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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2007 Nov;93(5):751-63.

Agency and communion from the perspective of self versus others.

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Social Psychology Group, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.


On the basis of previous research, the authors hypothesize that (a) person descriptive terms can be organized into the broad dimensions of agency and communion of which communion is the primary one; (b) the main distinction between these dimensions pertains to their profitability for the self (agency) vs. for other persons (communion); hence, agency is more desirable and important in the self-perspective, and communion is more desirable and important in the other-perspective; (c) self-other outcome dependency increases importance of another person's agency. Study 1 showed that a large number of trait names can be reduced to these broad dimensions, that communion comprises more item variance, and that agency is predicted by self-profitability and communion by other-profitability. Studies 2 and 3 showed that agency is more relevant and desired for self, and communion is more relevant and desired for others. Study 4 showed that agency is more important in a close friend than an unrelated peer, and this difference is completely mediated by the perceived outcome dependency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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