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Lecture 20

Lecture 20 - Apr 5.doc

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McGill University
PSYC 333
Jennifer Bartz

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: • Warm/supportive: Helpful, Supportive, Caring, Accepting, Loving • • Critical/judgmental: • 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? • Self-perceptions 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 • Partner perceptions • What you believe your partner has Perception is a Process of Social Construction: Questions: • 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 • Patient Understanding • • Critical and judgmental • Extraverted • Witty • Traditional Basic Model: • Paths b and c significant: • Impressions of partner reflect partner’s impressions of themselves • Social reality/mirroring • Paths a and d significant and effect larger • Those who saw themselves in a positive light projected their rosy self-image onto their partner • But are impression mediated by ideals? Predicting Perceptions of Partner: • Reality paths: • Reflection of partner’s self-image (g,h) • Construction paths • Projection of own self image (e,j) • Projection of own (f,i) Satisfaction: • Projected illusions hypothesis (m&r) • Happy to the extent that you see your partner more positively than his/her perceptions justify • Reflected illusions hypothesis (o&p): • Happy to the extent that you partner idealizes you • That you’re valued and accepted despite your faults Why Might Illusions Sustain Relationship? • Buffering hypothesis Illusions help withstand inevitable negative relationship events • • Reflected appraisals hypothesis: • Individuals come to see themselves through their partner’s eyes (e.g., self-fulfilling prophecy) • Can test in longitudinal study • Transformation hypothesis • Link faults with virtues • Transform the negative and see it as positive Is Love Blind or Is It Prescient? • 116 dating couples • Assessed over 3 time points: • T1: baseline T2: 4-5 months later • • T3: 11-12 months later Buffering Effect of Men’s Illusions Predict Relationship Stability: • Men with low levels of illusion un
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