Imagined Interactions

When people envision what will happen in upcoming conversations or recall details from prior conversations, these experiences represent imagined interactions (IIs). There are distinct features of IIs, including functions (or how people use IIs) and attributes (how people describe IIs). Because IIs represent intrapersonal experiences in social cognition, they are primarily assessed through self-report measures. II functions are measured at various levels of abstraction, including general tendencies and partner-specific levels. IIs can also be studied through interview or diary techniques. IIs have been related to various individual, relational, and situational communicative phenomena.

The purpose of this entry is to define IIs, review the features of IIs, highlight methodologies available for studying IIs, and summarize scholarly research on IIs. IIs are a form of social cognition and ...

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