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PSYCH354 Notes for Midterm #1

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University of Waterloo
John Rempel

Relationship Theory Values and Core Motives - Schwartz (1992)  values theory as a foundation for identifying core motives - Values  trans-situational goals that vary in importance and serve as guiding principles - Developed using a bottom-up study (Schwartz first asked people from different cultures to give him a list of what they valued, then he narrowed it down) o Schwartz’ Values Circumplex  believed there were 10 categories of values (i.e. power, benevolence, achievement, etc) Core Motives - 2 core motives: approach / avoidance (for self) and sense of belonging (for others) - approach/avoidance o most well-established motives (for all living things) o corresponds to conservation and openness to change motives  conservation = manifestation of avoiding harm; openness = manifestation of approach motive o goals of avoiding harm or acquiring benefits are common to all living things - Schwartz’ Values Circumplex indicates a second dimension of central importance: - Self-transcendence / self-enhancement o Captures values related to: benefitting in-group (benevolence), benefitting the out-group (universalism), sociability, and morality o This is inherently a social dimension  it emerges out of a fundamental human “need to belong” Humans as Social Beings - we are social at birth o physical caretaking (we require other people) o emotional care (Harlow’s monkey experiment) - evolutionary theories o language development (capacity to work together is how we survived as a species) o growth of intellect and consciousness o shared knowledge and the centrality of learning - we need each other o we thrive because we communicate and work together, and as infants we cannot survive without others o social rejection can be more painful than physical assault Fundamental Relationship Building Blocks - influence (causal impact) is the basic building block of relationships - what behavioural patterns define relationships as close? o Frequency of causal impact o Duration of time spent together o Diversity of impact o Intensity of impact or response (amount of change that occurs) - Intimate relationships differ from casual ones in 6 main ways: knowledge, mutuality (me vs we), caring, interdependence, trust, and commitment Individual Differences and their Influence - gender differences refer to social and psychological distinctions created by our cultures and upbringing - gender roles are the patterns of behaviour culturally expected of “normal” men and women - instrumental = task-orientated talents; expressive = social and emotional skills - relationships are more fulfilling if both partners are kind, warm, and sensitive – “expressive, feminine” traits  some men think they can’t / shouldn’t be like this, and will be less rewarding husbands - people who are low in instrumental traits are often with low self-esteem and are less well-adjusted - personality differences constantly influence people’s behaviours in relationships - self-esteem is a subjective gauge (sociometer) hat measures the quality of our relationships with others - sex ratio  number of men for every 100 women in a population. High ratio means there are more men than women, and thus less chance of divorce because men don’t want to lose their woman - cohabitation before marriage can actually cause more issues in a future marriage because by cohabitating before marriage, the couple is keeping their options open and are less committed to each other Influence of Human Nature - evolutionary perspective  sexual selection shapes humankind, partly influenced by sex differences in parental investment and paternity uncertainty - humans are physically and emotionally social from birth  nature and nurture is a conceptual theory for organizing theories of social development Attachment Theory Styles of Attachment - secure  happily bond with others, readily develop trusting relationships - anxious-ambivalent  nervous/clingy if unsure when a caregiver will return, excessive neediness in relationships - avoidant  suspicious of or angry at others; difficulty forming close relationships - similar attachment styles can be seen in adults o four categories: secure, preoccupied (anxious ambivalent), fearful (scared of rejection) and dismissive (intimacy not worth the effort) o two broad themes underlie these styles  abandonment anxiety and avoidance of intimacy  continuous dimensions ranging from low to high Low Intimacy Avoidance Low Abandonment Secure Preoccupied High Abandonment Anxiety Dismissing Fearful Anxiety High Intimacy Avoidance - attachment styles appear to be orientations towards relationships that are largely learned - attachment styles are continuously shaped by our experiences, and learned attachment styles can be unlearned as well Attachment Theory - attachment theory is very predictive  we can see it operate throughout our lives - John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth o Bowlby  looked at evolutionary ideas and physiology of his day and Ainsworth did research that added credibility to Bowlby’s ideas/theories o Biological-evolutionary foundations -> Bowlby thought that human infants had a tendency from birth to connect with a caregiver (and the infant has things to show they want you around, i.e. crying, grasping, etc) - Shaped by social-environmental factors - 3 systems: attachment, caregiving, and mating systems - Core of attachment system in terms of the infant is a sense of felt security  promotes proximity and care in a caregiver - Need to stay close to a caregiver competes with another core human motive  the need to explore / experience things o When internal experience feels secure, you will engage in the need to learn/understand/experience things o Depends on individual differences as well, which in turn may be affected by environmental factors (if the caregiver responds to their needs) - Responsiveness of caregiver interacts with infant’s personality - Strange Situation (Ainsworth) o 3 parts: parent and child enter room with toys; stranger enters room and parent leaves; parent reenters room o secure pattern: plays with toys but still interacts with parent; parent is unhappy that mom is gone; infant calms down and is consoled by parent o anxious-ambivalent: stays very close to parent; extremely upset; difficult to console and seemingly angry at mom o avoidant: plays with toy independently; indifferent to parent leaving; continues playing with toys o Ainsworth observed the infants in their home before this experiment and all observations matched up with the experimental results  Broader interaction patterns (in the home) are much more important  Secure = responsive and sensitive caregiving and reciprocity was encouraged  Anxious-ambivalent = inconsistent responsiveness to child’s needs, not always engaging in reciprocal action  Avoidant = unresponsive / indifferent caregivers; responded mechanically and non-interactively when they responded - Underlying dimensions or “working models”  as an infant, you learn what you can expect in your social world o Working models of others and the self o These will shape how you respond to other people Model of Self (Anxiety) Positive Negative Model of Others Positive Secure Anxious-ambivalent (Avoidance) Negative Dismissive Fearful - 2 types of avoidant  either a positive or negative view of self (dismissive or fearful) o dismissive  has coped with the bad caretakers by placing blame on the caretaker and being independent o avoidant infants showed more physiological agitation when parents left room, but behavioural response masked the distress Problems/Issues with Attachment Style Theory - for the most part, our social world is defined into categories (i.e. male and female), so categorical thinking is much easier to us than dimensional thinking; but dimensional thinking is required for the theory of attachment styles because we behave dimensionally  varying degrees of “secure” and “insecure” - think about attachment in terms of the underlying dimensions of self (anxiety) and models of others (avoidance) - stability and change  attachment styles sticks with you throughout your life, according to the theory, but change is hopefully possible o there is short-term stability (i.e. attachment is predictive from 2 years of age to 4), but not long-term stability (cannot predict at age 2 how someone will be at age 20)  change occurs very slowly in response to changes in person’s relationship environment - multiple attachment figures  teachers, other family members, etc change your view of the world - a focus on the negative  not “do you feel happy around others”, but rather it asks “are you anxious” or “do you avoid people” - bi-directional influence  infants affect caregivers as well Research Methods Sources of Bias - experimenter  leading questions, selective data collection, confirmation bias, no independent verification (second set of eyes), experimenter in position of power/authority over participants - participants  self-selected, non-random sample, participants may be motivated to fulfill perceived expectations, memory bias, no control group, data collection not independent - conclusions  inappropriately generalizing results beyond sample, drawing causal conclusions from correlational data, multiple causality is ignored Research Designs - questions seek to describe event or delineate casual connections between/among variables - convenience samples  composed of easily-available participants - representative samples  better reflect population of interest o both types can have volunteer bias - correlational designs  inherently ambiguous - experimental designs  includes manipulation of variables; very informative, but ethics makes some events difficult to study - developmental designs  cross-sectional (different age groups or time periods); longitudinal (follows same group of participants over time); participant attrition (loss of participants over time can be an issue); retrospective designs (rely on participants’ recall of past events) Types of Data - Self-reports  participants describe their own thoughts etc o can have self-serving bias or social desirability bias - observations  expensive; participants’ behaviour may change if aware of observation - physiological measures  measure of biological changes - archival materials  historical records compared to present - meta-analysis  statistically combining results from several studies Recurring Causal Linkages - causal conditions  certain causes recur in certain conditions o person (P) and other (O)  each bring their own chronic response patterns to others (in general) – personality traits o environment (E)  stable, recurring environments (i.e. stressful or threatening) – you have a way you respond to these situations o P x O (interaction patterns)  can develop unique interaction patterns with certain people o P x E or O x E is not commonly studied because it is more difficult Interpretation - we are never simply taking behaviour at face value, because we try/need/want to make sense of our world and understand it - inferences about internal processes  cognition, emotions, motives - there is always potential for error when interpreting behaviours Friendship Characteristics of Friendships - friendship – voluntary, personal relationship, typically providing intimacy and assistance, in which the 2 parties like each other and seek one another’s company o both parties feel affection towards each other and the friendship includes communication and offers companionship o difference from love?  love has more strict conducts, includes fascination with and sexual attraction to one’s p
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