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Lecture 1

PSYCO347 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Table Tennis

Course Code
Jennifer Passey

of 4
Chapter 1: Basic facts and key concepts
-difficult to define what being in a relationship means
Interaction: The basic ingredient of a relationship
-interaction is the basic ingredient, which provides two people with an opportunity to establish
mutual influence or interdependence
-concept of relationship refers to a state of interdependence that arises from ongoing interactions,
and two people are “in a relationship” or “have a relationship” to the extent that they interact and
mutually interest each other- how one partner behaves influences how the other partner behaves,
vice versa
-ping pong effect where influence bounces back and forth, influencing the others behavior over
-relationships are inherently dynamic and temporal in nature, composed of series of events
-hard to distinguish between an interaction and relationship, but an interaction involves an
isolated exchange that occurs within a limited span of time; whereas a relationship involves
repeated interactions over a longer duration of time
-interaction is important for a relationship to exist
Two additional ingredients:
-interactions must be unique in some way to the two people involved; that is, their interaction
pattern must be different from the interactions of others
-interactions cannot be role-based
-Role-based reactions/formal: each person’s behaviour is influenced not by the partner’s
behaviour but by the social norms and prescriptions that govern the behaviour of all people who
assume that particular role. Ex.) customer and cashier
-second ingredient is that the partners must have formed a mental representation of their
relationship (relationship schema); they must have cognitively represented and organized their
previous interactions and must hold them in memory
Establishing interdependence:
-researchers can collect info from both partners (dyad) and look for evidence of mutual influence
-Actor-Partner Interdependence Model: recognizes that a person’s experiences in a relationship
are a function both of his or her own characteristics or properties (the actor effect) and the
partner’s characteristics or properties (the partner effect- this is a measure of influence)
-observe two peoples interactions over time
-time-series analysis: recognizes that a person’s behavior is often influenced by his or her own
previous behavior as well as by the partner’s previous behavior. Interdependence or mutual
influence is established by determining that the behavior by each partner can be better predicted
by the other partner’s previous behavior than by his or her own previous behavior
Lovers, family, and friends:
Mating relationships- or dating, romantic, marital or reproductive relationships
-differentiated from other relationships by the occurrence or potential occurrence of sexual
involvement between partners
-distinguishing feature is that sexual exchanges and activities are viewed by the partners as a
legit expectation for their relationship regardless of whether or not they are currently engaging in
such activities
Family relationships- or kinship, genetically or legally related
-tend to be involuntary and thus are considered relatively permanent
-more social and formal/legal obligations and expectations
Friend relationships- are voluntary, choose your friends
-fewer social norms and obligations concerning friendships so more flexible
Close relationships-more influential associations
Subjectively close (intimate) relationships: partners feel close, connected or bonded to one
-typically assessed via self-report
Inclusion of other in the self-scale (IOS)- theoretical view of closeness as an overlapping of
selves and a sense of “oneness” with the other, and it is intended to assess the degree to which an
individual feels interconnected with his or her partner
Behaviorally close (highly interdependent) relationships- tied to the partners’ interaction pattern
and refers to the extent to which they exhibit high interdependence or mutual influence. Four
properties are necessary to establish a high level of interdependence
Frequency of influence: partners must frequently influence each other’s behavior multiple
Diversity of influence: each partner must influence a diversity(many different kinds) of
the other partner’s behaviours and outcomes
Strength of influence: partner’s influences on each other must be strong, indicated by the
speed with which a person responds to the other, the magnitude(intensity) of the
response, and the number and importance of behaviors that are affected by the other
Duration of influence: frequency, diversity, and strength of influence must characterize
the partners’ interaction pattern for a relatively long duration of time
Relationship closeness inventory (RCI)- most common measure of behavioural closeness
-composed of three self-report subscales: Frequency subscale: assesses the amount of time
the partners spend together alone. Diversity subscale: provides participants with a list of
typical activities for their demographic group and assesses the number of activities the
participants and their partners did together alone the previous week. Strength subscale:
degree to which participants partners influence their thoughts, feelings, actions, future plans,
and goals.
-relationship duration is measured but not included in the RCI total score.
-Only two types of closeness we can experience in our interpersonal relationships- type
involving subjective feelings of connection and bondedness and/or positive affective
experiences, and a type characterized by a high degree of behavioral interdependence.
-some relationships possess both
Societal taboos against the study of relationships:
-not considered appropriate, or too complex and mysterious to yield scientific analysis
Relationships are complex:
-relationships are dynamic that unfold over time that are embedded in multiple other
complicated phenomena
-marriage for example hits all other layers, social environment, culture, etc,.
-no relationship exists in a vacuum, each one is involved in a dynamic exchange of influence
with the other systems it encapsulates and in which it is embedded
Relationships phenomena are multiply determined:
-diversity of factors, three of them