Personal construct similarity and friendship
Two sets of literature are reviewed: firstly, a detailed review isgiven of ideas and indices derived from Kelly's Personal Construct Theory and of their use in research on interpersonal relationships and secondly, a more selective review of the interpersonal attraction literature is presented. Duck's (1973;1977) filter model of friendship, which forms the focus of this research, is then discussed. Five studies are reported. All were concerned with the relationship between friendship and similarity of personal construct content. The positions, within the proposed filter sequence, of similarity of personal construct organisation and structure, were also of primary interest. Other concerns were to investigate the relative importance in friendship of construct similarity, attitude and value similarity, and the meaning-fulness of others' constructs; to compare superordinate and subordinate construct similarity; to assess the effects of using different measures of content similarity; and to investigate sex and age differences. Friends were generally found to he relatively similar in terms of construct content, organisation and structure hut their constructs were not more meaningful and nor was there any evidence of friends having similar attitudes or values. It is suggested, on the basis of the findings relating construct content similarity to friendship, that the strength and nature of this relationship depends on the nature of the group e.g. on its homogeneity and centrality in the lives of its members. Superordinate similarity was found to he more strongly associated with established friendship than subordinate similarity. Some sex differences were found e.g. in the type of content similarity associated with friendship. The last chapter discusses the problems of specifying the filter sequence, the filter model from a Kellian perspective, and the importance of the social context of relationships. Suggestions for future research are made which emphasise the need to tap people's constructs of relationships.