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Role-taking theory and its application to interpersonal conflicts
Role-taking theory and its application to interpersonal conflicts
How do people behave in interpersonal interactions? And why do they behave the way they do? In this thesis, I present a novel social-cognitive account of role-taking explaining how fixed positions affect our emotions, thoughts, and behavior in interactions. The basic notion of Role-Taking Theory (RTT) is that actors represent roles in form of mental schemata, and that role-taking activates the role-specific mental schema. In its application, Role-Taking Theory (RTT) was used to explain third-party reactions to conflicts. As a result, this thesis entails three manuscripts (MS) currently under review for publications: one theoretical (MS 1), and two empirical (MS 2&3). In the theoretical article, we explain the core premises of RTT, discuss RTT’s contributions over and above existing theory, apply RTT to interpersonal conflicts, and outline future directions. In the two empirical articles, we report first empirical tests of hypotheses deriving from RTT’s assumptions. In sum, the manuscripts provide answers to (1) how the number of constituting roles can be identified in any interpersonal interaction (MS 1&2), (2) how features of identified roles can be derived (MS 1–3), (3) how features of roles affect actors due to role-taking (MS 1–3), (4) why some actors take over certain roles in conflicts more frequently than others (MS 2), (5) why some actors benefit from taking over certain roles in conflicts more than others (MS 2), (6) why actors sometimes stick to roles even when this comes with costs (MS 1&3), and – ultimately – (7) how all these mechanisms tied to role-taking explain when and why interactions stabilize or destabilize. In a final chapter at the end of this thesis, the incremental contributions of these manuscripts over and above existing literature are discussed both in its novel theoretical rationale as well as in empirical insights. In sum, I argue that RTT’s universality and precision are apt for sustained empirical and theoretical work in the future. However, RTT is still in an early developmental stage, and thus, I prepare the next steps by analyzing the present state, outlining the most critical challenges in theory development, and identify the most promising directions for future research.
Role-Taking, Interpersonal Conflicts, Morality, Self-Concept
Schwabe, Johannes
2019
English
Universitätsbibliothek der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Schwabe, Johannes (2019): Role-taking theory and its application to interpersonal conflicts. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
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Abstract

How do people behave in interpersonal interactions? And why do they behave the way they do? In this thesis, I present a novel social-cognitive account of role-taking explaining how fixed positions affect our emotions, thoughts, and behavior in interactions. The basic notion of Role-Taking Theory (RTT) is that actors represent roles in form of mental schemata, and that role-taking activates the role-specific mental schema. In its application, Role-Taking Theory (RTT) was used to explain third-party reactions to conflicts. As a result, this thesis entails three manuscripts (MS) currently under review for publications: one theoretical (MS 1), and two empirical (MS 2&3). In the theoretical article, we explain the core premises of RTT, discuss RTT’s contributions over and above existing theory, apply RTT to interpersonal conflicts, and outline future directions. In the two empirical articles, we report first empirical tests of hypotheses deriving from RTT’s assumptions. In sum, the manuscripts provide answers to (1) how the number of constituting roles can be identified in any interpersonal interaction (MS 1&2), (2) how features of identified roles can be derived (MS 1–3), (3) how features of roles affect actors due to role-taking (MS 1–3), (4) why some actors take over certain roles in conflicts more frequently than others (MS 2), (5) why some actors benefit from taking over certain roles in conflicts more than others (MS 2), (6) why actors sometimes stick to roles even when this comes with costs (MS 1&3), and – ultimately – (7) how all these mechanisms tied to role-taking explain when and why interactions stabilize or destabilize. In a final chapter at the end of this thesis, the incremental contributions of these manuscripts over and above existing literature are discussed both in its novel theoretical rationale as well as in empirical insights. In sum, I argue that RTT’s universality and precision are apt for sustained empirical and theoretical work in the future. However, RTT is still in an early developmental stage, and thus, I prepare the next steps by analyzing the present state, outlining the most critical challenges in theory development, and identify the most promising directions for future research.