Interpersonal complementarity and affect in daily life

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current study examines the associations between interpersonal complementarity and affective reactions during social interactions in daily life, as well as contextual moderators of these associations. This research aims to understand how satisfaction/frustration of interpersonal motives (operationalized as interpersonal complementarity) impacts affect, using Contemporary Integrative Interpersonal Theory as a guiding framework. Participants (N = 227) rated actor and partner agency and communion in interpersonal interactions in 6 prompted surveys per day for 21 days. Results suggested that communal and agentic complementarity was associated with more positive affect valence, though this association was stronger for communal complementarity. Additionally, agentic complementarity impacted affect in cold interactions, while communal complementarity impacted affect in warm interactions, indicating that there are potentially more agentic motives driving cold interactions and communal motives driving warm interactions. An increase in communal complementarity was associated with an increase in affect arousal, while an increase in agentic complementarity was associated with a decrease in affect arousal, indicating affect arousal may communicate something other than satisfaction/frustration of motives. The moderating role of type of interaction partner was also explored. Overall, the results of this study support fundamental assumptions of Contemporary Integrative Interpersonal Theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMotivation and Emotion
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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