The circumplex structure of interpersonal sensitivities

Christopher J. Hopwood, Emily B. Ansell, Aaron L. Pincus, Aidan G.C. Wright, Mark R. Lukowitsky, Michael J. Roche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Previous research on aversive interpersonal behavior has provided limited links between interpersonal sensitivities and comprehensive models of personality and social behavior. Study 1 (N=1,336) of this article demonstrated that interpersonal sensitivities can be mapped onto the interpersonal circumplex and that people generally find others' behavior that is least similar to their own generally most aversive. In Study 2 (N=299), a broader array of correlates with interpersonal sensitivities was investigated, and results again suggested that interpersonal opposites are generally perceived as most aversive. Study 3 (N=315) specified romantic, platonic, or nonclose relationships and again found this pattern. Conceptualizing sensitivities with the interpersonal circumplex model permits investigators to distinguish general from specific kinds of sensitivity, allows for tests of the convergent and discriminant validity of interpersonal sensitivities, and integrates sensitivities into a well-established nomological net composed of multiple constructs relevant to social behavior and interpersonal dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)707-740
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Personality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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