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Relational Models and Horizontal & Vertical Individualism-Collectivism:
Unformatted Document Text:  Relational Models 21 anecdotal evidence that many foreigners coming to the U.S. have a hard time distinguishing between acquaintances and friends in the U.S. They frequently interpret the behavior of Americans as indicating friendship and implying a greater level of commitment and obligation when Americans intent only acquaintanceship. In addition, the observation that the main difference between acquaintances and friends is the level of intimacy rather than any other qualitative differences in attitudes and behaviors is consistent with many models of relational development, such as Knapp & Vangelisti’s (1992) stage model or Altman & Taylor’s (1973) social penetration theory. Results from this study suggest that they might be unique to U.S. culture rather than universal to interpersonal relationships in all cultures. In addition to finding that culture has an important effect on how persons perceive of their interpersonal relationships, results of this study also provide some evidence that some aspects of interpersonal relationships might be universal. For both American and Singaporean respondents, intimacy in interpersonal relationships was positively correlated with a greater role of CS in these relationships. This suggests that the use of CS in relationships has emotional and cognitive outcomes in the form of feelings of warmth and connectedness and perceptions of closeness and interdependence that occur independently of culture. This does not mean, however, that all effects of relational models are independent of culture. As results from this study have showed, culture did interact with relationship type in determining the relationship between MP and intimacy, and EM and intimacy, respectively. Whereas Americans reported a negative correlation between intimacy and use of MP only in friendships, Singaporeans reported that correlation only in acquaintances. Similarly, whereas Americans reported more intimacy in acquaintanceships with more EM, Singaporeans reported that correlation only in their friendships.

Authors: Koerner, Ascan.
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Relational Models
21
anecdotal evidence that many foreigners coming to the U.S. have a hard time distinguishing
between acquaintances and friends in the U.S. They frequently interpret the behavior of
Americans as indicating friendship and implying a greater level of commitment and
obligation when Americans intent only acquaintanceship. In addition, the observation that
the main difference between acquaintances and friends is the level of intimacy rather than
any other qualitative differences in attitudes and behaviors is consistent with many models
of relational development, such as Knapp & Vangelisti’s (1992) stage model or Altman &
Taylor’s (1973) social penetration theory. Results from this study suggest that they might
be unique to U.S. culture rather than universal to interpersonal relationships in all cultures.
In addition to finding that culture has an important effect on how persons perceive of
their interpersonal relationships, results of this study also provide some evidence that some
aspects of interpersonal relationships might be universal. For both American and
Singaporean respondents, intimacy in interpersonal relationships was positively correlated
with a greater role of CS in these relationships. This suggests that the use of CS in
relationships has emotional and cognitive outcomes in the form of feelings of warmth and
connectedness and perceptions of closeness and interdependence that occur independently
of culture. This does not mean, however, that all effects of relational models are
independent of culture. As results from this study have showed, culture did interact with
relationship type in determining the relationship between MP and intimacy, and EM and
intimacy, respectively. Whereas Americans reported a negative correlation between
intimacy and use of MP only in friendships, Singaporeans reported that correlation only in
acquaintances. Similarly, whereas Americans reported more intimacy in acquaintanceships
with more EM, Singaporeans reported that correlation only in their friendships.


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