Most efforts to learn about interpersonal behavior reflect a shared set of key commitments. These commitments, in turn, reflect the Cartesian framework with its split between person and world. Guided by the recent work of certain developmental psychologists interested in social interaction (e.g., Fogel, 1993; Kaye, 1985) and by an alternative philosophical perspective that regards the person's involvement in practical activities as fundamental (Heidegger, 1962; Merleau-Ponty, 1962; Wittgenstein, 1958), the author maps out the participatory model of interpersonal behavior. According to this model, interpersonal behaviors are viewed as a person's contributions to doing something with other people. The author considers the model's implications for research by clinical psychologists on problematic behavior patterns in adults and psychotherapy process. The author also considers implications of rejecting the Cartesian framework for methodological concerns about the role of interpretation in research on interpersonal behavior.
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