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



Date nights under $50

ACCORDING to The Bachelor falling in love involves helicopter rides, private jets, shopping trips, and we mustn’t forget the hot tubs.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Insider’s guide to the best rooftop bars

Eleven Rooftop Bar is one to put on your hit list.

SEE the world from a different perspective...

Where to get your hands on the best wings

Try out these bad boys at Buffalo Bar.

IS THERE anything better than a wicked bowl of chicken wings? Nope.

GPs leaving Bundy for better pay ... an hour away

DOCTOR SHORTAGE: Gaye Howie, Melinda Dexter, Jareena Godugu and Hayley Brookes, outside the Family Practice Medical Centre, will lose their jobs if the clinic closes.

Clinic will close in a month due to bizarre system

Man admits stalking, assaulting, having sex with girl, 14

OBSESSED STALKER: The then-19-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victim, spied on her at school before luring her to a park late at night and assaulting her.

Stalker had 30cm pig knife, zip ties, balaclava, lube in backpack

Investors eyeing off Bundy

REAL ESTATE: Real estate in Bundaberg is moving ahead.

Smaller Bundaberg properties proving a winner

Local Partners

MOVIE REVIEW: King Arthur - Legend of the Sword

Why the critics have got Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur all wrong.

Concert death toll revised up to 22, tour suspended

There have been multiple confirmed deaths after 'explosions' heard at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

"We saw blood on people when we got outside."

Casual Keanu says fame is ‘cool’

Keanu Reeves in a scene from the movie John Wick: Chapter 2.

NOBODY expected much of John Wick when it was released in 2014.

She's a really 'cool cow' - and she's a winner

Oakwood Zone Out with Lauren Kelly, Oakwood Black Sable with Paul Forman and 2017 Miss Gympie Showgirl Wendy Ward.

Bundy cow Oakwood Black Sable takes out top gong at Gympie Show.

Ariana Grande breaks her silence after fatal blast

According to reports quoting witnesses, a mass emergency evacuation was prompted after explosions were heard at the end of US singer Ariana Grande's concert in the arena.

The entertainment industry is in shock after attack on concert

Pitch Perfect star suing Woman’s Day over ‘liar’ articles

Actor Rebel Wilson outside court on Friday.

REBEL Wilson's career destroyed by grubby campaign, court hears.

Seven Year Switch: The boner to end all boners

Johnny’s outraged over claims he has a cracked boner.

She gulps. Her face says it all.

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!