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Lecture 20

PSYC 333 Lecture Notes - Lecture 20: Psychology Today, Positive Illusions, Self-Image

Course Code
PSYC 333
Jennifer Bartz

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PSYC333 Lecture 20 - Apr. 5
Relationship Illusions
Adult Attachment:
Mental models of close relationships
Contain information about whether the self is worthy of love and affection
Whether others are trustworthy and reliable
“Interpretative filters” through which new relationships are meaningfully understood and construed
Based on early experiences with caregivers but incorporate new relationship experiences (i.e., can change)
Individual differences
Secure, anxious, avoidant
General and relationship-specific models…
What is available can be primed
Gender & Relationship-Specific Attachment (Baldwin et al, 1996):
Contextual Activation of Attachment:
Primed warm/supportive vs critical/judgmental relationship models vs control
Women imagine themselves with unplanned pregnancy
Attachment models should reduce distress
Those primed with warm/supportive other experienced less distress and more active coping
Responses independent of chronic attachment
Attachment models chronic and contextually activated
What matters is what model is activated now
Prime Words:
Helpful, Supportive, Caring, Accepting, Loving
Critical, Nagging, Rejecting, Hurtful, Distant
Idealization and the Construction of Satisfaction in Close Relationships:
We regularly see virtues in our partner’s faults
Is idealization the key to happiness?
Or does it leave people vulnerable to dashed hopes and expectations
Positive illusions about the self critical to adjustment and mental health
Are such illusions similarly adaptive for romantic relationships?
What you have
Idea perceptions
Your own unique standard for an ideal (not cultural standard)
How you would most prefer your current partner to be

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Partner perceptions
What you believe your partner has
Perception is a Process of Social Construction:
Do actors’ impression of partner = partner self-perceptions? (“reality matching”)
Do actors view their partner’s more positively than their partner’s view of themselves?
Do actor’s unique, idealized constructions of partner predict greater satisfaction?
Interpersonal Qualities:
Kind and affectionate
Open and disclosing
Critical and judgmental
Basic Model:
Paths b and c significant:
Impressions of partner reflect partner’s impressions of themselves
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