Larry Powell, Mark Hickson III, Jonathan H Amsbary, Virginia P Richmond and James C McCroskey
Previous research has reported that the “Drinking-Buddy” scale, a single question frequently used in political polls, could be interpreted as a single-item measure of para-social behavior as it related to interpersonal attraction. This study attempted to expand understanding of the concept by testing whether responses to the “Drinking Buddy” question was also related to several other interpersonal traits, i.e., authenticity, assertiveness and responsiveness. The participants were college students who voted in the 2012 election. They rated the candidates, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, as drinking buddies and then rated each of these candidates in terms of the perceived authenticity, assertiveness and responsiveness. It was hypothesized that participants’ ratings for each of these candidates’ traits would be higher for the candidate they chose as a drinking buddy, but that there should be no statistical differences between the ratings that the supporters of each candidate rated their own candidate. All of the directional hypotheses were supported for each of the three variables.