Couples and other strangers: Talk Time in Spouse-Stranger Interaction

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Communication Research, ISSN: 1552-3810, Vol: 13, Issue: 4, Page: 625-652

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Mary Anne Fitzpatrick; Kathryn Dindia
SAGE Publications
Social Sciences; Arts and Humanities; spousal interaction; stranger interaction; models of communication; relationship dimensions; Communication; Interpersonal and Small Group Communication; Psychology; Social and Behavioral Sciences
article description
Using talk-time measures of spouse and stranger interaction styles, this article tests the spillover, situationist, and dynamic interactionist models of communication. In groups of four, twenty couples came into our laboratory on three separate occasions. Each person spoke with every other person in the group and these conversational orders were randomized. This multivariate round-robin analysis of variance design allows us to examine actor, partner, and relationship effects through time; it compares married to stranger dyads; it allows a direct test of the effect of a number of individual difference variables; and it examines the relationship among the dependent variables at the same point in time and acRoss time periods. The results indicate that a spillover model best represents the talk-time data. Biological sex appears to have no effect on speaking with either a spouse or a stranger, although self-assessment that one is masculine does. Few personality variables predict talk time although relationship dimensions, such as sharing and satisfaction, differentially predict talk time. © 1986, Sage. All rights reserved.