Construct similarity, self-meaningfulness, and interpersonal attraction


  • An earlier version of this manuscript was presented at the Fifth International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology, Boston, MA, July 1983 We would like to thank A W Landfield for his reading of an earlier draft of the manuscript

Address reprint requests to Larry M Leitner, PhD, Department of Psychology, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056


Self-meaningfulness, a concept arising from personal construct theory research, has been defined in terms of the importance of the self in the personal construct system Forty-two undergraduate volunteers completed Repertory Grid ratings of the self and 15 individuals (five liked, five disliked, and five toward whom the subject was neutral) It was found that high self-meaningfulness individuals' ratings of attraction were more strongly associated with the perception of similarity than were the ratings of low self-meaningfulness subjects High self-meaningfulness subjects saw liked individuals as significantly more similar to the self than did low self-meaningfulness subjects In addition, liked, neutral, and disliked figures were seen as significantly different from one another on the similarity to self-measure for high self-meaningfulness subjects Only disliked figures were judged as more distant from the self for low self-meaningfulness subjects These findings were discussed in terms of the importance of investigating individual differences in similarity-attraction