Social connectedness is the measure of how people come together and interact. At an individual level, social connectedness involves the quality and number of connections one has with other people in a social circle of family, friends, and acquaintances. Going beyond these individual-level concepts, it involves relationships with beyond one's social circles and even to other communities. This connectedness, one of several components of community cohesion, provides benefits to both individuals and society.
Population based surveys sometimes use qualitative questions to help understand the level of social connectedness in communities.
There are six components that have been shown to help a person determine the quality of his interactions and psychological-defined social connectedness with others:
- Duration of relationship
- Frequency of interaction with the other person
- Knowledge of the other person's goals
- Physical intimacy or closeness with the other person
- Self-disclosure to the other person
- Social network familiarity—how familiar is the other person with the rest of your social circle
A scale called the Personal Acquaintance Measure has been developed to help a person measure their connectedness with another individual.
- Quigley and Thornley, 2011
Further Reading & References
- Ambady, N., Hallahan, M., & Rosenthal, R. (1995). On judging and being judged accurately in zero-acquaintance situations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 518–529.
- Aron, A., Aron, E. N., & Smollan, D. (1992). Inclusion of Other in the Self Scale and the structure of interpersonal closeness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 596–612.
- Aron, A., Aron, E. N., Tudor, M., & Nelson, G. (1991). Close relationships as including other in the self. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 241–253.
- Biesanz, J. C., West, S. G., & Millevoi, A. (in press). What do you learn about someone over time? Acquaintanceship and the development of variable- and target-centered agreement in judgments of personality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
- Blackman, M. C., & Funder, D. C. (1998). The effect of information on consensus and accuracy in personality judgment. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 34, 164–181.
- Funder, D. C. (1995). On the accuracy of personality judgment: A realistic approach. Psychological Review, 102, 652–670.
- Funder, D. C., & Colvin, C. R. (1988). Friends and strangers: Acquaintanceship, agreement, and the accuracy of personality judgment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55, 149–158.
- Funder, D. C., & Colvin, C. R. (1991). Explorations in behavioral consistency: Properties of persons, situations, and behaviors. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 773–794.
- Gosling, S. D., Ko, S. J., Mannarelli, T., & Morris, M. E. (2002). A room with a cue: Personality judgments based on offices and bedrooms. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 379–398.
- Hall, J. A., & Veccia, E. M. (1990). More “touching” observations: New insights on men, women, and interpersonal touch. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59, 1155–1162.
- Helgeson, V. S., Shaver, P., & Dyer, M. (1987). Prototypes of intimacy and distance in same-sex and opposite-sex relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 4, 195–233.
- Kenny, D. A. (1991). A general model of consensus and accuracy in interpersonal perception. Psychological Review, 98, 155–163.
- Kolar, D. W., Funder, D. C., & Colvin, C. R. (1996). Comparing the accuracy of personality judgments by the self and knowledgeable others. Journal of Personality, 64, 311–337.
- Laurenceau, J.-P., Barrett, L. F., & Pietromonaco, P. R. (1998). Intimacy as an interpersonal process: The importance of self-disclosure, partner disclosure, and perceived partner responsiveness in interpersonal exchanges. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1238–1251.
- Laurenceau, J.-P., Rivera, L. M., Schaffer, A. R., & Pietromonaco, P. R. (2004). Intimacy as an interpersonal process: Current status and future directions. In D. J.Mashek & A.Aron (Eds.), Handbook of closeness and intimacy (pp. 61–78). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
- Levesque, M. J., & Kenny, D. A. (1993). Accuracy of behavioral predictions at zero acquaintance: A social relations analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 1178–1187.
- Paulhus, D. L., & Bruce, M. N. (1992). The effect of acquaintanceship on the validity of personality impressions: A longitudinal study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 816–824.
- Pronin, E., Kruger, J., Savtisky, K., & Ross, L. (2001). You don't know me, but I know you: The illusion of asymmetric insight. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 639–656.
- Putnam, R. (2000). Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster. 
- Quigley R and Thornley L (2011). Literature review on community cohesion and community severance: Definitions and indicators for transport planning and monitoring. Wellington: Quigley and Watts Ltd. 
- Starzyk, K. B., Holden, R. R., Fabrigar, L. R., & MacDonald, T. K. (2006). The Personal Acquaintance Measure: A tool for appraising one's acquaintance with any person. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 833-847.
- Taylor, D. A., & Altman, I. (1987). Communication in interpersonal relationships: Social penetration processes. In M. E.Roloff & G. R.Miller (Eds.), Sage annual reviews of communication research: Vol. 14. Interpersonal processes: New directions in communication research (pp. 257–277). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Wright, P. H. (1984). Self-referent motivation and the intrinsic quality of friendship. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 1, 115–130.
- Zebrowitz, L. A., & Collins, M. A. (1997). Accurate social perception at zero acquaintance: The affordances of a Gibsonian perspective. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 1, 203–222.