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PSYC 221
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Chapter 11 Conflict 11/14/2013 What is Conflict? Interpersonal conflict=one’s motives, goals, beliefs, opinions, interfere with or are incompatible with another One’s wishes/actions actually obstruct those of someone else Conflict inescapable.. Moods/preferences of ppl differ Certain tensions woven into relationships that will always eventually cause strain Ppl have dialects=opposing motivations drawing ppl different directions at different times 1. Difference between autonomy and connection Preferences swing back and forth as one is unfulfilled 2. Tension b/t openness and closedness 3. Tension b/t stability and change 4. Tension b/t integration and separation from social network Motive to stay involved with others/be with partner Four dialect issues make 1/3 of fights reported by married couples Frequency of Conflict Conflict every 3.6 minutes b/t 4 year olds and parents Adolescents have 7 disagreements/day 2.3 arguments a week when dating, 7 big opinion differences every 2 weeks in a marriage People have more conflict than others because of…. Personality: high neurotics are impulsive, have more disagreements, high agreeable are cooperative with few conflicts Attachment Styles: anxious of abandonment expect the worst leads to more conflict and consider it more damaging than partner Stage of Life: young adults have more conflicts, conflict with romantic partners increase from late teens to mid 20s then settle down, low conflict in 60s Similarity: less similar makes more conflict, dissimilarity=friction Alcohol: intoxication makes conflict b/c hostile and sour Instigating Events Couples disagree about any issue possible-147 sources of conflict Main parental conflict=managing, disciplining children, then splitting chores, then communication problems, then money 4 CATEGORIES OF CONFLICT 1. Criticism=communicate dissatisfaction w/ partners behavior, attitude, or traits 2. Illegitimate demands= unjust request exceed expectations 3. Rebuffs=one appeals to another for desired reaction but does not receive desired reaction 4. Cumulative annoyances= events become irritating from repetition(social allergies like men burping/women shopping) Evolutionary perspective says conflicts arise b/c different reproductive interests Women more angry by those who want sex sooner/persistent Men more angry by delayed sex or thwart advances Differences in sexual desire-negotiations/adjustments Sexual orientation does not change conflict behaviors Attributions Actor-observer effects and self serving biases judge own actions more favorably than others Two different conflicts from different attributions: 1. Misunderstandings result if partner fails to appreciate other person has individual point of view 2. If different views are known, attribution conflict occurs b/c fighting over whose explanation is right/wrong interactions may be affected by so many outside influences, people often end up disagreeing about why things occur explanation of frustration to argument decides how angrily they respond attribute act to internal reasons, more anger when we think our partner can change behavior, more likely to announce discontent to seek solutions instead of wallowing Engagement and Escalation Avoidance occurs when both partners wish to evade issue and it happens when event is unnecessary to dispute over or when issue seems intractable and conflict wont help Couples enter negotiation to resolve conflict through rational problem solving Escalation occurs and conflict can heat up-other issues get involved, demands made Partners say nasty things when fighting and those remarks are of two types: 1. Direct=explicitly challenge partner (attribute negative to them, hostile compliance demands, antagonistic questions, sarcastic putdowns) 2. Indirect=less straightforward, displeasure is veiled, intentions less explicit(implied negativity hints at arrogance, melancholy, whining, change topics, remarks fail to acknowledge partner or conflict crabby, cranky interactions have physical impact; increase HR, BP, give stress hormones, depress immune systems lots of conflict in relationships more likely to have heart attack Conflict can turn to negative affect relationship=partners trade escalating provocations back and forth Secure attachment styles have milde
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