A history of interdependence: Theory and research

Paul A.M. Van Lange*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Most of the intense experiences are inherently social. Whether we feel we need to help others because we empathize with their unfortunate situation; whether we feel an urge to make a somewhat hostile or insulting remark (to let the other pay for some past offense); whether we feel guilty that we have not helped a needy other person; whether we feel somewhat bad about ourselves because we violated a strong norms of decency... It is not hard to fill the entire first page with intense experiences that are inherently social. Traits such as agreeableness or extraversion are inherently social; emotions such as guilt and shame are inherently social; and norms such as helping the poor (responsibility), sharing benefits equally (fairness), or being nice to those who have been nice to you (reciprocity) are inherently social. Indeed, much of life unfolds in the context of dyadic or group interactions, numerous human traits have their origins in interpersonal experience, and the source of many powerful norms can be identified in the interdependent situations for which those norms provide good adaptations. It is hard to come to terms with phenomena such as human cooperation, conflict, or trust without some basic understanding of social interaction and interdependence among people.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of the History of Social Psychology
EditorsA.W. Kruglanski, W. Stroebe
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor and Francis AS
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781136668999, 9780203808498
ISBN (Print)9781848728684
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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