Comment: This article presents a practical methodology for creating closeness. Here’s a New York Times article explaining its significance: To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This


Volume: 23 issue: 4, page(s): 363-377,  April 1, 1997

A practical methodology is presented for creating closeness in an experimental context. Whether or not an individual is in a relationship, particular pairings of individuals in the relationship, and circumstances of relationship development become manipulated variables. Over a 45-min period subject pairs carry out self-disclosure and relationship-building tasks that gradually escalate in intensity. Study 1 found greater postinteraction closeness with these tasks versus comparable small-talk tasks. Studies 2 and 3 found no significant closeness effects, inspite of adequate power, for (a) whether pairs were matched for nondisagreement on important attitudes, (b) whether pairs were led to expect mutual liking, or (c) whether getting close was made an explicit goal. These studies also illustrated applications for addressing theoretical issues, yielding provocative tentative findings relating to attachment style and introversion/extraversion.