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Social Cognition

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PSYC 334
Dylan Selterman

INTERDEPENDENCE THEORY Relationships as Economies ­ Social relationships are inherently a “give and receive” dynamic ­ Individual worth (social value) • “on the market” long is parallel to “economic” language ­ Relationships are a material “entity” ­ Invest in a relationship, reap the rewards • If it’s doing well, buy (commit) • If it’s not doing well, sell (exit) Social Exchange ­ Rewards vs. costs • Outcome= rewards- costs • Weigh them rationally, make choices flip side if the irrational thought process of relationships that we talked about previously • Like buying a house or car- use prefrontal cortex in these situations ­ Rewards • Closeness and intimacy (relatedness) • Sex ( pleasure and/or reproduction) • Health benefits; social support, etc • Status social network expands • Resources material, knowledge, expertise Relationships as economic ­ Relationships as a material “entity” ­ Invest in a relationship, reap the rewards (parallel to the market place) • If the relationship is doing well, you commit (buy) • If the relationship is not doing well, you exit (sell) ­ Individual worth (social value)- you provide something to someone else and they provide something to you • “on the market” lingo relates to the “economic” value of being single ­ Costs • Time o Spend less time with friends/social networks o Spend more time with partner’s network— can be a plus or minus, it is a minus when you don’t like your partners family/ network o Less for work, leisure, etc. Risk- you could get dumped/ betrayed/ ignored/ mistreated Missing out on alternatives Dating other people Being alone/ single Distance (for long distance relationships)— relocation (leave your own home and social network) Doing things you don’t necessarily want to Recall: similarity and attraction Comparison level (CL) is very important Outcome- what you’re getting (rewards - costs) Satisfaction: outcomes CL Some people are okay with giving more than they get, so their CL can be a little off balance Happy relationship getting at least as much as the comparison level CL= standard Comparison level of alternatives Alternatives relative to CL If alternative CL is greater than outcomes, you may leave Dependence= outcomes – CL of alternatives This is a double edge sword: Pursue best option Keeps people in bad relationships if they don’t think they can do better Use to be more true of females as they relied heavily on husbands income (dependent) Becoming less true as women enter work force All of this is based on perspective ­ Interdependence • Dependence: need the relationship/ partner • Interdependence: partners’mutual outcomes are intertwined o Relationship health (satisfaction) o Partners rely on each other to fulfill needs o IOS- blurred boundary between self-interest and partner- interest (very highly correlated) ­ Rusbult’s Investment Model • Predictors and consequences of commitment o Commitment= desire to maintain relationship o Satisfaction and alternatives are not the whole picture Commitment motivates pro-relationship maintainence behavior Include investments (time, work place, mutual friends, shared home, etc)— what we stand to lose Satisfaction level is the strongest predictor of commitment CL andAlternative CL today ­ Expectations for relationships have increased and investment in healthy relationships has increased ­ Alternatives to relationships have increased • Women no longer dependent on men— gender equality increased • More economic and social resources Satisfaction over time ­ Rapid rise at the beginning, then habituation, decline over time ­ Same for passion and sex ­ Outcomes fall: effort wanes Commitment ­ Psychological attachment, love (affective) o Vicarious emotional reactions to partner’s outcomes- a product of your emotional attachment o Separation distress ­ Long term orientation (cognitive) • IOS and intertwined future schemas (schema for future and schema for partner are one in the same) ­ Persistence (behavior) • Reorganize personal/ social environment based on what your partner wants and does All three of these predict future relationship over time, but long term orientation matters most The problem with attractive alternatives ­ Exposure to highly attractive opposite sex individuals can reduce perceived attractiveness of: o Opposite- sex acquaintances and current romantic partners o Contrast effect see someone attractive and your partner looks bland in comparison ­ Derogation of alternatives • People see others as less attractive if they are in a relationship (perception) • Problem with attractive alternatives does not apply to people older or the same-sex as the individual (don’t threaten the relationship) • What’the role of commitment? This effects couples more when they have greater commitment • Effect remained after controlling for: o Physical attractiveness o Self-esteem: insecure people are less faithful o Self-monitoring o Empathy, altruism Different effects for attachment Avoidant people more draw to alternatives as a means to keep emotional distance Anxious people depend on emotional fulfillment in primary relationship Spring break study Higher commitment fewer interactions with other sex during spring break 1) satisfaction, 2) investment, 3) alternative quality  all predicted infidelity over spring break Not physical intimacy with partners and f
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