A Personality × Personality × Setting Biosocial Model of Interpersonal Affect and Communication

  • David G. Gilbert
Part of the Perspectives on Individual Differences book series (PIDF)


Social behavior, affect, and psychophysiological activity are highly dependent on the interaction of one’s personality, the personality of the person with whom one interacts, and the task or setting (Abbott, Sutherland, & Watt, 1987; Birchler, Weiss, & Vincent, 1975; Buss, 1981; Thome, 1987). For example, task performance and heart rate are a function of one’s personality (Type A versus Type B), partner’s personality (Type A versus Type B), and degree of task control (Abbott, Sutherland, & Watt, 1987). This evidence showing multiple determination of social behavior is consistent with the observations made by Bowers (1973) in his reanalysis of 11 studies evaluating the influence of person, setting, and the interaction of person and setting. In these studies 13% of the variance was attributable to the person, 10% to the situation, and 21% to the person by situation interaction. Bower’s findings suggest that much of the variance in behavior is a function of the interaction of personality with situation. For interpersonal behavior, the most influential part of the situation is usually another person, a person that can be characterized by personality and other individual difference variables. The second part of the situation is the setting—the components of the situation other than the other person.


Negative Affect Marital Satisfaction Physiological Arousal Passive Coping Ideal Style 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • David G. Gilbert
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySouthern Illinois University at CarbondaleCarbondaleUSA

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