Preferences, expectations, and behaviours in interpersonal interaction



This study is concerned with the relationship between expectations and preferences prior to an interaction, and their effects on behaviours enacted during the interaction. Expectations and preferences of therapists regarding several specific therapist's and client's behaviours were assessed prior to a therapy meeting. After that meeting, the therapists described the behaviours that had occurred during the meeting. It was found that the correspondence between expectations and preferences is affected by the amount of control one has over the behaviours. There seems also to be a clear indication that expectations predict the behaviours better than preferences. Still, it should be noted that preferences do predict behaviours, and this relationship, although weak, holds even after the effect of expectations is removed.