An Analogue Investigation Of The Interpersonal "pull" Of Several Pathological Personality Patterns

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Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


In this analogue investigation of the interpersonal effects of mildly pathological personality styles on affiliative and affective responses, 147 male and female undergraduates imagined that they interacted with one of six targets. Videotaped interviews with male and female role-players were produced to portray either the Avoidant, the Gregarious or the Conforming personality patterns from Millon's typology.Subjects viewed a videotape of a target and filled out behavioral ratings, mood and opinion scales after the imagined interaction. Subjects were least willing to engage in future interactions with the Avoidant targets and felt sadder and more fatigued following exposure to the Avoidant portrayals. In contrast, subjects were most affiliative towards the Gregarious targets, and reported feeling more surgency, elation and vigor in response to these individuals. Subjects' affiliative and affective responses to the Conforming targets fell between the extremes elicited by the Avoidant and Gregarious patterns, except that subjects reported the most fatigue following exposure to Conforming targets. Additionally, even though there were significantly different levels of affiliation "pulled" by the three personality patterns, none of the targets was highly approached by the subjects. Sex of subject and sex of target had only minimal effects on the behavioral ratings of the target.These results were interpreted as further evidence of the utility of the interpersonal approach to personality, and as supporting Carson's Complementarity Hypothesis and Millon's revised diagnostic system.


Psychology, Clinical

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