Similarity to the interlocutor, certainty of standpoint, and integrative attitude in an internal dialogue

Małgorzata Puchalska-Wasyl

Abstract


Numerous positive functions are ascribed to integrative internal dialogues. It is therefore worth looking for the determinants of dialogue author’s integrative attitude, which is understood as openness to the partner’s viewpoint as well as readiness to favorably consider their arguments and, consequently, to modify one’s own stance. The aim of the present experiment (N = 215) was to check how dialogue author’s integrative attitude is influenced by his or her similarity to the imagined interlocutor and by the author’s certainty of his or her standpoint. Before the participants conducted an imagined dialogue, they assessed the certainty of their standpoint and wrote down their three positive and three negative characteristics. Some of these characteristics were later presented to them as the traits of their potential interlocutor. Finally, the participants completed the Integration–Confrontation questionnaire, measuring their integrative attitude in the dialogue. I found that dialogue authors who were very certain of their own standpoints exhibited a significantly lower level of integrative attitude than those who were less certain of theirs. Additionally, it turned out that similarity in terms of negative characteristics increased integrative attitude in dialogue authors. No such relationship was observed when a sense of similarity in terms of positive characteristics was induced. This is a surprising result against the background of research on actual relationships, which may attest to the specificity of internal dialogues.


Keywords


internal/imagined dialogue; simulation of social relationships; integrative attitude; certainty of standpoint; similarity

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18290/rpsych.2018.21.2-2

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