Pamela Sadler (Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada)
The Choreography of Interpersonal Interaction: How Temporal Patterns within an Interaction May Illuminate both Normative and Atypical Interpersonal Dynamics
As people interact, they make subtle but crucial adjustments to one another, in which the dominance and affiliation levels of both people tend to show rhythmical fluctuation over the course of the interaction. However, such dyadic interpersonal dynamics have been challenging to capture and study scientifically. Recently, we have advanced a new computer joystick technique called the Continuous Assessment of Interpersonal Dynamics (CAID) for coding temporal patterns within the course of an interaction. This approach enables observers to use a joystick and a monitoring program to make continuous, moment-to-moment ratings of interpersonal behavior as it unfolds. The rich data captured by this technique are amenable to several exciting data-analytic approaches, which demonstrate considerable promise for revealing underlying dynamics in social interactions. Of particular interest are patterns and trends that interlink the ongoing behaviors between two interacting people. Our findings both establish the normative dynamics typically seen in dyadic interactions, and also provide a framework for studying atypical or problematic dynamic patterns, as seen in personality disorders.