Hostility and Perceptions of Support in Ambiguous Social Interactions

Published in: Journal of Individual Differences, v. 27, no. 2, 2006, p. 108-115

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2005

by Ana-Maria Vranceanu, Linda C. Gallo, Laura M. Bogart

The present study investigated whether a social information processing bias contributes to the inverse association between trait hostility and perceived social support. A sample of 104 undergraduates (50 men) completed a measure of hostility and rated videotaped interactions in which a speaker disclosed a problem while a listener reacted ambiguously. Results showed that hostile persons rated listeners as less friendly and socially supportive across six conversations, although the nature of the hostility effect varied by sex, target rated, and manner in which support was assessed. Hostility and target interactively impacted ratings of support and affiliation only for men. At least in part, a social information processing bias could contribute to hostile persons' perceptions of their social networks

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