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Oct 7 - Interpersonal Attraction and Love.docx

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Western University
Psychology 2035A/B
Doug Hazlewood

October 7 , 2013 Interpersonal Attraction & Love  Dean of University of Indiana travelled from U.S. to Ireland after 51 days. When arrived, very tired, haggard, etc. when asked if he would do it again he said no because he was too lonely.  Columbia university – stay in a room alone by themselves without any contact from outside world, get fed from under the world. No newspaper, TVs, etc. for $50 a day (about $200 today). Until they gave up. No one able to stay longer than 8 days. One lasted for 20 minutes. Interpersonal Attraction Part 1: Specific Factors (p. 274-80) A. In initial encounters: a. Proximity b. Familiarity c. Physical attractiveness B. When getting acquainted: a. Reciprocal liking (more likely to like you if you like me) b. Similarity Part 2: General Theories of Attraction  The Reinforcement-Affect Model o Rewards lead to positive affect (feelings); punishments lead to negative affect  We’ll like people who reward us and dislike people who punish us  We’ll like/dislike people when they don’t cause our positive or negative feelings o They simply have to be present when we experience positive or negative affect – don’t actually have to cause them  (E.g., placed in rooms with strangers, strangers liked more when room was uncomfortably hot then when it was room temperature even though stranger had nothing to do with the temperature; bad news/good news on radio Social Exchange Theories (relationships)  Attraction in relationships  A relationship exists whenever people interact on a regular basis (being in carpool, study group, student and professor = relationships)  Satisfaction with a relationship depends on 2 things: o Rewards (what the person receives – benefits)  Affection, approval, sex, someone to lean on, etc. o Costs (what person contributes)  Time, effort, compromise, suffering in times of conflict  Rewards and costs can be expressed in terms of a ratio: R/C – rewards divided by costs o Debate on whether to divide or subtract October 7 , 2013 o In textbook, it is rewards minus costs and then the next page it refers to the ratio (p.81)  When the rewards equal or exceed costs, we will be satisfied with the relationship  When the costs exceed rewards, we will be dissatisfied  Most of us are sensitive to the rewards and costs  Costs become important in relationship only about after 3 months – first 3 months, rewards are most important towards satisfaction  Equity Theory o Consider rewards and costs of both people in the relationship o “Equity” exists when one person’s ratio of rewards to costs equal the other person’s ratio of rewards to costs (satisfying) You Your Partner R/C 10/10 = 10/10 R/C 1/1 = 1/1 R/C 10/10 = 1/1  Equity is not equality  If in relationship and putting a lot in, and getting a lot out, and partner putting little in and getting out very little – equitable relationship because the rations are equal (10/10 and 1/1) so should be satisfied o “Inequity” exists when one person’s ratio does not equal the other person’s ratio You Your Partner R/C 2/8 8/2  You are being “under-benefited”  Your partner is “over-benefited” o Inequity makes the relationship unpleasant for both people  Under-benefitted person feels angry  Over-benefitted person feels guilty o So, people will attempt to restore equity. How?  Attempt to alter the actual rewards/costs  Might put less into the relationship  Psychologically alter the perceived rewards/costs  By over-benefitted person – telling the other that they’re getting more  What if equity can’t be restored?  People will leave the relationship  Leave the relationship  Interdependency Theory o Satisfaction depends not only on our current ratio of rewards to costs but also on the R/C ratio that we expect to receive o Expectations can be based on:  Our own experiences in prior relationships  What we know about others’ relationships October 7 , 2013  The “Comparison Level” (CL) o Different people can have different comparison levels People (with their own relationships) A B C Current R/C 5/5 5/5 5/5 Expected R/C 5/5 5/10 10/5 (CL) OK OK! NOT OK o Whether we leave the relationship depends on the Comparison Level of Alternatives  If there is an alternative that provides a better R/C ratio, then we will leave the current rel
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