News

Recognising shifting social rules the key to interaction

ROMANTIC, personal and professional relationships are fraught with danger, but a University of Queensland researcher has found the secret to interacting successfully with others in such settings.

A study co-authored by Professor Bill von Hippel from UQ's School of Psychology has found it is crucial to recognise when the rules of social engagement shift in order to get along well with others.

"Social situations are dynamic, and the ability to modify social behaviour in response to shifting dynamics is a hallmark of successful social functioning," Professor von Hippel said.

"Our findings suggest that simply having an understanding of appropriate behaviour is not enough to ensure social success.

"It is also necessary to be skillful at detecting social changes in the first place."

Professor von Hippel and recent UQ graduate Dr Richard Ronay, now Assistant Professor of Psychology at VU University, Amsterdam, developed a short computer game to measure a participant's ability to track when the rules of social engagement change.

In a series of experiments involving co-operative relationships between romantic partners and competitive interactions among MBA students, participants played a computer game in which they learned that some types of objects were typically more valuable than others.

Once participants learned that rule, the computer reversed it and then tested how quickly they noticed that the rule had changed.

Dr Ronay said the results showed that participants who noticed the rule change more quickly were also more socially successful.

"In the case of romantic relationships, this meant people had happier partners and were able to handle conflict with their partner more constructively; while competitive business students were more effective negotiators," he said.

Dr Ronay said performance on the game was unrelated to participant's IQ or their knowledge about how to manage emotions.

"The results suggest that the ability to recognise shifting rules reflects a component of social intelligence that can be used to pursue a variety of social goals, from romantic relationships to competitive negotiations, to the building of trust," he said.

This study is published online in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Topics:  psychology relationships



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

OPINION: It's time to stand up for the older people in our community

DON'T CARE: Closing beds at Millbank Village is ludicrous, says one reader.

What is happening with our health care system

Three news subscriptions and a free paper for $3 - saywhat?!

No Caption

FORGET everything you thought you knew about a great deal.

WIN a fishing trip, $5000 BCF voucher and get free stuff

Want to catch one of these big fellas!? Get your name into our competition to win the ultimate fishing holiday!

WERE running a stack of reely incredible giveaways!

Local Partners

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Buderim man strips off for speed dating with a twist

RAW AMBITION: Buderim local Jackson pictured with his blind date Candice in a scene from SBS's new dating show Undressed.

People have done stranger things for love

Sports gods answer your summer prayers with this line-up

The Brisbane Roar are on track for an entertaining season.

SO MUCH live action is happening in Brisbane this summer!

Matthew McConaughey wrongly used as medical example

Doctor tried to steal credit for McConaughey's hair treatment

Bundaberg market set for "steady growth” in 2017

CoreLogic property statistics reveal the region's median house price dropped 9.6% to $249,000 and the median unit price fell 10.2% to $260,500 in the September quarter.

Region's median house price drops 9.6% to $249,000 in three months

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Bundy hotel on the market for a cool $8.5m

FOR SALE: The Burnett Riverside Motel has gone on the market, with a price guide of more than $8 million.

Premier hotel up for sale for more than $8m

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!