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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2003 Mar;29(3):382-92.

Confusions of self with close others.

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State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY, USA.


This article explores the cognitive underpinnings of interpersonal closeness in the theoretical context of "including other in the self" and, specifically, the notion of overlap between cognitive representations of self and close others. In each of three studies, participants first rated different traits for self, close others (e.g., romantic partner, best friend), and less close others (e.g., media personalities), followed by a surprise source recognition task (who was each trait rated for?). As predicted, in each study, there were more source confusions between traits rated for self and close others (e.g., a trait rated for self recalled as having been rated for the close other) than between self (or close others) and non-close others. Furthermore, several results suggest that the greater confusions between self and close others are due specifically to interpersonal closeness and not to greater familiarity or similarity with close others

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