Role Performance and Person Perception: Toward an Interactions Approach

Paul Colomy, Gary D Rhoades

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines and critiques the manner in which one strand of attribution theory has addressed the relationship between role performances and person perception. An interactionist approach is formulated as an alternative, and an experiment is designed to test its viability. The experiment supports our hypothesis that the informational value of “in‐role” performances is similar to the informational value of “out‐of‐role” performances, and that neither type of performance is consistently more informative than the other. Further, it is suggested that the informational value of role performances is not adequately explained by the in‐role/out‐of‐role dichotomy. The interactionist conception of role, combined with a notion of informal role types, provides a more accurate understanding of role performance and person perception. 1983 Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-227
Number of pages21
JournalSymbolic Interaction
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Role Performance and Person Perception: Toward an Interactions Approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this