PSYC 215 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Human Male Sexuality, Social Exchange Theory, John Bowlby

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28 Sep 2014
Chapter 12
Passionate love (romantic love) – strong feelings of longing, desire, and excitement
toward a special person (people wanting physical intimacy, joy in seeing each other,
other patterns suggesting strong emotions)
oHigh levels of phenylethylamine (PEA) enabling information to travel from
one brain cell to the next  strong emotional feelings, excitement, euphoria
Companionate love (affectionate love) – mutual understanding and caring to make
the relationship succeed (less strongly emotional  more calm/serene  seeing them as
soul mate, keeping people as companions)
Love as a cultural construction – cultural values and meanings shape personal
feelings + change the way people run their lives
oSome people argue romantic love is just a cultural construction brought by the
Crusaders from the Middle East to Europe
oRomantic love is found everywhere but the forms/expressions of romantic
passion + culture’s attitude towards love varies dramatically
oPeople have different emphasis on romantic love
oSometimes it seems like a temporary insanity  mental imbalance
oSome don’t think passionate love is a good reason for marriage –
companionate love
Companionate love is harder to form than passionate love because passionate love
arises spontaneously without people trying to fall in love
oCompanionate is good for marriages (stable, trust, sustainability, intimacy)
oPassionate love tends to be temporary (1-3 years) until companionate love
takes over  the transition between the two is really important
oDecrease in passion seen in frequency of sex
James – frequency of sexual intercourse declined by about ½ after the
first year of marriage (from 18 times a month to 9 times a month) and
continues to decline slowly  not because of age
Rush of PEA  not falling in or out of love (the baseline doesn’t mean
you’re out of love it just means its changing)
oTransition from passionate to companionate love – intimacy, mutual devotion,
becoming each others best friends
Robert Sternberg’s theory of the nature of love – three ingredients
oPassion – an emotional state characterized by high bodily arousal, such as
increased heart rate and blood pressure
Arises quickly but wears out after a while
oIntimacy – a feeling of closeness, mutual understanding and mutual concern
for each others welfare and happiness (empathy)
Arises more slowly but continues to increase for a long time
oCommitment – a conscious decision that remains constant
Need this to keep the relationship going during conflict
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oRelationships need different amounts and combinations of these to be
successful  some are high on certain commitments and low on others
Exchange relationships – relationships based on reciprocity and fairness, in which
people expect something in return
Communal relationships – relationships based on mutual love and concern, without
expectation of repayment
The difference between exchange and communal relationships is whether the people
keep track
oTested this by asking participants to do word puzzles one after another (in
their couples) to see if they chose the same coloured men (communal) or
different colours (exchange)
oCommunal relationships are more mature + desirable (only for close intimate
oExchange is usually much more important
oExchange promotes achievement, increase wealth, drive progress
oCommunal promotes safety, security, provides a haven where others care for
you regardless of how much you achieve
oPeople usually set up their professional life to be exchange but their personal
life to be communal
oCommunal = healthier + more mature (more help, understanding, responsive
to emotional states, keep track of others needs, unity, shared identity)
oExchange = based on reciprocity
oCommunal = based on norm of mutual concern
Bowlby developed his theories of attachment after watching children be separated
from their parents in London during WWII for safety
oBelieved that the way adults behaved was shaped by childhood experiences
but people also have experiences that change their behaviour
Bowlby’s research was continued by Shaver who found people could accurately
describe their attachment style
oAnxious/ambivalent – clingy people who want to be as close to someone as
possible but their problems is the other doesn’t want to be as close as them
oAvoidant – people who feel uncomfortable when others want to get too close
+ try to maintain their own distance between them and the person
Starts when parents reject/neglect their babies, fail to express
affection/emotion, avoid physical contact, do not comfort
oSecure attachment – comfortable balance  happy to become close and
intimate with others but doesn’t worry about being abandoned or hurt
Promotes the best outcomes
High anxiety (negative attitude towards
Low avoidance
(positive attitude
towards others)
Preoccupied or
anxious ambivalent
Fearful avoidant High avoidance
(negative attitude
toward others)Secure Dismissing avoidant
Low anxiety (positive attitude towards self)
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Attachment theory – a theory that classifies people into four attachment styles
oAnxiety (attitudes towards the self) versus avoidance (attitudes to other
oSecure attachment – style of attachment in which people are low on anxiety
and low on avoidance; they trust their partners, share their feelings, provide
and receive support and comfort, and enjoy their relationships
Relationships are stronger, more durable/satisfying/intimate
Good sex life with few problems
oPreoccupied attachment (anxious/ambivalent) – people are low on
avoidance but high on anxiety; they want and enjoy closeness but worry that
their relationship partners will abandon them (because of their flaws)
See their partners as inconsistent, unreliable, reluctant to commit
Want more closeness but their need to force the other party makes
them seem controlling
Use sex to pull others close to them  have more/riskier sex than they
want in fear that if they say no they’ll lose a connection
oDismissing avoidant attachment – low on anxiety but high on avoidance;
they tend to view partners as unreliable, unavailable, and uncaring
People see themselves as worthy, adequate individuals but prevent
relationships from becoming close
More distance, lower commitment, lower enjoyment than
secure/preoccupied individuals
Cannot have a good sex life cause they fear intimacy  one night
stands, extramarital affairs
oFearful avoidant attachment – people have both high anxiety and high
avoidance; they have low opinions of themselves and keep others from getting
Potential relationship partners as untrustworthy, uncaring, unavailable
Bad sex life cause they fear intimacy  one night stands, extramarital
Usually sabotage their relationship as soon as it gets a little serious
oSometimes you go in between different types of attachment, especially
depending on the person you are with
oBoth avoidant types of individuals have a problem because everyone wants to
belong and feel desired but they think that if they give into this need that they
will get hurt  closeness is closely linked to need to belong
Have balancing act – need contact with people but do not want to
become too close  human companionship without intimacy
Loving people who love themselves
oErikson said that people must resolve their identity crisis and know who they
are before they are ready for intimacy
You don’t have to “love” yourself, you must “know” yourself
oRogers – self-actualization (global process of cultivating your talents and
becoming a better person all around) instead of self-love
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