Psychology 3724F/G Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Caveat Emptor, Random Assignment, Attachment Theory

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Chapter 1
Introduction: The Science of Intimate Relationships
-. Individuals are alone & incomplete
-. Experience of intimacy/ pairing can be gained in a close, emotionally connected relationship
What are Romantic Relationships?
Typically between 2 people
But not always
Feelings of love ( love & in love with someone)
Feelings of commitment (outcomes depends on someone else, interdependence)
Mutual goals (working together towards something)
-. Taboo: physical appearance, money, past relationships, FUTURE)
Different Phases of Romantic Relationships
Interpersonal attraction
What are you looking for in a partner?
Short-term partner?
Dating partner? (sense of humor, intelligence)
Long-term partner?
-. Similarities, differences, relaxing standards, similar between men and women,
men are more relaxed with standards when sex presents.
Relationship initiation
First contact, dates, increasing interdependence
-.Voice pitch goes up, act weirdly, hard to watch the whole process, research about “night
flirting, conversation”
Relationship maintenance
Handling conflicts; growing together (different opinions, how to work things out, work to
better / worse?)
Relationship dissolution
Ending a relationship (really? Negotiation of process, involvement of children?)
Study of Romantic Relationships
Multidisciplinary
Psychology, sociology, anthropology, medical disciplines
Descriptive and experimental
Large samples, hypothesis testing
Largely theoretically driven
Evolutionary theory, attachment theory, interdependence theory, life history theory, etc..
Money, SES, culture influences of relationship
-. Cancer, changes to the relationship? 1 sick and the other healthy
-. Women on average, attractiveness during ovulation
Publications from 1970 to 2010: Love and Marriage
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Publications from 1988 to 2010: Sexual or Romantic Relationships
-. Study about intimate relationships only started in the 20th century
Major Scientific Domains Studying Sexual Relationships
Ordered from Distal to Proximal, and Seminal Publications
Domains Seminal Publication Main Level of Explanation
-. Approaches to the study of intimate relationships differed in goals & level of focus.
-. General level have same core aims: explanation, prediction, control of human behaviour
-. Clinical psych: prediction & control of relationship phenomena (functioning, success, stability)
-. Social, evolutionary: explanation of relationships
-. Social development: understanding, development of bonding, attachment in childhood on relation to
intimate relationship development. (Ontogenetic approach)
-. Evolutionary: understanding the evolutionary origins of human courting, sexual behaviour, mate
selection, parenting… (Distal causes stemming from remote evolutionary past to clarify current
behavioural, cognitive and emotional tendencies
-. Social: how dispositions (behavioural, cognitive, emotional) combine with external contingencies in
local environment to produce important behaviour, social judgments, emotions (Proximal level: fine-
grained predictions, explanations of particular behaviours/cognitions occurred in specific situations),
focus on links between the individual and the dyadic relationship (trait of one influence the other and
relationship outcomes)
# Publications
Proximal
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