Tasks of interpersonal interaction

Chapter I. Interpersonal interaction

In terms of content, three main tasks of interpersonal interaction are considered: interpersonal perception and understanding of a person, the formation of interpersonal relationships and the provision of psychological impact.

The concept of “perception of a person by a person” is not enough for a complete knowledge of people. Subsequently, the concept of “human understanding” was added to it, which implies the connection to the process of human perception and other cognitive processes. The effectiveness of perception is associated with socio-psychological observation – a property of a person that allows her to capture subtle features in human behavior, but essential for his understanding.

The features of the perceiver depend on gender, age, nationality, temperament, health status, attitudes, communication experience, professional and personal characteristics, etc.

Emotional states differentiate with age. A person perceives the world around him through the prism of his national way of life. Successfully determine various mental states and interpersonal relationships those people who have a higher level of social intelligence, the object of knowledge is both the physical and social appearance of a person, the perception is fixed initially by the physical appearance, which includes physiological, functional and paralinguistic characteristics. Anatomical (somatic) features include height, head, etc. Physiological characteristics include breathing, blood circulation, sweating, etc. Functional features include posture, posture and gait, linguistic (non-verbal) features of communication include facial expressions, gestures, body movements. Unambiguous emotions are easy to differentiate, but mixed and unexpressed mental states are much more difficult to recognize. Social appearance implies social appearance, speech, paralinguistic, proxemic and activity characteristics. The social design of appearance (appearance) includes a person’s clothes, his shoes, singing and other accessories. Proxemic features of communication refer to the state between the communicants and their relative position. An example from fiction demonstrating the ability to determine the place of birth and profession by features is the professor of phonetics Higgins from the play Pygmalion. Extralinguistic features of speech suggest the originality of the voice, timbre, pitch, etc. When perceiving a person, social features, in comparison with the physical appearance, are the most informative.1

The process of human cognition includes mechanisms that distort ideas about the perceived, mechanisms of interpersonal cognition, feedback from the object and the conditions in which perception occurs. Mechanisms that distort the emerging image of the perceived limit the possibility of objective knowledge of people. The most significant of them are: the mechanism of primacy, or novelty (it boils down to the fact that the first impression of the perceived affects the subsequent formation of the image of the cognizable object); projection mechanism (transferring to people of the mental characteristics of the perceiver); the mechanism of stereotyping (attributing the perceived person to one of the types of people known to the subject); the mechanism of ethnocentrism (passing all information through a filter associated with the ethnic lifestyle of the perceiver).

For the perception of a person and his understanding, the subject unconsciously chooses various mechanisms of interpersonal cognition. The main mechanism is the interpretation (correlation) of the personal experience of cognition of people in general with the perception of this person. The mechanism of identification in interpersonal cognition is the identification of oneself with another person. The subject also uses the mechanism of causal attribution (attributing to the perceived certain motives and reasons that explain his actions and other features). The mechanism of reflection of another person in interpersonal cognition includes the subject’s awareness of how he is perceived by the object. With interpersonal perception and understanding of an object, there is a fairly strict order of functioning of the mechanisms of interpersonal cognition (from simple to complex).

In the course of interpersonal cognition, the subject takes into account the information coming to him through various sensory channels, indicating a change in the state of the communication partner. Feedback from the object of perception performs an informative and corrective function for the subject in the process of perceiving the object.

The conditions of perception of a person by a person include situations, time and place of communication. Reducing the time when perceiving an object reduces the ability of the perceiver to obtain sufficient information about it. With prolonged and close contact, evaluators begin to show condescension and favoritism.

Interpersonal relationships

Interpersonal relationships are an integral part of the interaction and are considered in its context. Interpersonal relationships are objectively experienced, to varying degrees, perceived relationships between people. They are based on a variety of emotional states of interacting people and their psychological characteristics. Unlike business relationships, interpersonal relationships are sometimes called expressive, emotional.

The development of interpersonal relationships is determined by gender, age, nationality and many other factors. Women have a much smaller social circle than men. In interpersonal communication, they feel the need for self-disclosure, the transfer of personal information about themselves to others. They often complain of loneliness (I. S. Kon). For women, the features that are manifested in interpersonal relationships are more significant, and for men, business qualities. In different national communities, interpersonal relationships are built taking into account the position of a person in society, gender and age status, belonging to different social strata, etc.1

The process of development of interpersonal relations includes the dynamics, the mechanism of regulation of interpersonal relations and the conditions for their development.

Interpersonal relations develop in dynamics: they are born, consolidated, reach a certain maturity, after which they can gradually weaken. The dynamics of the development of interpersonal relations goes through several stages: acquaintance, friendly, comradely and friendly relations. Acquaintances are carried out depending on the socio-cultural norms of society. Friendly relations form readiness for the further development of interpersonal relations. At the stage of comradely relations, there is a rapprochement of views and support for each other (it is not for nothing that they say “act like a comrade”, “comrade in arms”). Friendly relations have a common substantive content – a commonality of interests, goals of activity, etc. One can single out utilitarian (instrumental-business) and emotionally expressive (emotional-confessional) friendship (I. S. Kon).

The mechanism for the development of interpersonal relationships is empathy – the response of one person to the experiences of another. Empathy has several levels (N. N. Obozov). The first level includes cognitive empathy, which manifests itself in the form of understanding the mental state of another person (without changing one’s state). The second level involves empathy in the form of not only understanding the state of the object, but also empathizing with it, i.e. emotional empathy. The third level includes cognitive, emotional and, most importantly, behavioral components. This level involves interpersonal identification, which is mental (perceived and understood), sensual (empathetic) and active. There are complex hierarchical relationships between these three levels of empathy. Various forms of empathy and its intensity can be inherent in both the subject and the object of communication. A high level of empathy determines emotionality, responsiveness, etc.

The conditions for the development of interpersonal relationships significantly affect their dynamics and forms of manifestation. In urban areas, compared with rural areas, interpersonal contacts are more numerous, quickly start up and just as quickly interrupted. The influence of the time factor is different depending on the ethnic environment: in Eastern cultures, the development of interpersonal relations is, as it were, stretched out in time, while in Western cultures it is compressed and dynamic.

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