PSY 306 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Common Cold, Relative Risk, Natural Selection

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Published on 10 Aug 2019
Class 12: February 18
What is a close
Feelings of caring and affection
Interdependent: need and influence each other
Lives overlap, have mutual existence
Relationship is indefinite: commitment
Expectation of other’s good intentions: trust
Shared knowledge, extensive and personal
Why care about close relationships?
Important across age groups
Important across cultures
Have been important across time
Relationships and
In a 1971 survey of more than 2000 Americans, the best predictor
of overall life satisfaction:
Marriage and family life
The single consistent predictor of well-being in 42 countries
Quality of close relationships
Happiest people (top 10%), had one thing in common
Good relationships (romantic and other), necessary (but
not sufficient) condition for happiness
Relationships and
Mental Health
Seven most common presenting problems for psychotherapy
Troubled relationships 31%
Depression 28%
Self-image 28%
Anxiety 20%
Phobias, fears 20%
Role performance, work 18%
Withdraws, avoids relationships 17%
Relationship and Stress
Interpersonal Conflicts and Problems 20%
Death of Significant Others 30%
Economic/Legal/Work Problems 14%
Health Problems (self or other) 23%
Other or None 14%
Close Relationships and Mortality
6,928 randomly selected adults from Alameda County in 1965
assessed social integration (marriage, friends/family, groups
Followed up with them 9 years later
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Age-adjusted relative risk ratio of isolation: 2.3 for women! 2.8
for men!
Other studies have reached remarkably consistent
Donner Party
87 pioneers stranded in Sierra Nevada mountains in winter of
47 survived
After age and gender, social connections, within group predicted
Similar analyses conducted on Mayflower diaries, same
Relationships and
The Common Cold
159 men and 175 women were sociability measured 2-4 weeks
before study; number of people and time socially interacting
Quarantine day 0: exposure to virus
Quarantine days 1-5: symptoms measured
Subjectiveusing Jackson scale
Sociability significantly reduced risk of the common cold (by both
objective and subjective criteria)
Need to Belong
Baumeister & Leary:
“Human beings have a fundamental need to form and
maintain a minimum quantity of lasting, positive, and
significant interpersonal relationships”
Fundamental Need
Does the need for close relationships…
Produce strong effects under all but the most adverse
Have emotional consequences?
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Direct cognitive processing?
Lead to ill effects if not met?
Exist universally?
Cultural Context
Cultural Context
Ratios of men to women
Ethnicity and Race
Socioeconomic Status
Societal Norms
Basic Biology
Evolutionary Influences
Natural selection for adaptive mechanisms
Men and women faced different reproductive challenges
Evolutionary Psychology
Intersexual selection (M vs. F; F vs. M): preferential choice of
what is desirable in mates
Triver’s parental investment theory: women invest heavily
in each offspring so maximize mate value
Men invest very little and should therefore maximize
mating opportunities
Intrasexual competition (M vs. M, F vs. F): members of the same
sex compete with each other for resources in order to attract mates
Evolutionary Concerns
Males will try to monopolize resources in order to:
Make women more dependent on them
Make themselves more attractive
It is in male’s interests to:
Control women’s sexual behavior
Form coalitions against out-group males
Error Management Theory
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