Pseudounilaterality, simple-rate variables, and other ills to which interaction research is heir

Starkey Duncan, Barbara G. Kanki, Hartmut Mokros, Donald W. Fiske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Notes that much of nonverbal-communication research has been concerned with the use of various actions, such as gaze and gestures, by participants in interaction as indices of the participant's more permanent characteristics or transient internal states. These data have typically been gathered either by counting the frequency of the action in question or by timing its duration. Accompanying actions by the partner in this interaction are rarely considered. Ignoring relevant actions by the partner may introduce substantial error in the results and consequently in an interpretation of the results. The authors have termed this error "pseudounilaterality." An approach to dealing with this problem is proposed, which is then used to analyze data taken from previous work by the 1st and last authors (1977) and based on transcriptions of 16 2-person, male-female conversations. (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1335-1348
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1984
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • pseudounilaterality in research on nonverbal communication, adult dyads


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