One thing I find concerning in the social skills literature is that rarely are long-term outcomes such as friendship assessed. It is important for individuals to learn how to initiate with peers and respond appropriately in a conversation, but if they cannot generalize these skills and develop new friendships what is the point?

Expand full comment

Jesse, thanks for commenting.

The choice of dependent variables in studies can create some concerns, indeed. In studies of social interaction, there are many potential outcomes on which to focus: initiations, responses (one of multiple), duration, quality, and more. Decisions about what to measure are compounded by concerns about the trustworthiness of the measures, too. And then there’s also concerns about the circumstances under which the outcomes are measured: immediately, over extended periods of time (“maintenance”), in novel situations (e.g., different people or settings).

One of the good things about meta-analytic procedures is that one can examine different benefits. Your comment, in my view, suggests a worthwhile research question for meta-analysis. Do interventions cause better outcomes according to different measures? Do some interventions produce better outcomes than others depending on the dependent variables examined?

Expand full comment