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PSYCH354 Notes for Midterm #3.docx

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John Rempel

Testing Love as a Motive - Study #1  read scenario about Tamara and Jeremy o Tamara is in a strange city, Jeremy (friend from college) offers her a place to live o How much does Tamara love Jeremy if she trusts him but lacks: positive attitudes about him, positive emotions about him, or the motivation to preserve his well-being o Hypothesis: lack of motivation to preserve well-being should reduce judgments of love the most o Results (scale of 1-7):  Love, baseline: 4.78  Love, motives absent: 245  Love, attitudes absent: 2.55  Love, emotions absent: 3.05  All drop once components are taken out and hypothesis was correct - Study #2  rated how contradictory 29 “thought quotes” were if they involved: o Positive attitudes (i.e. I love Jeremy but I don’t appreciate him as a person”) o Positive emotions (i.e. I love Jeremy but emotionally I feel cold and indifferent towards him) o Positive motives (i.e. I love Jeremy but I don’t care what happens to him) o Results (scale of 1-7, higher #s = more contradictory):  Love, motives absent: 5.62  Love, attitudes absent: 5.10  Love, emotions absent: 4.52  Most highly contradictory statements were motivation-lacking  No emotional statements made it into top 8 contradictory statements Research Directions - Premise of most research on relationships is based on sociobiology, but can relationships be based on other types of love and develop from there? o i.e. caring about someone simply because you care about them and feel an empathic connection with them (not based on passionate desire or mating) - Close relationships that form predominantly on the basis of empathic experience will be characterized by greater stability and an enhanced concern for the partner’s well-being - Compared with empathy in response to a partner’s positive experiences, empathy for a partner’s needs and concerns is more likely to lead to action to alleviate the partner’s distress - Close relationships that are based predominantly on empathic experience will evidence less threat or distress in response to aversive relationship events - If relationships based on empathic experiences do end, the dissolution will be less destructive, it will more likely end because one partner cannot meet the other’s needs, and the couple is more likely to maintain positive ongoing contact - No methods section required, but there is an implied methodology in these hypotheses Hate Eliciting Experiences Ultimate Goal Sadism Excitement, thrill-seeking Pleasure Mutiny Resentment, feeling trapped Asserting autonomy Tethering Fear, loss, abandonment Secure relationship Denigration Envy, contempt Self-elevation Redress Anger, violation, disgust Restoring order Nihilistic Loathing Other’s harm More Conceptual Refinement - hurting another is often a means to some other end - 3 possibilities o hurting is an undesirable byproduct of goal achievement (I don’t want you to hurt but it’s necessary – i.e. getting a needle hurts but it’s for another reason) o hurting is a subordinate goal in the service of achieving the ultimate goal (I want you to hurt because it’s necessary) o hurting is the primary goal (I want you to hurt even though it isn’t necessary) - Method o 177 introductory psychology students were given scenarios where people inflicted harm or desired to inflict harm, and were randomly assigned to one of three conditions in which desire to harm was manipulated  three conditions were: harm acceptable, harm not wanted, and harm preferred) o then asked: how much does the person hate the people upon which he/she is inflicting harm? (1 = not at all; 7 = extremely) o harm not wanted should have lower values than harm acceptable (and harm- preferred is the benchmark) o Results: harm not wanted: 3.17; harm acceptable: 3.78; harm preferred: 3.98 o “Harm not wanted” is significantly different from acceptable and preferred  doesn’t really go above 4 (midpoint) because “hate” is a strong emotion o harm acceptable and harm preferred are not significantly different! It’s about the intention/what you want - People were more likely to perceive a protagonist as hating a target when the desire to harm was present o True even if harm was desired in order to achieve a different ultimate goal o Thus, as long as the protagonist wants the target to suffer harm, even as a means to another ultimate goal, people will infer elevated levels of hate o If we recognize hate as a motive, we are more likely to intervene o Hate is considered so toxic because hate implies a desire to hurt someone Commitment - people get to know each other when they become more interconnected with each other, and begin to predict what the other person is likely to do o foundation of trust becomes more secure o one change is the experience of emotion; feelings become more stable but less intense and volatile (emotionally up and down) o however, if people think that “true love” is feeling those intense emotions, they may think their relationship is in trouble as the relationship progresses, because they are feeling less intense emotions  this is actually a sign that the relationship is progressing positively o negative progression can also occur, whereby the amount of conflict increases and the two partners get to know each other  more likely to find things to disagree about, and this leads to the realization that they aren’t as connected as they thought – can also find areas in the past where they thought they agreed but they actually don’t o self-presentation (being your best self) occurs less often, because you feel less need to act like your best self because you feel safer, and it’s also difficult to do so all the time - Soul mate theory  usually people who believe this theory think that there shouldn’t be conflict in a relationship, and with some conflict will believe the person they’re with clearly isn’t their soul mate, and end the relationship - Reasons people stay together in relationships: time investment, cultural expectations, obligations (i.e. children), religious expectations, became part of self-identity, comfortable with each other, fear of change Defining Commitment - Intention to continue the relationship; a decision to maintain love; an avowed or inferred intent to maintain love/relationship - Not a change-oriented concept; there is a sense of maintenance/stability - Commitment is a motivation/motive - Both conscious and unconscious aspects of commitment  conscious component gets most attention (i.e. decision/intent to stay together) o Unconscious aspect is often examined, through unconscious desires to act in ways to be relationship-maintaining, without awareness of acting differently - Commitment is a property of the individual  “I am committed to my partner” The Experience of Commitment - 3 phenomenological experiences (M. Johnson): o Want to – personal commitment  But just because people aren’t satisfied in a relationship doesn’t mean that will end the relationship o Ought to – moral commitment  i.e. I made a promise, and keeping that promise is important  i.e. children would benefit from parents being together o Have to – structural commitment  The sense of being stuck in the relationship  i.e. lost investment or opportunity – put so much into this relationship  cultural expectations or friends – I will lose other relationships if I end it  religion can operate in terms of “ought to” or “have to” o goes from complete freedom of choice to no freedom of choice - Hierarchical model  if you have one phenomenological experience, it will dominate the others (i.e. if you ‘want to’, that is the main reason you will stay in a relationship, and the others will become more important if the ‘want to’ goes away) - Relational model  you need to look at both people – both people’s experience of commitment can be different, and if they’re different they are likely to interact and the outcome of the relationship is not straightforward - Interdependence theory model of commitment  looks at sense of why people want to stay AND why people want to leave o Comparison level (CL) – do you feel that you are getting what you deserve from the relationship – is it “good enough” o Comparison level for alternatives (CLalt) – what is the level of satisfaction that my alternatives offer me – it’s your subjective assessment of the alternatives – people can devalue alternatives to feel happier in their relationship Communication - Basic Theory: a message being sent from the encoder (sender) to the decoder (receiver) o Encoding filter (you say things differently when talking to parents versus infant versus coworkers) o Decoding filter (the message can change before it gets to you because of your own expectation - Theoretical Foundations o All behaviour is communication / communicative o Communication need not be intentional o When intentional, there is a clear goal – not as easily as we think, because of the filters: encoded and decoded message must be the same for the goal to be achieved o Problems can occur at both the encoding and decoding stage - Encoding Problems o The physical structure of the message may not be sent clearly – i.e. you aren’t articulating, you aren’t loud enough, your handwriting is too messy, etc o Mixed messages – verbal or non-verbal  Non-verbal  Body language – crossed arms, posture, interpersonal distance (this is easily misunderstood), hand gestures, tone of voice - Decoding Problems o Message not accurately received o Message misinterpreted  Filtered through expectations o Inadequate listening  Inattentiveness  Cross-checking interpretation  Clarifying  Listening involves communication – involved sending a message about the nature of the relationship (message implied in bad listening is that the sender is not being accepted/included) Chapter 6: Interdependency - social exchange  mutual exchange of desirable rewards with others - outcomes = rewards – costs (outcome is net profit or loss a person encounters) o rewards are anything within an interaction that is desirable an welcome and that brings joy or fulfillment to the recipient o costs are punishing, undesirable experiences, that can involve financial expenditures (i.e. buying dinner for your date, or actual injuries (i.e. split lips) - comparison level (CL)  describes value of outcomes that we believe we deserve in our dealings with others; based on past experiences o CLs are the standards by which our satisfaction with a relationship is measured o Satisfaction derives from how our outcomes compare to our comparison levels, such that: outcomes – CL = satisfaction or dissatisfaction - Comparison level for alternatives (CL alt outcomes you’d receive by leaving current relationship and moving to best alternative partnership or situation available o Determines our dependence on our relationships o If other relationships promise better profits than we currently receive, we’re likely to leave our present partners and pursue bigger payoffs, even if we’re satisfied with what we’re getting (according to interdependence theory) o Investments  the things one would lose if relationship were to end o Outcomes – CL =altpendence or independence - The three key elements of social exchange are: o People’s outcomes o Comparsion levels (CL) o Comparison levels for alternatives (CLalt - Four types of relationships o Happy and stable (current outcomes higher than both CL and CL ) alt o Happy and unstable (CL halter than Current Outcomes higher than CL) o Unhappy and Stable (CL higher than Current Outcomes higher than CL alt o Unhappy and unstable (Current Outcomes lower than CL and CL ) alt - Principle of lesser interest  partner who depends less on a relationship has more power in that relationship - As time progresses, relationships can become less satisfying as partners’ CLs rise; cultural influences shape expectations and CL alt - Approach motivation  we pursue pleasure and our motivation for doing something is to feel good, and we approach desired experiences we feel positive emotions - Avoidance motivation  seek to elude/escape punishment/pain; strive to avoid undesired experiences and reduce negative feelings such as anxiety or fear - Self-expansion model  we are attracted to partnerships that expand the range of our interests, skills, and experiences - Relational turbulence  we should expect a period of adjustment and turmoil as new partners become accustomed to their increasing interdependence - People usually encounter unanticipated costs, even in good relationships, due to: o Lack of effort o Interdependency being a magnifying glass (magnifies conflict and friction) o Access to weaponry (intimacy means you know each other’s secrets) o Unwelcome surprises (people are usually unaware of incompatibilities or problems before they marry – could be learning truth about something we thought we knew (i.e. a fun, spontaneous partner may also be flighty and irresponsible) or learning undesired things you didn’t know at all (i.e. real facts of parenthood)) o Unrealistic expectations (people often expect blissful, intimate idylls, but relationships are hard work) - Exchange relationships  people do favours for others expecting to be repaid by receiving comparable benefits in return - Communal relationships  partners feel a special concern for the other’s well-being and provide favours and support to one another without expecting repayment - Equitable relationships  equity occurs when both partners gain benefits from a relationship that are proportional to their contributions to it o According to equity theory, people dislike inequity and are motivated to change or escape it; BUT overbenefit is not always associated with reduced satisfaction with a relationship – underbenefit is - Commitment  intention to continue a relationship o Investment model  asserts that satisfaction, the quality of one’s alternatives, and the size of one’s investments influence commitment, but there can be three types of commitment: personal, constraint, and moral o Committed people take action to protect and maintain their relationships, being accommodating, making sacrifices willingly, and considering their relationships to be better than most Flirting - Indirect expressions of interest in and attraction to another o Big part of it is non-verbal o What is the advantage of using indirect communication?  Dependent on persons response, in case of overt rejection  Beneficial to flirter (save face)  Beneficial to flirtee (can pretend not to notice to spare feelings) o Idea of testing the waters o Sends sexual signals  “I’m interested in you / in pursuing you”  Present in established relationships too o Gives us choice/control  if someone is direct in terms of what they want, we feel less autonomy (reactance); results in rejection o Use of indirection because not a good, comfortable form of direct expression  We get slang, playful language; we see more in established relationships - What does it look like? o Study: went to bar and observed flirtation process 1. Create interest  display desirable qualities (not directed to a specific person) a. Appearance for women (parading – way she presents herself; clothing – wealth, physique; scents) b. Personality (confidence, kindness) c. Pay attention to other (glancing, eye contact, smiling, laughing) 2. Initiate and develop interaction a. Physical activities (body position, approaching each other; synchrony of actions; touch) b. Verbal communication (sexual innuendo) - What are our goals? o Generate attention, interest, and attraction (want a response) o Self-enhancement (not to establish relationship, just boosting self) o Interaction (beyond flirtations) Gottman’s Talk – table results - videotape couples and microcode their actions  trying to code distressed versus non- distressed couples o unsatisfied people are more likely to end relationships (very crude distinguishment) - distressed couples do the following compared to non-distressed couples: o all are trust and power issues  taking control over own outcomes because other can’t be trusted to have your best interests in mind o more cross-complaining o less validation of partner’s complaints o more of a win-lose orientation o offer more counter-proposals o offer fewer suggestions for compromise o more negative mind reading (telling person why they did something) o more meta-conflict o more self-summarizing o more negative non-verbal cues o more negative reciprocity cycles (you do his, well you do that, well not as bad as you doing this  escalating the process) Noller’s Encoding Results - distressed couples have something interfering with their communication o pay attention to the cues the other has less control over – indicate that person is really thinking o process of low trust o “You’re lying” - Women better than men at accurately sending non-verbal messages, especially positive messages - Non-distressed better than distressed at sending non-verbal messages - Distressed send more “mixed” messages - Non-distressed better at recognizing when they had send a hard-to-interpret message Noller’s Decoding Results - Non-distressed men were better at decoding non-verbal messages - Distressed men made more errors in reading partner’s non-verbal cued - Distressed men relies more on visual and less on vocal cues - Distressed and non-distressed are equally accurate at interpreting non-verbal messages of a stranger, but not in in
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