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Attraction, Discrepancy, and Responses to Psychological Treatment

Patton, Michael J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Counseling Effectiveness, Interpersonal Attraction, Psychological Studies, Psychotherapy


Counseling and psychotherapy can be construed and analyzed as a social influence process. To test predictions derived from balance theory, the effects of positive vs. negative interpersonal attraction and of communication similarity vs. discrepancy upon an S's responses to a counselor and to psychological treatment were investigated. Three male counselor-accomplices interviewed 72 male Ss. In a laboratory situation made manifestly similar to that of psychological treatment, a client's responses to a counselor who attempts to modify his behavior are seen to be contingent both upon how personally attracted the client is to his counselor, and on how congruent their discussion is with the client's prior expectations.

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