Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation


Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation is a theory of interpersonal relations, which attempts to explain interpersonal dynamics in a group setting. Introduced by William Schutz in 1958, the Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation posits that individuals, when functioning as a member of a group, are attempting to satisfy the following needs:

1. Affection/openness
2. Control
3. Inclusion

Schutz devised a method to measure behavioural aspects of these needs that would grade behaviours on a scale from 0-9 in terms of whether and to what degree behaviours were expressed and/or wanted. Expressed behaviours were those behaviours which individuals would perform on others and wanted behaviours were behaviours that the individual wanted others to apply to him/her. For example, “expressed inclusion” was used to describe a case where the individual initiated interaction with others and “wanted inclusion” was used to describe a case where an individual wanted to be included by others. “Expressed control” was used to describe the case where an individual wanted to control others and “wanted control” was to describe the case where an individual wanted to be controlled by others. Finally, “expressed affection” was used to describe a case in which an individual tried to be close and personal with others and “wanted affection” was used to describe the case in which an individual wanted others to be close with him or her.
Schutz then assigned names to score ranges an individual might receive on the test. For example, a person who had low expressiveness and low wanting of inclusion was termed “the loner” whereas someone expressing high expressiveness and moderate wanting were termed “the conversationalist.”



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