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Then A Miracle OccursFocusing on Behavior in Social Psychological Theory and Research$
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Christopher R. Agnew, Donal E. Carlston, William G. Graziano, and Janice R. Kelly

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377798

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377798.001.0001

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The Relationship Context of Social Behavior

The Relationship Context of Social Behavior

(p.299) 16 The Relationship Context of Social Behavior
Then A Miracle Occurs

Harry T. Reis

Oxford University Press

The author argues that the relationship context of behavior should be of central concern to social psychologist. He reviews findings from studies demonstrating how behavior varies as context varies. The author outlines the unique and integrative orientation of social psychology with respect to other disciplines in its approach to behavior. In its emphasis on situational factors underlying behavior, social psychology blends elements from various “macro” orientations (e.g., sociology). In its emphasis on person factors, social psychology blends elements from the realms of neuroscience and biochemistry. The author also provides a clear overview of aspects of interdependence theory that are particularly relevant to behavior: (a) the degree of one's outcome interdependence with an interaction partner, and (b) whether a situation is characterized as being one of exchange or of coordination. These aspects suggest the values of an interdependence analysis in helping understand how relationship context shapes individual and dyadic behavior.

Keywords:   behavior, close relationships, interdependence theory, social context, social psychology

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