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Chapter 13

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Psychology 2070A/B
James M Olson

Chapter 13- Liking, Loving and Close Relationships Dyadic relationships relationships that develop between two people  First dyadic relationship is between an infant and their primary caregiver Attraction Interpersonal attraction the study of attraction/linking between 2+ people, positive characteristics such as kindness, honesty, intelligence, sense of humour Propinquity nearness or proximity in physical space, which creates the opportunity to meet another person The Likelihood of Meeting Spatial ecology the physical layout of buildings and the distance separating different buildings, rooms, and other spaces Functional distance compared to physical distance, the closeness b/w two place in terms of opportunities for interaction  Friends who people named most were those who lived w/in closer physical and functional proximity o Ex. Apartment block (Westgate West) with units 1, 2, 3, 4 on lower level and units 6, 7, 8, and 9 on upper level with 1 + 6 by the stairs and 5 + 10 near the stairs Meeting Does Not Guarantee Liking  Living w/in close proximity to another is not a guarantee that you’ll become best friends  Liked neighbours were the ones who lived closer, but disliked neighbours were also the ones in closer proximity Similarity Attitude-similarity effect the idea that people find others more attractive + likeable the more similar they are in their attitudes, beliefs, and preferences, “Birds of a feather flock together”  Students found the stranger more attractive the more their attitudes were similar to their own  Liking leads to perceived similarity Byrne and Nelson, 1965 o Participants rated a stranger based on responses to attitude questionnaire, manipulated the proportion of the attitudes that were the same as the participant, higher proportion of similar attitudes led to greater attraction o Ex. When participants wrote about a positive event that occurred in an ongoing friendships, they subsequently reported being more similar to their friend than when they wrote about a negative event  Why does attitude similarity increase liking? o Validates our attitudes + beliefs o We share interests/hobbies o We share ethnic traditions + values; predictability and familiarity o It implies that they’ll like us  Do opposites ever attract? o Not in attitudes, values, or interests o For a few personality traits, opposites can be complimentary (dominant-submissive, nurturant-succorant, Type A- Type B) Repulsion hypothesis the idea that people find others less attractive and less likeable if they differ substantially in their attitudes, beliefs, and preferences  We are often repulsed by dissimilar others Self- Disclosure Self-disclosure the process of people revealing to one another increasingly personal and intimate details about themselves  Those willing to disclose information (high disclosers) are generally better liked than those less inclined to self-disclosure (low disclosers)  We tend to reveal personal things to others whom we initially like, and like others as a result of having disclosed personal information  People also differ in how much they can get people to open up, called high/low openers o Ex. Low disclosers were more comfortable revealing intimate personal information to partners who had good rather than poor opener abilities  Although self-disclosure is usually perceived positively, it must occur at an appropriate time/place, e.g. don’t disclose too much too soon, don't disclose extremely intimate details until relationship is well established Rubin, 1973  Studied self-disclosure in airport terminal, researcher approached participant and asked for handwriting sample, researcher provided an example of their writing for participant, the researcher’s example was either low, medium, or high in self-disclosure: o Low: Right now I’m in the process of collecting handwriting samples for a school project. I think I will stay here for a while longer, and then call it a day o Medium: Lately I’ve been thinking about my relationships with other people. I’ve made several good friends during the past couple of years, but I still feel lonely a lot of the time o High: Lately I’ve been thinking about how I really feel about myself. I think that I’m pretty well adjusted, but I occasionally have some questions about my sexual adequacy  After reading the researcher’s example, the participant wrote a handwriting sample for the 34 32 researcher—samples later scored for intimacy 30 of information they contained (By judges who 28 didn't know how intimate the example had 26 24 been) 22 20 Attractiveness Stereotype Low Medium High  Positive stereotypes of physically attractive people are held of and by men + women, adults + children, newborn babies (held more than unattractive babies!), people from different cultures Shared Perceptions of Beauty  According to research, looks do matter  The consistency of what is viewed as beautiful is fairly consistent across cultures + ages The Components of Facial Features  Facialmetrics is one approach to studying facial beauty—involves measuring a large # of facial features o Women rate men more attractive with prominent cheekbones, large chin, wide smile o Men rate women more attractive with large eyes, small nose and chin, prominent cheekbones, high eyebrows, large pupils, large smile  Facial features often infer people’s personality traits: eye size is particularly important, where smaller eyes are seen as more masculine, less nurturing, and less empathetic Average Faces are Attractive Faces  Deviance from average makes a face less attractive, averaged faces are seen as more appealing than individual instances  Two reasons: o Evolutionary pressures + natural selection generally favour average rather than extreme population features o Starting early in infancy, people routinely form prototypes or cognitive schemas that capture the central/average features of the many instances and exemplars of a particular category Bodily Features Body Types, Weight, Height, Body Odour  Waist (circumference)-to-hip (circumference) ratio has shown consistent relationship to rated attractiveness  Females more attractive when they had a low ratio  Males more attractive when they had a higher ratio close to 1.0 o Those with closer ratios to 1.0 behaved more dominantly and were rated (by females) as more leader-like in all male group discussions  Attitudes about weight are communicated through a culture’s customs and media  Women exhibited a preference for males of medium height  Those w/ pleasant body odour are judged as more attractive  When evaluating a malodorous target person, they were much less favourable when the target was aware and able to control the problem Evolutionary Significance of Good Looks  When females have a larger hip-to-waist ratio it is an outwardly visible signal to males of her reproductive capability  When males have a low hip-to-waist ratio, it is a visible sign of their good health and capability in contributing their part to reproduction  Body weight serves as a visible signal of reproductive potential  Skin cleanliness and facial symmetry preferences exist across cultures—perhaps because these indicate signs of a person’s overall health o Women w/ attractive faces had less health problems than women w/ unattractive faces, men w/ attractive faces came from wealthier backgrounds The Social Benefits of Good Looks What is Beautiful is Good the inference that attractive people possess other desirable traits + abilities in addition to their good looks (more outgoing, friendly, self-confident, independent, talented, capable)  North American Studies show that attractive and unattractive people are judged as no different in their integrity/concern for others, this demonstrating that what is beautiful is culturally good  Physically attractive people are more popular, socially skilled, and more sexually experienced, but these differences occur b/c they are more sought after by others, so they become confident in social situations, develop good social skills, and have more opportunities for relationships that may lead to sexual behaviour Friendships dyadic relationships involving mutual liking Friendships Among Children  Children use the sociometric rating procedure in order to establish that two people are friends, where within a group of acquaintances, each person is asked to name everyone whom they consider a friend. Two peers w/in that social network are considered to be friends in each nominates the other as a friend  Strongest determinant of childhood friendships is similarity o Ex. Children preferred others whose behavioural style was most similar to their own  In adolescence (as in adulthood), it is similarity in attitudes, life goals, and intelligence that helps establish a friendship Popularity Popular children are children who are frequently named by others in a sociometric rating procedure  Popular children are good at maintaining positive relationships w/ their peers, without disrupting what others are doing, they play constructively, communicate clearly, and are cooperative and sensitive to others interests  They can be assertive, but their aggression rarely disrupts the activities of others  They are often more physically attractive Unpopularity Rejected-aggressive children those who are unpopular b/c they commonly engage in disruptive aggressive behaviours Rejected-withdrawn children those who are spurned by their peers b/c of their social awkwardness and immaturity  When popular people were placed into new social settings, they re-established their popularity and unpopular people were rejected once again How Peers Exert Their Influence  Until early adolescence, children show increasing peer conformity  11 -12 graders, whose average age was 18, showed a developmental trend toward greater autonomy in later adolescence and young adulthood  Sometimes, simply thinking about a significant person in one’s life can automatically activate goals related to that person o Ex. Participants who wanted to please their mothers vs. those who didn't, and later priming those participants to think of their mothers and then solve a complex letter- jumbling puzzle—those primed to think of their mothers who were goal-oriented did better on the task Friendships Among Adults  Propinquity predicted the success of a friendship—more likely to develop b/w roommates or dorm-mates  Intimacy in same-sex friendships is more likely when the friends engage in self-disclosure and provide emotional support, men are less likely to choose to engage in those behaviours Rejection  Social rejection caused a response in brain that is similar to experience of physical pain  Social and physical pain operate through the same system! Attachment Attachment theory Bowlby’s theory concerning the development and the effects of the emotional bond b/w an infant and its caregiver; also used to account for the relationships that develop b/w close friends and lovers throughout the lifespan  Emphasized the ethological approach—innate behaviours that have been shaped during the course of evolution o Babies are cute, which invites a positive response from adults, and positive response from adults leads to positive response in babies, indicating that both infant and child come biologically prepared to develop attachments Infant Attachments The Strange Situation The strange situation developed by Mary Ainsworth, a procedure involving several brief episodes during which experimenters observe a baby’s responses to strangers, separation from mother, and reunions w/ mother Infants display three categories of attachment: (1)Secure attachment the most common pattern seen in the strange situation procedure, in which the baby actively explores the room when left alone w/ mother, gets upset when mother leaves room, is clearly happy when mother returns, and may seek close proximity with her in an effort to relieve distress; the baby uses its mother as a safe haven and a secure base from which it feels safe to explore a novel situation (2)Insecure attachment a pattern seen where the baby does not use its mother as a safe haven and secure base from which to explore a novel situation Resistant insecure attachment a pattern where the baby prefers to stay close to the mother rather than actively explore the room, becomes very upset when the mother leaves the room and appears to be upset/angry when mother returns, trying to remain near the mother but usually resisting any physical contact initiated by her; sometimes called ambivalent or anxious-ambivalent insecure attachment (3)Avoidant insecure attachment baby basically ignores the mother, usually shows no strong signs of disturbance when she leaves the room, and avoids the mother during reunion episodes or greets her return rather casually Is it Universal?  Large differences are often found in how much distress infants experience during the strange situation  Secure pattern is the most frequently observed across cultures  Insecure patterns are more culturally specific: o Avoidant pattern more in North American babies o Resistant pattern more in Israel, Japan, other Asian countries Learning About Relationships Working model of a close relationship the feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and expectations learned during the course of an infant’s close relationships  Securely attached infant: shows that others can be trusted/relied upon for safe haven, to be nurturing and supporting, provide partnership in life, learns that they are worth of trust, love, support  Insecurely attached infant: close relationships sometimes involve acceptance, but sometimes rejection, sometimes the person is accessible, but other times inaccessible, learns that they may not be worthy of trust, low, and support o They respond by blocking thoughts and actions that make them aware of the other—express anger or ambivalence to the other Attachment Beyond Infancy  Attachment during infancy is usually stable even until grade school o Most stable when there has been little disruption/change in child’s life o Major disruptions (divorce, economic upsets) can produce variability b/c of effects on caregiver’s ability to maintain a positive and supportive relationship  Many children demonstrate resilience in the face of diversity, usually when they’ve had a close and positive relationship w/ their parents Adult Attachment the concept of attachment used to describe and understand close relationships in adulthood by translating each of the three major patterns of attachment found among infants— secure, anxious/ambivalent, and avoidant—into their adult forms  Secure—confident that partner cares + will be supportive in times of needs  Anxious/ambivalent—worries that partner doesn't care, so constantly monitors for signs of rejection  Avoidant—doesn't trust that partner will support, so is hesitant to create close bonds Adults Are Not Children  Adult attachment relationships are more reciprocal  Often involves a romantic relationship b/w pees including companionship, intimacy + sex  Adults rely on romantic attachments to provide a secure base for work and adult forms of play  Concept of a working model: a person’s mental representation of relationships, two aspects: o Working model of other people: thoughts, beliefs, judgments about whether or not other people can be trusted and relied upon to provide support + protection o Working model of the self: perception of yourself as someone who is worthy/not worthy of support and protection and whom others are likely/unlikely to respond in a positive and helpful way  Secure pattern of adult attachment occurs when working models of other and self are positive  Those w/ anxious attachment are more sensitive to possible rejection by others, tend to compare relationship to “ideal standard,” which makes them feel dissatisfied  The Adult Attachment Scale (AIS) is used to classify adult attachment patterns Play and Work  Work represents the adult version of exploration and mastery: o Securely attached—enjoy and value work, not concerned about failure, don’t let work interfere w/ important personal relationships o Anxious/ambivalent—use work as way to gain respect and approval from others,
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