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Lecture 5

PSYC 471 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Cortisol, Endocrine System, State Implementation Plan


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 471
Professor
Richard Koestner
Lecture
5

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PSYC 471
Lecture # 5
The last 2 classes and today we focused on how goals can astray and the problems we can have in goal
setting.
Focused on the difficulties of trying to maintain a restricted diet
Showed some evidence that it is not something we can control
Last class spoke about elite gymnastics and considered the possibility that this might be a case
of over-control, of exercising too much self-control and persisting in something that may
actually be leading to maladaptive outcomes rather than adaptive outcomes
Today:
Unrequited love
Interesting from a goal perspective because it introduces the issue of when do we decide that a
goal is unattainable and how do we get ourselves to disengage and reorient?
Slide # 3
Baumeister did research and tried to answer the question 'why does unrequited love occur?' and he
focused on how it is experienced by both people involved in the phenomenon.
He would suggest that most of us understand very well what it is like to be the pursuer and what
that experience is likelihood
He also thinks that the major problem and why unrequited love persists is because many of us
don't really know what it's like to be the person being pursued. And what a difficult and
uncomfortable role that is
The light he sheds on the role of the person being pursued is an interesting part of his book
Slide # 4
There are two people, one wants it to be an exclusive romantic relationship and the other person
is not interested in that.
The issue with unrequited love, it's not a problem if you like someone and they don't
reciprocate, the problem is only if we persists and behave in a way that shows the person
that we are persisting and we still want them to change there mind.
The behavioral persistence continues far too long.
Video of The Bachelor
Baumeister research shows that hwen we get into the role of the unrequited lover, we do
some of these crazy things too. We will ask the other person why don't you like me?
Why didn't you choose me? And we will persists.
It's actually the person doing the rejecting that is most worried about the other persons
feelings and they try to let them down gently.
The Bachelor lied, he should have said 'you frighten me' when asked why he didn't pick
her
Slide # 5/6
Baumeister study
Found that 95% could recall a detailed narrative of a powerful experience of unrequited love.
But in more than 50 % of the cases students had both types of experience – the pursuer + the

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pursued.
It was more common to be the person pursued that to be the pursuer
Having such a large % of students who had both kinds of experiences he decided to only use the
accounts from people who had both kinds of experiences
He would only analyse the narratives when people had been in the role of the would be lover
and the rejecter
By doing this: when we think of a persistent person we often think it is something about their
personality and may even think it is something pathological.
But by selecting students who had played both roles, it means that the groups of narratives
about being the one whose pursued is written by exactly the same people as the group of
narratives about the person doing the pursuing
So it is very balanced and takes the possibility that certain personality factors are driving
someone to be in the role of the pursuer versus the person who is pursued. It takes this
out of the equation.
Thus all the results are from the same group of people who are writing about their
experience in the 2 very different roles.
This makes it easy to talk about this as something that is role related rather than
personality related.
Slide # 7
The first question he wanted to look at was “why does it happen?” Why is unrequited love so frequent
and why does it occur in the first place?
He identified 3 different scenarios
These 3 are not mutually exclusive (#1 will will a role in almost all examples prof gives)
1) Falling Upward
Most common
Refers to the fact that quite often we fall for someone who is in someway more
romantically desirable than we are
There is probably a good consensus among one's group as to who is the most
romantically desirable
Physical attraction plays a large part, but other factors do play a role too (voice, traits)
If we fall for someone who is more romantically desirable than us it is very likely that
our love will go unrequited
Evidence on interpersonal attractions shows that at the outset we are all drawn to the
maximally attractive other.
If asked who do you like most, the vast majority of people will pick the person who's
most romantically desirable.
Research also demonstrates that who we end up marrying is people at the same level
as us
Can cut out pictures and put all men together and all women together and have them
rated on attractiveness.
Then you correlate the partners and you find there is about a .5 correlation.
People tend to end up marrying someone who is pretty close to them
If someone is in the 30th percentile, they will marry someone close to the 30th
percentile.
It's not a perfect correlation but its still high.
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Slide # 9
She has to go through process of throwing off different men
When 6 are left the show changes, and they brought in 6 really good looking men
They showed the faces of the average Joe and they all had their faces down
They all thought they had a chance to win, but when they realized it was an open market and
there were other people out there, they quickly recognized that they were doomed.
She eventually chose the swimsuit model
Baumeister: we may by nature be drawn to the most attractive but why don't we stop doing this and
pursue people who are closer to us?
There is a basic problem in how we judge ourselves and how we judge others in terms of
attractiveness
The tendency is to inflate our own rating (if 50% you think you are at the 70%)
you may pursue a girl who you think is at the 70% and you may be judging her
accurately but she thinks she is at the 90%
You see it as 2 people in the 70th percentile
She sees it as 90-50
Thus there are some biases that will lead us to get into something that is way out of
reach
So the most common scenario is falling upward, and if we fall in love with someone who is more
romantically desirable (Baumeister would say) our love will go unrequited (unless you are on some
show where they purposely exclude everyone above the 50th percentile)
Slide # 11
2) Intrusion of romantic feelings into a platonic friendship:
Baumeister says that evidence suggests that we don't choose our friends based on
attractiveness, even our opposite sex friends.
We choose them out because of common interest, circumstances, we live nearby and
bump into them.
But when you have a friend you spend a lot of time together, there are intimate
moments, there is self-disclosure and it's not at all uncommon for romantic feelings to
arise.
Baumeister says that the problem is that it only arises in 1 of the 2 people and usually in
the less attractive person
And now you go back to #1 of falling upwards
It is very difficult when to people are friends and when ever romantic feelings are
felt there is a discomfort and difficulty in maintaining the friendship.
Baumeister: sexual involvement is not a good way to discourage romantic love.
Baumeister: the person who is the would be lover not only believe that winning this person
is the most important thing for themselves, they also convince themselves that the best thing
for this person would be if they were involved with themselves.
There is something very biased in the perspective of the would be lover
3) Transition from casual to dating relationship
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