Kiesler, D. J. - The Interpersonal Force Field

The Structure of Concern Project compares many theoretical models from many disciplines to the Adizes PAEI model, arguing that they must all be reflecting the same underlying phenomenon. One concern structure model is described below.

Kiesler’s interpersonal circumplex model has roots in Timothy Leary’s work, introducing developmental consideration in the development of interpersonal style, interactive role identities and other aspects of self-definitions (Kiesler, 1983). Early in life, we situate ourselves on an interpersonal field bounded by an affliative dimension (love-hate, friendliness-hostility) and a control dimension (dominance-submission, high status-low status). Our interactions with others continually broadcast our claims of how close or intimate we wish to be with others, and how much dominance and control we are willing to assert. By pushing this self-presentation towards others over repeated interactions, we pull reinforcing and validating responses from interactants. This constant push-pull interplay is described be Kiesler as an interpersonal force field.

Like Leary’s model, sixteen ‘interpersonal claims’ are defined, within the two dimensions of affiliation and control. Each claim has a normal and a pathological expression. They are listed below by dimensional quadrant in PAEI order:

1. Kiesler, D. J. (1983). “The 1982 Interpersonal Circle: A taxonomy for complementarity in human transactions.” Psychological Review, 90, 185-214.
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