Psychology 2035A/B Lecture Notes - Carpool, Equity Theory, Reciprocal Liking

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1 Interpersonal Attraction & Love
October-17-11
7:06 PM
Dean of Indiana University - sailed a boat from East coast of U.S. - 51 days later he arrived
in Ireland
oVery lonely
oWhen asked if he would do it again he said no - too much of an ordeal - second
month loneliness was excruciating
Around same time, psychologist at Columbia University offered students $50 a day to stay
in a room alone by themselves without any contact with the outside world
oNo one lasted longer than 8 days
oOne student only 20 minutes
Why are we not attracted to everybody?
INTERPERSONAL ATTRACTION
Part 1: Specific Factors (text p. 247-280)
1.In initial encounters:
oProximity
oFamiliarity
oPhysical attractiveness
2.When getting acquainted:
oReciprocal liking
oSimilarity
Part 2: General Theories of Attraction
9.The Reinforcement-Affect Model
1.Rewards lead to positive affect (feelings); Punishments lead to negative affect
2.We'll like people who reward us and dislike people who punish us
But, that's not all:
3.We'll like/dislike people even when they don't cause our positive/negative feelings
--> they simply have to be present when we experience positive or negative affect!
(e.g., hot rooms; bad news; unpleasant music)
oThe stranger was liked more in the room that was at a comfortable temperature;
stranger was liked less in the room that was uncomfortably hot
35. Social Exchange Theories
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oFocus explicitly on attraction in relationships
A relationship exists whenever people interact on a regular basis.
e.g., marriage, carpool, study group, professor and student
1.Satisfaction with a relationship depends on
oRewards (what person "receives")
Affection, intimacy, companionship, approval, sex
oCosts (what person "contributes")
Time, effort, compromises, suffering (arguments), you can't date other
people
2.Rewards and Costs can be expressed in terms of a ratio : R/C
Arguments of whether it should be expressed as a ration or as Rewards - Costs
For our discussion, we're thinking about it in terms of a ratio
It's nice to get as much out as we put in to a relationship
3.When rewards equal or exceed costs, we will be satisfied with the relationship
4.When costs exceed rewards, we will be dissatisfied
e.g., carpool
Benefits vs. Costs
Benefits: cheaper, friend to talk to, avoid crowded buses
Costs: can't sleep in all the time, can't just leave after class
If costs exceed rewards you will be dissatisfied with this relationship
In the first 3 months of a relationship, costs aren't so important
After 3 months, couple begin to be sensitive to both rewards and costs
(1) Equity Theory
Considers rewards and costs of both people in the relationship
"Equity" exists when one person's ratio of rewards to costs equals the other person's ratio of
rewards to costs
YOU YOUR PARTNER
Rewards/ 10/ 10/
Costs 10 10
YOU YOUR PARTNER
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R/C 1/1 1/1
Note equity is not the same as equality
That is, the actual rewards and costs don't have to be equal
Only the ratio of rewards to costs has to be the same
YOU YOUR PARTNER
R/C 10/10 1/1
Your rewards and costs are not equal to your partner's rewards and costs
So you have 10x the rewards and costs
But the ratios are equal
Thus, this is an equitable relationship and should be satisfying
"Inequity" exists when one person's ratio (of rewards to costs) does not equal the other
person's ratio
YOU YOUR PARTNER
R/C 2/8 8/2
This is an inequitable relationship
You are "under-benefited"
Your partner is "over-benefited"
Inequity makes the relationship unpleasant:
Under-benefitted person feels "angry";
Over-benefitted person feels "guilty"
In either case, equity theory predicts that the people involved in the relationship will not be
satisfied with the relationship
So, people will attempt to restore equity.
HOW?
Attempt to alter the actual rewards/costs
Who will do this?
The under-benefitted person is more likely to changes the actual
rewards/costs
You might simply put less into the relationship
Psychologically alter the perceived rewards/costs
Who will do this?
The over-benefitted person
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