Social Behaviour

  • Michael Argyle
Part of the Psychology for Professional Groups book series


We start by presenting the social skill model of social behaviour, and an account of sequences of social interaction. This model is very relevant to our later discussion of social skills and how these can be trained. The chapter then goes on to discuss the elements of social behaviour, both verbal and non-verbal, and emphasize the importance and different functions of non-verbal signals. The receivers of these signals have to decode them, and do so in terms of emotions and impressions of personality; we discuss some of the processes and some of the main errors of person perception. The sender can manipulate the impression he creates by means of ‘self-presentation’. The processes of social behaviour, and the skills involved, are quite different in different social situations, and we discuss recent attempts to analyse these situations in terms of their main features, such as rules and goals.


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Annotated reading

  1. Argyle, M. (1978) The Psychology of Interpersonal Behaviour (3rd edn). Harmondsworth: Penguin. Covers the field of the chapter, and related topics at Penguin level.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© The British Psychological Society 1981

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  • Michael Argyle

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