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Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness


Instructions to Subjects Included With Task Slips Packet

This is a study of interpersonal closeness, and your task, which we think will be quite enjoyable, is simply to get close to your partner. We believe that the best way for you to get close to your partner is for you to share with them and for them to share with you. Of course, when we advise you about getting close to your partner, we are giving advice regarding your behavior in this demonstration only, we are not advising you about your behavior outside of this demonstration.

In order to help you get close we've arranged for the two of you to engage in a kind of sharing game. You're sharing time will be for about one hour, after which time we ask you to fill out a questionnaire concerning your experience of getting close to your partner.

You have been given three sets of slips. Each slip has a question or a task written on it. As soon as you both finish reading these instructions, you should begin with the Set I slips. One of you should read aloud the first slip and then BOTH do what it asks, starting with the person who read the slip aloud. When you are both done, go on to the second slip--one of you reading it aloud and both doing what it asks. And so forth.

As you go through the slips, one at a time, please don't skip any slips-do each in order. If it asks you a question, share your answer with your partner. Then let him or her share their answer to the same question with you. If it is a task, do it first, then let your partner do it. Alternate who reads aloud (and thus goes first) with each new slip.

You will be informed when to move on to the next set of slips. It is not important to finish all the slips in each set within the time allotted. Take plenty of time with each slip, doing what it asks thoroughly and thoughtfully.

You may begin! Turn to Set I, slip 1.

Task Slips for Closeness-Generating Procedure

Set I

  1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
  2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
  3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
  4. What would constitute a "perfect" day for you?
  5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
  6. If you were able to live to the age of90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
  7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
  8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
  9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
  10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
  11. Take 4 minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
  12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

Set II

  1. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future, or anything else, what would you want to know?
  2. Is there something that you've dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven't you done it?
  3. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
  4. What do you value most in a friendship?
  5. What is your most treasured memory?
  6. What is your most terrible memory?
  7. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
  8. What does friendship mean to you?
  9. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
  10. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of 5 items.
  11. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people's?
  12. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?


  1. Make 3 true "we" statements each. For instance 'We are both in this room feeling ... "
  2. Complete this sentence: "I wish I had someone with whom I could share ... "
  3. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
  4. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time saying things that you might not say to someone you've just met.
  5. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
  6. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
  7. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
  8. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
  9. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven't you told them yet?
  10. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save anyone item. What would it be? Why?
  11. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
  12. Share a personal problem and ask your partner's advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

Task Slips for Small-Talk Condition in Study 1

Set I

  1. When was the last time you walked for more than an hour? Describe where you went and what you saw.
  2. What was the best gift you ever received and why?
  3. If you had to move from California where would you go, and what would you miss the most about California?
  4. How did you celebrate last Halloween?
  5. Do you read a newspaper often and which do you prefer? Why?
  6. What is a good number of people to have in a student household and why?
  7. If you could invent a new flavor of ice cream, what would it be?
  8. What is the best restaurant you've been to in the last month that your partner hasn't been to? Tell your partner about it.
  9. Describe the last pet you owned.
  10. What is your favorite holiday? Why?
  11. Tell your partner the funniest thing that ever happened to you when you were with a small child.
  12. What gifts did you receive on your last birthday?

Set II

  1. Describe the last time you went to the zoo.
  2. Tell the names and ages of your family members, include grandparents, aunts and uncles, and where they were born (to the extent you know this information).
  3. One of you say a word, the next say a word that starts with the last letter of the word just said. Do this until you have said 50 words. Any words will do-you aren't making a sentence.
  4. Do you like to get up early or stay up late? Is there anything funny that has resulted from this?
  5. Where are you from? Name all of the places you've lived.
  6. What is your favorite class at UCSC so far? Why?
  7. What did you do this summer?
  8. What gifts did you receive last Christmas/Hanukkah?
  9. Who is your favorite actor of your own gender? Describe a favorite scene in which this person has acted.
  10. What was your impression of UCSC the first time you ever came here?
  11. What is the best TV show you've seen in the last month that your partner hasn't seen? Tell your partner about it.
  12. What is your favorite holiday? Why?


  1. Where did you go to high school? What was your high school like?
  2. What is the best book you've read in the last three months that your partner hasn't read? Tell your partner about it.
  3. What foreign country would you most like to visit? What attracts you to this place?
  4. Do you prefer digital watches and clocks or the kind with hands? Why?
  5. Describe your mother's best friend.
  6. What are the advantages and disadvantages of artificial Christmas trees?
  7. How often do you get your hair cut? Where do you go? Have you ever had a really bad haircut experience?
  8. Did you have a class pet when you were in elementary school? Do you remember the pet's name?
  9. Do you think left-handed people are more creative than right-handed people?
  10. What is the last concert you saw? How many of that band's albums do you own? Had you seen them before? Where?
  11. Do you subscribe to any magazines? Which ones? What have you subscribed to in the past?
  12. Were you ever in a school play? What was your role? What was the plot of the play? Did anything funny ever happen when you were on stage?



Set I

  • Potendo invitare chiunque al mondo, chi vorresti come ospite per cena?

  • Vorresti essere famoso? In che modo?

  • Prima di fare una telefonata, fai le prove di quello che dirai? Perché?

  • Come sarebbe il tuo giorno “perfetto”?

  • Quando hai cantato l’ultima volta? Quando l’hai fatto l’ultima volta per qualcun altro?

  • Se potessi vivere fino a 90 anni e mantenere o il corpo o la mente di un trentenne per gli ultimi 60 anni della tua vita, cosa sceglieresti? Mente o corpo?

  • Hai un’idea di come morirai?

  • Dimmi tre cose che tu e il tuo partner sembrate avere in comune.

  • Di quale aspetto della tua vita ti senti più grato?

  • Se potessi cambiare qualcosa del modo in cui sei stato cresciuto, cosa cambieresti?

  • Prenditi quattro minuti e racconta al tuo partner la storia della tua vita col maggior numero di dettagli possibili.

    • Se potessi svegliarti domani e avere ottenuto una qualità o un’abilità, quale sarebbe?

Set II

  • Se una sfera di cristallo ti potesse dire la verità riguardo a te stesso, la tua vita, il futuro o qualsiasi altra cosa, cosa vorresti sapere?

  • C’è qualcosa che sogni di fare da tantissimo tempo? Perché non l’hai fatta?

  • Quale è il più grande risultato della tua vita?

  • Che cosa è più importante per te in un’amicizia?

  • Quale è il tuo ricordo più importante?

  • Quale è il tuo ricordo più brutto?

  • Se sapessi che tra un anno morirai improvvisamente, che cosa cambieresti del modo in cui vivi? Perché?

  • Che cosa significa l’amicizia per te?

  • Che ruoli hanno amore e affetto nella tua vita?

  • A turni alternati, racconta qualcosa che consideri una caratteristica positiva del tuo partner. Racconta un totale di cinque cose.

  • Quando vicina e affettuosa è la tua famiglia. Consideri la tua infanzia più felice di quella della maggior parte delle altre persone?

  • Come ti senti riguardo alla tua relazione con tua madre?


  • Raccontate ognuno tre cose che vi riguardano entrambi. Ad esempio: «In questo momento entrambi ci sentiamo...».

  • Finisci questa frase: «vorrei avere qualcuno con cui condividere...»

  • Se dovessi diventare un amico intimo del tuo partner, racconta cosa sarebbe importante che lei o lui sapesse.

  • Di’ al tuo partner che cosa ti piace di loro; sii molto onesto, e di’ cose che non diresti a qualcuno che hai appena incontrato.

  • Racconta al tuo partner un momento imbarazzante della tua vita.

  • Quando è l’ultima volta che hai pianto di fronte a un’altra persona? E da solo?

  • Di’ al tuo partner qualcosa che già ti piace di lui o lei.

  • C’è qualcosa su cui per te non si può scherzare?

  • Se dovessi morire stasera senza modo di comunicare con nessuno, che cosa saresti più pentito di non aver detto a qualcuno? Perché non gliel’hai detto?

  • La tua casa, con dentro tutto quello che possiedi, prende fuoco. Dopo aver salvato i tuoi cari e i tuoi animali, hai tempo per un’ultima corsa per salvare un singolo oggetto. Che cosa sarebbe e perché?

  • Di tutte le persone nella tua famiglia, la morte di quale persona ti farebbe soffrire di più? Perché?

  • Condividi un problema personale e chiedi al tuo partner consigli su come lei o lui lo affronterebbe. Chiedi al tuo partner di riflettere su come tu ti senti riguardo al problema che hai scelto.

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