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PSYC 215 (296)
John Lydon (79)
Chapter 10

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PSYC 215
John Lydon

Chapter 10Characterizing Relationships Challenges with studying relationships many studies are not true experiments with random assignment They are longitudinal studies When participants select their own condition we can never know whether an observed difference between two conditions is a reflection of the different experiences of the people in those conditions or is simply a result of different types of people tending to gravitate to each of the two conditions The Importance of Relationships Western cultures define themselves as independent although human nature is profoundly social and a persons identity is shaped by social relationships We have a need to be embedded in healthy relationships Arguments for the Need to Belong Relationships help individuals and offspring survive Relationships have an evolutionary basis and thus many universal features Similar dynamics between different relationships The need to belong should be satiable Evidence for the need to belong When the need to belong is not met over a long period of time people suffer profoundly negative consequences both physically and mentally Mortality rates admission to hospitals suicide rates and crime rates are higher for divorces or widowed people Having support from others strengthens our cardiovascular immune and endocrine systems Relationships and the Sense of Self Our social relationships shape our sense of who we are When we encounter someone who reminds us of our significant other the specific self we tend to be when were around this significant other is activated Process 1 the person reminds me of positive X 2 I therefore like the target 3 I express positive affect toward the target and 4 as a consequence the target expresses positive affect toward me Different Ways of Relating to Others Important to distinguish different types of relationships Communal and Exchange Relationships Two fundamentally different types of relationships Communal Relationships Relationships in which the individuals feel a special responsibility for one another and give and receive according to the principle of need such relationships are often long term People in these relationships come to resemble one another for example in timing of laughter Like between family members and close friends Exchange Relationships Relationships in which individuals feel little responsibility toward one another giving and receiving are governed by concerns about equality and reciprocity Like interactions with salespeople and bureaucrats or with workers and supervisors in a business organization The distinction between these two types of relationships highlight cultural differences in patterns of relationshipsPeople in East Asia and Latin America are more inclined to take communal approach where as people in Europe and Commonwealth countries are more inclined to take the exchange approach Catholics are more likely to take a communal stance than Protestants Reward and Social Exchange Theories of Interpersonal Relationships Even the most intimate relationships are based to some extent on exchange
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