• Kristina Ražauskaitė-Pilipavičienė Vytautas Magnus University
  • Kristina Žardeckaitė-Matulaitienė Vytautas Magnus University
Keywords: dyad, dominance, romantic couple, same-sex friends, interpersonal interactions


Background. Dominance can be found in every dyadic relationship including romantic couples, friendships or business partnership. Even though research confirms that men tend to have more power than woman not only in romantic relationships, but also in friendships. However, some scholars doubt that men’s dominance and women’s submissiveness are just an established stereotype. Thus, more information about gender differences in power distribution in different types of dyads (friends and romantic) during interpersonal interaction is needed.

Aim.The aim of this study was to assess the differences in male and female dominance during the interpersonal interaction considering the types of dyads (same-sex friendships or heterosexual romantic partners).

Participants. 36 dyads participated in this study, which consisted of male friends’ dyads (N = 12), female friends’ dyads (N = 12), and heterosexual romantic couples (N =12). The participants aged between 18 and 31 years old with a mean age of 22 years old (SD = 2.23).

Method. The study consisted of two stages. In the first stage, the participants were asked some questions about themselves and their relationship, and were invited to participate in the experiment. All of the participants were informed about the terms of experiment (usage of video record) and were able to express their willingness
to participate in this study in written form. The second stage of the research was a quasi-experiment. During this stage participants, i.e. friends and romantic partners’ dyads, played the game “Jenga” for about 20 minutes.

Results, conclusion. It was found that women tend to dominate more than men during the interpersonal interaction in general and in romantic couples. No differences in dominance were found comparing female friends’ and male friends’ dyads. However, more dominance was found in heterosexual romantic couples comparing to the male and female friends’ dyads.


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