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Basic Procedure
Index to Interact Help


Interact  helps you analyze social interactions. You identify the people who are present. The computer program reports what kinds of behaviors might occur as the people create new events in order to affirm notions of who they are. The program also indicates what emotions the people might feel, and how the people might change their views of each other as a result of actions. Millions of social encounters can be examined with Interact.

Interact results are derived from measurements of culture and a computer model based on affect control theory. References to printed literature regarding affect control theory are provided at the ACT Web Site.

Interact's Structure

Interact is written in the Java computer language for access over the Internet. When your World Wide Web browser gets to the Interact web page, the program is downloaded and begins running on your computer. 

The program consists of a series of forms that appear within the browser's window. Menus in a darkened strip at the top of the Interact dispay let you work with the forms. One menu is the Help menu, which you already may have used to arrive at this page.

The Forms menu provides movement from one program screen to another.

Researchers using Interact can obtain particular kinds of output and start special processes with the Select options form.
The Explore a self form implements a branch of affect control theory dealing with how individuals choose identities in order to actualize their self-sentiments.
Selecting Define Interactants allows you to name individuals in the social interaction that you are analyzing, to choose each interactant's gender, and to choose the face for showing that interactant's expressions of emotion.
Define situation takes you to the opening screen, where you specify how each interactant defines the situation.
Define events takes you to a screen where you specify events that each interactant experiences.
Analyze events is a screen showing emotions, behavioral responses, and possible reconceptualizations that interactants might have during events.
The Find concepts screen allows you to search for identities, behaviors, emotions, traits, and settings that have a particular affective tone.
Feeling effects is a form allowing you to analyze how moods and emotions influence perceptions of interactants, and their behaviors.
View equations allows you to examine the mathematical basis of Interact's computations.
Import/Export lets you add new data to the existing dictionaries. You also can use this form to move Interact repositories of data elsewhere on your computer.
The View report form provides a record of analyses that you have done.

The Complexity menu determines how much detail is offered.

bullet The Basiclevel focuses on the essential factors involved in a social interaction according to affect control theory. Is a female or male processing the sentiments involved in social interaction? What identities are seen as relevant for the interactants? What behaviors occur? What emotions result?
bullet The Advanced level brings in additional considerations that are involved in social interaction. Are interactants conscious of being in a particular setting? Do they attribute traits, moods, or status characteristics to one another? Do they re-interpret each others' identities depending on what events occur? Additionally the advanced level permits examining institutional gates on actions and labels.
    The Advanced level of operation also reveals the numbers arising in analyses and allows you to input different numbers. What are the numerical profiles for cultural sentiments? What profiles of numbers are computed by Interact as ideal templates for predicted behaviors, emotions, traits, or labelings? What is the distance from an ideal profile to an empirically measured sentiment profile? What is Interact's computed assessment of the likelihood of an event?

The Cultures menu allows you to conduct analyses with measurements of sentiments and equations obtained in nations other than the U.S.A.

Basic Procedure

An analysis involves these basic steps:

bullet Use the Define situation screen to define the situation from the viewpoint of each participant. At least one person's definition of the situation must be filled in before events can be defined and outcomes derived.
bullet Go to the Define events screen to define how participants act on each other. You identify the actor and the object person in each event, plus optionally the action. (When an action is unspecified, Interact searches for an optimal action.) An event must be specified before outcomes can be derived.
bullet Go to the Analyze events screen to examine event consequences - possible emotions, behavior responses, attributions, and labelings. Results of earlier events are taken into account in analyzing later events.

Index to Other Interact Help

bullet Defining interactants.
bullet Defining people and situations.
bullet Defining events and social interactions.
bullet Seeing events' emotional, behavioral, and cognitive effects.
bullet Searching for concepts.
bullet Making inferences from moods and emotions.
bullet Examining impression-formation equations.
bullet Changing cultures.
bullet Importing external data.
bullet Getting reports on work you've done.
bullet Options in running Interact.
bullet Exploring self concepts.



1997, 2000, 2011
David Heise