisfaction