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Lecture 13

PSY3102 Lecture 13: Conflict Part 1

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Yaroslav Konar

Lecture Thirteen: Conflict Part 1 Conflicts within intimate partnerships are more likely to cover a different range of topics and are less reserved than conflicts with a stranger or acquaintance. Conflicts as destructive: historically, intimate conflicts were viewed as bad for the relationship. Transformational View: conflicts are a necessary part of every relationship. Definition of Conflict: interpersonal process that occurs whenever the actions of one person interfere with the actions of another, this applies to any type of relationship. Gottman and Krokoff (1989): defensiveness, stubbornness, and withdrawal were related with dysfunctional relationships long-term. This is because there is often an escalation of conflict rather than resolution. If the resolution favours partnerships, the relationship progresses. If resolutions favours the individual, the relationship is more likely to dissolve. Lack of conflict: the relationship becomes boring and the couple will only have positive things to devalue over time Gain-Loss Hypothesis (Aronson and Linder 1965): predicts that relationships without conflict will become boring (leads to idealized relationships where you don’t fight) which is not always healthy. Types of Conflict i. Fully Structured ii. Partially Structured iii. Unstructured iv. Revolutionary: meta-conflicts, conflicts about conflicts SIllars and Weisbert (1987): small conflicts follow a predictable pattern of communication (more structured), while severe conflicts are not predictable — additionally they are illogical, chaotic, and uncontrollable. External Sources of Conflict: social support, alternative relationships and options, income, and employment. Internal Sources of Conflict: allocation or sharing of resources, time spent together, racial dissimilarity, communication quality, balancing needs, isolation vs. intimacy. Children account for the largest proportion of conflicts, followed by chores, communication, leisure, work, money, habits, relatives, commitment, intimacy, friends, and lastly personality. Fincham and Bradbury argue the due to how complex relationships are, there are multiple sources of conflict on the individual level, dyadic level, and societal level. Each could lead to conflict at the level regarding the self, partner, relationship, or external environment. Gender’s effects on conflict: men and women have been shown to be different on some fundamental characteristics. Having two very different people in close proximity often leads to conflicts. Surra and Longstreth (1990) found that in dating couples there are differences for activity preferences based on socialization. This could lead to conflict, in addition to men’s low topical cohesion. Demand/Withdrawal Pattern of Conflict: summarizes the majority of experiences. The wife tries to engage in conversation, or complains and the husband retreats with escalates conversation. The wife is “demanding” and the husband is “withdrawing” Psychological Orientation: i. Psychological femininity: more likely to work on relationship ii. Psychological masculinity: more
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