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A Multilevel Analysis of the Interpersonal Behavior of Socially Anxious People


Jonathan Oakman, Psychology Department, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue W., Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3G1, Canada. Fax: (519) 746-8631 Email:


We investigate the interpersonal behavior of socially anxious (SA) and non-socially anxious (NSA) individuals at three different levels of analysis, focusing on the dimensions of warmth and dominance. Study 1 examines self-reported general interaction styles, Study 2 explores behavior occurring within the context of a single interaction, and in Study 3 we focus on the performance of a single conversational act (a disagreement). Studies 1 and 2 adopt the framework of Interpersonal Circumplex Theory (IPC; Kiesler, 1983), which is well suited for studying trait-level and interaction-level social behaviors, while Study 3 is grounded in Politeness Theory (PT; Brown & Levinson, 1987), which can be used to analyze individual acts at the microstructural level. The potential mutual relevance of PT and IPC is also discussed.