The Adult: Interpersonal Behaviour and Social Adjustments

  • Michael Argyle
Part of the Psychology for Professional Groups book series (PPG)


After two chapters devoted to childhood, and to maintain the continuity of our time scale, we should look at the next stage in development. What of the adolescent, the individual whose body has almost finished growing and who has managed to learn a great deal about language and the manipulation of his human and non-human environment? We should consider this before turning our attention to adults. We might expect to see a smooth continuous progress, a steady growth of personality and physique from infancy to maturity. Instead, adolescence seems to be something of a hurdle, located at the time when the individual is no longer a child but is not yet fully accepted as a mature adult. In some cultures, this transition is marked by joyful celebration, with the adolescent being welcomed into the older group in an atmosphere of appreciation for the energy and enthusiasm that the young people bring to the management of group responsibilities. This is not characteristic of the so-called more advanced societies. For the past 70 years or more, western civilization has been trying to sort out a problem that it seems to have produced for itself.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Argyle, M. (1969) Social Interaction. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  2. Argyle, M. (1972) The Social Psychology of Work. London: Allen Lane and Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  3. Argyle, M. (1975) Bodily Communication. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  4. Argyle, M. and Cook, M. (1976) Gaze and Mutual Gaze. London: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Argyle, M., Furnham, A. and Graham, J.A. (in press) Social situations. London: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Argyle, M. and Kendon, A. (1967) The experimental analysis of social performance. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 3, 55–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Argyle, M., Salter V., Nicholson, H., Williams, M. and Burgess, P. (1970) The communication of inferior and superior attitudes by verbal and non-verbal signals. British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 9, 221–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bailey, K.G. and Sowder, W.T. (1970) Audiotape and videotape self-confrontation in psychotherapy. Psychological Bulletin, 74, 127–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bales, R.F. (1950) Interaction Process Analysis. Cambridge, Mass.: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  10. Brown, G.A. (1975) Microteaching. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  11. Curran, J.P. (1977) Skills training as an approach to the treatment of heterosexual-social anxiety. Psychological Bulletin, 84, 140–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Davitz, J.R. (1964) The Communication of Emotional Meaning. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  13. Dion, K., Berscheid, E. and Waister, E. (1972) What is beautiful is good. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 24, 285–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Flavell, J.H. (1968) The Development of Role-taking and Communication Skills in Children. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  15. Goldstein, A.J. (1973) Structured Learning Therapy: Toward a psychotherapy for the poor. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  16. Harre, R. and Secord, P. (1972) The Explanation of Social Behaviour. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  17. Hersen, M. and Beilack, A.S. (1976) Social skills training for chronic psychiatric patients: rationale, research findings, and future directions. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 17, 559–580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jennings, H.H. (1950) Leadership and Isolation. New York: Longmans Green.Google Scholar
  19. Jones, E.E. and Nisbett, R.E. (1972) The actor and the observer: divergent perceptions of the causes of behavior. In E.E. Jones et al (eds), Attribution: Perceiving the causes of behavior. Morristown, NJ: General Learning Press.Google Scholar
  20. Jourard, S.M. (1971) Self Disclosure. New York: Wiley Interscience.Google Scholar
  21. Lieberman, M.A., Yalom, I.D. and Miles, M.R. (1973) Encounter Groups: First facts. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  22. Lott, A.J. and Lott, B.E. (1960) The formation of positive attitudes towards group members. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 61, 297–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Maxwell, G.M. (1976) An evolution of social skills training. (Unpublished, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.)Google Scholar
  24. Mehrabian, A. (1972) Nonverbal Communication. New York: Aldine-Atherton.Google Scholar
  25. Meldman, M.J. (1967) Verbal behaviour analysis of self-hyperattentionism. Diseases of the Nervous System, 28, 469–473.Google Scholar
  26. Paul, G.L. (1966) Insight v. Desensitization in Psychotherapy. Stanford, Ca: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Rich, A.R. and Schroeder, H.E. (1976) Research issues in assertiveness training. Psychological Bulletin, 83, 1081–1096.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Rinn, R.C. and Markle, A. (1979) Modification of social skill deficits in children. In A.S. Bellack and M. Hersen (eds), Research and Practice in Social Skills Training. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  29. Sherif, M., Harvey, O.J., White, B.J., Hood, W.R. and Sherif, C. (1961) Intergroup Conflict and Cooperation: The Robbers’ Cave experiment. Norman, Oklahoma: The University of Oklahoma Book Exchange.Google Scholar
  30. Trower, P., Bryant, B. and Argyle, M. (1978) Social Skills and Mental Health. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  31. Waister, E., Aronson, V., Abrahams, D. and Rottmann, L. (1966) Importance of physical attractiveness in dating behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 5, 508–516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Annotated reading

  1. Argyle, M. (1978) The Psychology of Interpersonal Behaviour (3rd edn). Harmondsworth: Penguin. Covers the field of the chapter, and related topics, at Penguin level.Google Scholar
  2. Argyle, M. and Trower, P. (1979). Person to Person. London: Harper & Row. A more popular account of the area covered by the chapter, with numerous coloured illustrations.Google Scholar
  3. Argyle, M. (1975). Bodily Communication. London: Methuen. Covers the field of non-verbal communication in more detail, with some illustrations.Google Scholar
  4. Berscheid, E. and Walster, E.H. (1978). Interpersonal Attraction (2nd edn). Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley. A very readable account of research in this area.Google Scholar
  5. Bower, S.A. and Bower, G.H. (1976). Asserting Yourself. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley. An interesting and practical book about assertiveness, with examples and exercises.Google Scholar
  6. Cook, M. (1979). Perceiving Others. London: Methuen. An account of basic processes in person perception.Google Scholar
  7. Goffman, E. (1956). The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. A famous and highly entertaining account of self-presentation.Google Scholar
  8. Trower, P., Bryant, B. and Argyle, M. (1978). Social Skills and Mental Health. London: Methuen. An account of social skills training with neurotics, with full details of procedures.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The British Psychological Society 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Argyle

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations