Navigating interdependent social situations

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


Interdependence is a fundamental characteristic of social situations. Yet, in everyday life, people rarely have direct knowledge of their interdependence with others—i.e., knowledge about how their own and others’ decisions influence desired outcomes. Prior experimental research has often provided participants with objective information about their interdependence and/or neglected to measure how people think about their interdependence in a situation. Here, we discuss two models of objective differences in interdependent situations and then outline three theoretical approaches to understanding how people form interdependence perceptions: an experiential learning approach, a mental templates approach, and functional interdependence theory. We then review recent innovations in the measurement of interdependence perceptions across various situations. We describe how these theoretical approaches and measures can be used to investigate (a) the cues that people use to infer interdependence, (b) the common forms of interdependence people experience in their daily lives, (c) the importance of future interdependence and biased inferences, and (d) the role of personality in shaping how people think about interdependence. Finally, we discuss how recent research on interdependence perceptions can be integrated with existing empirical findings on taxonomies of psychological situations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Psychological Situations
EditorsD. Funder, J. Rauthmann, R. Sherman
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780190263348
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2017


FundersFunder number
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme635356


    • interdependence
    • situations
    • Conflict
    • Power
    • Cooperation


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