‘Behavioural interaction’ and ‘interactional psychology’ theories of personality: Similarities, differences, and the need for unification


Department of Psychology, University of Hawaii, 24300 Campus Road, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA.


The social behaviourism theory of personality and behavioural interaction is presented and compared to interactional psychology's conception, indicating the features shared. Interactional psychology's conception is seen to be inconsistent with its person-situation data. Social behaviourism's theory is seen to provide better analysis and stipulation of personality, situations and interaction. The social behaviourism theoretical developments should be employed in the new approaches attempting to combine behaviour principles with personality concepts of a cognitive-emotional type. Social behaviourism's multi-level theory and its extension into various areas of psychology provide many avenues for development. Finally, the separation of interactional psychology's development from the related principles of social behaviourism is seen as a drawback produced by the present separatism of United States psychology's preparadigmatic state of development.