The APRACE: Six Components of Social Interactions

Hoppler, Sarah Susanna. The APRACE: Six Components of Social Interactions. 2022, Doctoral Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Psychology.


Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/89986/

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In the pursuit to advance research on situations of social interactions, this dissertation comprises the creation of a taxonomy of social interactions and its application to two research issues, both concerning subjective well-being in social interactions and age differences. For the development of the hierarchical taxonomy of social interactions, an integrative method of combining a bottom-up data-based approach and a top-down approach integrating existing empirical and theoretical literature was employed. The resulting taxonomy consists of the six components Actor, Partner, Relation, Activities, Context, and Evaluation (APRACE), each divided into features at three lower hierarchical levels. In order to confirm the comprehensiveness and generalizability, the APRACE taxonomy was implemented in another dataset. In addition to this theoretical contribution to social interaction research, the APRACE is intended to be a flexible measurement tool to assess social interactions.
In the first application study with the APRACE as a measurement tool, the features of the social interactions were transformed in closed questions to investigate age differences in satisfying social interactions. Evidence was found that older adults are more likely to experience social interactions associated with high levels of subjective well-being than are younger adults. Emotion and control-related features were critical, which indicates that older adults employ early-stage emotion regulation strategies, such as situation selection. Almost no evidence was found for the use of late-stage regulation strategies in older adults insofar as they did not process social information differently from younger adults when they were already in a certain social interaction. Nevertheless, in general there was high comparability in the social worlds of younger and older adults.
In the second application study, to examine whether descriptions of social interactions portray subjective well-being, they were analyzed by coding social-interaction features of the APRACE. The results of two studies indicated that the Partner component is the most important in reflecting situational well-being. The (non)mention of the Partner component differentiated between low and high subjective well-being in social interactions and was moderated by valence and age. Almost no other components were associated with situational well-being. This finding can be interpreted in terms of the fundamental need to belong in that the (non)focus on the interaction partner strengthens and protects the social bond. Further, it supports the recent theoretical argument that other people might be the most important situations for us.
In sum, this cumulative dissertation provides the APRACE, an approach to depict social interactions holistically and parsimoniously. The APRACE offers not only a common language for communication about social interactions but also a measurement tool for their systematic assessment. Hence, the APRACE might stimulate diverse research on social interactions and open variform applications in practice.
Advisors:Nikitin, Jana and Grob, Alexander
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Ehemalige Einheiten Psychologie > Entwicklungs- und Persönlichkeitspsychologie (Nikitin)
UniBasel Contributors:Nikitin, Jana and Grob, Alexander
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Doctoral Thesis
Thesis no:14799
Thesis status:Complete
Number of Pages:VI, 215
Identification Number:
  • urn: urn:nbn:ch:bel-bau-diss147990
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:05 Oct 2022 04:30
Deposited On:04 Oct 2022 10:50

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