PSYC18 Psychology of Emotion Lecture 10:
1. Emotions in Intimate Relationships
- What is intimacy?
- Three ways to build intimacy
- Threats to intimacy
2. Emotions Within Groups
- Assertion strategies
- Popularity and peer relations
- Differences between intimate & non-intimate relationship?
- 6 domains to consider:
o secret-sharing, confidential information.
o affection, motivated by affiliation. J help them not because you are obliged to
o strong, enduring impact on each other. - Make time for each other
o qualities that are unique to you, and qualities that you both share
o The parts that you share J that are most important to you, think of yourself in terms of
o Sharing passwords, no longer constrained by etiquette (no longer tit-for-tat)
o Presumed partnership.
o Emotional & monetary investment follows that expectation.
o Assume that the relationship will continue into the future
o You invest yourself, make long term emotional + monetary investments
How to Build Intimacy?
- Often the domain of pop psychology, advice columns, self-help books.
- Usually only focus on intimacy in romantic relationships.
- you should do little nice things (ex: share your weaknesses, should be patient)
- But not much backing to these ideas (anger can actually be helpful)
Will You Be There For Me When Things Go Right? Supportive Responses to Positive Event Disclosures
Gable, Gonzaga & Strachman (2006). In Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
- ^For better or worse_;
o event disclosure J an opportunity for the other partner to tell them about a negative or
positive event that happened to them and seeing how they react
- ,}Á}Z‰ŒšLŒ[ZŒZ‰}LZš}L2š]Àe/positive disclosures pertain to intimacy and overall
well-being? J It[s not just how you respond to negative events but positive events too
www.notesolution.com Page 2
Before the Going Gets Tough
1) Quality of intimacy correlates with expectation that partner will provide solid support in times
When the Going Gets Tough
- Partners offer each other support. Does it Help?
2) Feeling supported by partner buffers against harmful effects of stress.
3) Negative effects to self-esteem can arise.
- social support due to poor coping ability?
- Positive effects - Offer encouragement, financial support etc.
- negative effects J can lower their self-esteem (feel like they are not able to support themselves)
that gives them support J correlated to lower relationship satisfaction, intimacy
How to Help Without Incurring Costs?
- Offer invisible support. - slip money into their bank account (not really invisible)
- But how realistic is this?
- Alternate strategy: focus also on successes
- Emotional support that is comforting J in responding appropriately to small things that go right
(has to make sense in the situation, the right type, the right amount of positive reinforcement)
The Current Study
o 79 dating couples, University of California
o Minimum 6 months together, 43% cohabitating.
- Basic procedure:
o 4 interactions
o Follow-up with couple in 2 months
o Let these people talk to each other, disclose positive and negative events that happened
to them, evaluates the quality of the response given by her partner
- Each partner describes 1 positive & 1 negative event.
- 4 critical interactions.
- What type of events qualify?
o Individual experiences
o Past, present, future
o Ex: physical event only the discloser has lived thru - independent of the other person
o Ex: something I am hoping will happen in the future
o Ex: lost a job, losing a pet when I was a child, fight with the parent, promotion at a job,
complete a marathon
The Post Hoc Evaluations
í:Z]Z[Z~îìì3) Responsiveness scale
- Level of agreement with items such as:
www.notesolution.com Page 3
- 2 months after study.
- Relationship Quality Measures:
1. How good is your relationship compared to most?
2. Commitment level
3. Desire for Affection
= composite score computed Æ Relationship Well-Being
- Outcome variable: Relationship Well-Being 2 months later
- Predictor 1: Responsiveness to negative event
- Predictor 2: Responsiveness to positive event
- Is relationship well-being predicted by the quality of feedback provided to you by your partner
when you described a positive and negative life event?
Regression reveals different predictive models for men and women.
- For Men:
- Relationship well-being jointly accounted for by:
Œ]‰š]}L}‰}Z]š]Àand negative event.
o Both positive predictors.
- For Women:
- Relationship well-being only predicted by:
What Predicted Break-up? = Passive Destructive Feedback
- What interactions observed in couples who broke up within 2 months of study?
- Ratings of videotaped footage reveal some clues.
- Four types of feedback in ŒZ‰}LZš}‰}Z]š]ÀÀLšZ;
a. Active-Constructive J over the top enthusiastic and not shy about offering praise
b. Passive-Constructive - }ŒZ
c. Active-Destructive - }ZL[š
are negative events attached to a positive event
d. Passive-Destructive - ‰ŒšLŒ}ZL[šÀLL}š]
- o[Z^}ŒššŒ}Œ Á}ŒZ_ZšµÇZZ}Á9
1. Important to tell partner about good and bad events.
2. Low responsiveness to good events is common yet particularly damaging.
Segway to Next Study
- Everyday wisdom suggests that commiserating builds intimacy in romantic relationships.
o Commiserate J share challenges, so partner can empathize with you
- Research emphasizes importance of recognizing successes.
- What about negative emotions in non-romantic social contexts?
Positives of Negative Emotions?
Graham et al. (2008). In Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin
- Does the expression of negative emotions hurt or promote interpersonal relationships?
- Not just romantic relationships this time.
- A series of studies.
Study 1: Participants read vignettes: Blind Date vs. Homesickness
- IVs (independent variables?) that might contribute to decision:
www.notesolution.com Page 4
1. Emotion type (Blind date = anxiety, Homesickness = sadness)
2. Expression (yes, no)
- Finding: Explicitly expressing anxiety or sadness promotes the desire to help!
o Whether or not the character in the scenario is expressive of emotions
o You will be less willing to help when the character is not expressing
Study 2: Speech
- What about real-life not imagination?
- Actual helping vs. intenti