An Introduction to Interpersonal Competence

  • Brian H. Spitzberg
  • William R. Cupach
Part of the Recent Research in Psychology book series (PSYCHOLOGY)


This book is about competence in social and personal relationships. The importance of interpersonal competence is recognized universally by philosophers and scientists of human interaction. Interpersonal competence has its early social scientific roots in the work pioneered by Thorndike (1920) and others (e.g., Chapin, 1942; see Walker & Foley, 1973) under the rubric of social intelligence. Thorndike conceptualized social intelligence as the abilities involved in understanding other people and acting wisely in relating to others. Independently, psychiatric research using the label social competence emerged in the 1930’s (Doll, 1935, 1939; Bassett, Longwell, & Bulow, 1939; Bradway, 1937, 1938). This work was primarily concerned with incompetence due to mental deficiency; i.e., the inability to exercise personal independence and social responsibility (Doll, 1953)


Social Skill Social Competence Efficacy Belief Social Intelligence Communicative Competence 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian H. Spitzberg
    • 1
  • William R. Cupach
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Communication and Public AddressUniversity of North TexasDentonUSA
  2. 2.Department of CommunicationIllinois State UniversityNormalUSA

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