PSYC18 Psychology of Emotion
Chapter 9 – Emotions in Social Relationships
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde – human beings are mixtures of good and evil.
What sets primates apart from other species is the capacity for kindness.
Lorenz – aggression is an innate drive like hunger
Three kinds of Social Motivation: Attachment, Affiliation, and, Assertion
Attachment – protection & care for immature infant; cooperation allows infant to thrive in environment
Positive emotions associated with presence of attachment figure trust, comfort, & reassurance.
Loss of such figure anxiety & stress.
Affiliation – also called Affection; draws individuals together even when not genetically related
Core for kindness, friendship & romantic love.
Positive emotions associated with presence of affection figure affection, warmth, & liking
Loss of such figure sadness, & grieving.
Assertion – also called Power; motivation to rise in social hierarchy and resist challenges from those
who would diminish us.
Motivation of conflict and competition.
Anger to win/maintain status & Shame/Embarrassment for deference.
Attachment & Affiliation are cooperative, while Assertion is competitive.
Attachment – Its function is essentially protective
E.g. mother provides protection & safe-base for exploration.
Some studies indicate that infants develop sense of trust from parents being sensitive and responsive,
whereas others indicate it is not so robust.
Affiliation – equally as important; involve different processes than protection
Affectional bonds based on warmth – only some species of primates.
- Hugging, kissing, grooming, etc. Built on positive reward & associated with system of touch.
American mothers are warmer (more hugging & kissing), but less responsive than Ugandan mothers.
These separate systems of attachment & affiliation can be differential prioritized in different cultures.
People express more emotions in communal relationships vs. exchange relationships.
Emotions as Social
1) Emotions are evaluations/appraisals of events that affect different kinds of social goals.
2) Emotions are not solely determined by appraisal of events – they may be reappraised
3) Emotions create Social Relationships – e.g. smile can be invitation to cooperative relationship
- They are commitments – committing time to relationship that emotion sets frame to.
- They can signal our goals – allowing others to respond.
Emotions within Intimate Relationships
Affectional Bond – two people cooperate to accomplish together what they could not do alone.
Bowlby - Attachment relationship of infancy creates a template for later intimate relationships.
Shaver – Adult love depends on 3 systems;
1. Attachments 2. Caregiving of infants by parents
3. Sexual relating of reproduction
Maternal Caregiving & Affiliative Warmth
Rats maternal behaviour includes
a) Crouching when infants suckle – characteristic of all mammals.
b) Ultrasonic squeaks & retrieval of infant when it leaves nest (depends on NA) – equivalent to
attachment function of mother’s responding to human babies (e.g. picking up when crying)
c) Licking – equivalent to hugging/kissing, etc in humans. Dependent on mother herself having
experienced bodily contact when she was an infant.
o Women with little tending by mother, become instrumental in caregiving behaviours
o Women with more tending by mother, become affectionate in caregiving behaviours
Parents develop primary maternal preoccupation – sustains need for baby to flourish.
Early contact may help mother and father become bonded to infant – early sensory cues.
Affiliation and Sexual Relating
Male Provisioning Hypothesis – the joining of the affiliative-warmth system and the reproductive on.
Pair Bonding – rare in primates; male has chance in knowing child he contributes to.
Female acquires resources from male to contribute to child rearing – select males based on
predicted investment in parenting rather than indicators of genetic prowess.
The demands of raising offspring requires more cooperation with kin as well as non-kin.
Principles of Sexual Love
Western Society love is what is most important in life.
Chimpanzee at age of 6 would pine and die if it had lost its mother.
Our parents are not just caregivers, they are part of our life story.
The taboos against incest and the social process of exogamy that promote mating between
unrelated adults are human universals.
Part of self lost when special person becomes ill, dies, or turns out differently
Several forms of love help with transitions: loved that is centered upon caregiving, affection, friendship,
People often nominate love as a prototypical emotion, and sexual desire to only overlap modestly.
Only romantic/sexual love is associated with the release of oxytocin which promotes
Anger and Contempt in Marriage
In Marital Dissatisfaction, the social motivations of assertion enter intimate relationships.
Four Horseman (negative behaviours – toxic manoeuvres) of the Apocalypse (most damaging to
1) Criticism – more critical means less satisfying marriage. It is the attempt to reduce the other in
one’s own eyes and in that person’s eye too.
3) Stonewalling – resisting dealing with problems
Both 2) & 3) block the commitment to carry the matter through until problem is resolved. 4) Contempt – most toxic to relationships; denial of other person’s right to take part in the
relationship at all.
Anger (while being distressing in the moment) can bring about beneficial change.
May have quality of the speech act of promising – anger involves commitment into seeing argument
go through to some end – functions in long term relationship to allow readjustment for something
after a sense of being wronged i.e. resolution.
All social emotions have an element of commitment.
Anger is a bid to increase one’s individual status or maintain it.
In Western society, shame is hypocognized because it is too shameful to take about.
Friendship and Gratitude
Friendships people can learn their generation’s morals and sort out difficulty of family/romantic life.
Evolutionarily, provide conundrum; requires cooperation with non-kin.
- Cooperative alliances are successful in more immediate lives to extent where there is reciprocal
giving and affection.
Communicative Gene Hypothesis – genes survive through generations only in the context of other
genes – gene lines can survive due to communication with genes in other organisms of