The Role of Similarity/Difference Information in Excuse-Making

  • C. R. Snyder
  • Robert N. Harris
Part of the The Plenum Series on Stress and Coping book series (SSSO)

Abstract

Several years ago, the first author and his colleagues developed a theory regarding uniqueness-seeking behavior (see Snyder & Fromkin, 1980, for overview). Against a prevailing viewpoint that people always prefer others who are similar to themselves (i.e., the Donn Byrne, 1971, reinforcement theory of interpersonal attraction), it was proposed that a moderate amount of similarity was the most satisfactory state for people. In brief, uniqueness theory predicts that people find the state of extremely high similarity relative to others to be aversive, and therefore will strive to lessen their perceived and manifested sense of similarity to a more moderate level. The conclusion after conducting research pertaining to uniqueness theory was that the motive to reestablish some sense of specialness appears in many situations where people perceive their uniqueness to be threatened. Nevertheless, some fascinating circumstances where the uniqueness motive was reversed eventually led us to examine the topic of excuse-making.

Keywords

Social Psychology Impression Management Causal Attribution Lowered Effort Internal Audience 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. R. Snyder
    • 1
  • Robert N. Harris
    • 1
  1. 1.Training Program in Clinical Psychology, Department of PsychologyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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