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Psych 391 Ch 10.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 391
Professor
Kim Bartholomew

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Psych 391 Ch 10 (Rlnshps and sexuality) • Being involved in an intimate rlnshps is deciding factor for many ppl in whether or not they’ll engage in sexual behaviour o Steady rlnshp means engaging in sex more often, on average o Emotional closeness from rlnshps important for sexuality- familiarity and comfort, higher quality communication o Dramatic social change w/sex outside of rlnshps (extradyadic, premarital, casual) o Brings into question importance of rlnshp involvement? • The Path that relationships usually follow: o Kindling the flame: How to signal romantic interest  Showing interest in variety of ways, no single process • Most commonly use of Verbal strategies (asking detailed questions, adding to conversation, complimenting, requesting contact info) • Second method is nonverbal (eye contact, moving closer, smiling, looking intently) • Third is Touch th • 4 is Intangible Strategies (paying attn to person, acting friendly, flirting, appearing relaxed) • Last is Unclassifiable strategies (not easily labelled) such as hanging around person, calling them, performing courteous acts, phoning often  Showing disinterest: • Verbal strategies- lying, ending conversation, refusing invitation • Nonverbal strategies: looking away or looking bored, staying away from person, turning away • Intangible strategies- being unfriendly and shying away from person • Unclassifiable behaviours- avoiding person, ignoring person, avoiding performing courteous acts for person • No strategies for conveying disinterest involve touch (b/c intimate and could be misinterpreted) o Instead 6 category of Paralinguistic behaviour- keeping responses short and staying as quiet as possible  Reactions to rejection: • Unrequited love- experience of feeling attraction for someone who does not feel a similar attraction in return o Mixture of positive and negative feelings toward this experience o Positive if feeling their attraction gives them reason to live, intense happiness when it seems possible that other might also be interested (certain behaviours) o Often objects of attraction weren’t aware of others’ feelings o Negative reactions begin when pursuer starts to understand rlnshp not going to happen (upset, angry, jealous, disappointed)  Feel led on, pursued person thinks they were obvious in expressing disinterest o Increasing commitment in a romantic rlnshp:  Ways to strengthen commitment: • Direct definitional bid- outright request to partner for a definite commitment o If requested partner agrees then Accept Definitional bid (affirmative response to direct definitional bid) o No difs in partner strategies if both are equally interested in promoting commitment in rlnshp • Most frequent strategies- increasing contact, relationship negotiation (explicitly engaging in discussion of feelings) and requesting social support (asking for advice) o Women use rlnshp negotiation and acceptance of definitional bid more often o Men more likely use direct definitional bid and Verbal expressions of affection (ie saying I love you) o Men more impulsive w/respect to certain types of emotional expression (less able to inhibit particular emotional rxns)  Women more pragmatic in dealing w/romantic feelings, men appear to experience esp intense emotions/passion so harder for them to regular  Women better at distinguishing among intimate feelings (love, caring, liking) so more selective of deciding if they’re in love, so more guarded in saying “I love you”  Women also less inclined to verbalize feelings of love first b/c of traditional role of reacting (not acting) to events • Men to take the leads (traditionally) o Use of touch very powerful in signalling intimacy (sensuality and sexual interest as well as warmth and concern) o Touching increases most dramatically in early stages of rlnshp, frequency of touching may decline over time but doesn’t disappear (levels off at frequency close to that of dating couples)  Tho other study says mutuality of touching increases w/in stable rlnshps (touch each other w/same frequency) o Touching in early stages to intensify intimacy and advance rlnshp, later to reflect already existing affection, emotional investment and c comfort w/intimacy  Giving your heart and soul: What is involved in commitment? • Interdependence/Closeness= degree to which fate of indivs in rlnshp depend on partner o Ie Investment model= social exchange theory where greater commitment proposed to result from high levels of satisfaction, perception that very few alternatives to one’ current rlnshp exist and are more attraction, and high degree of investing resources in rlnshp  w/in social exchange theory, Satisfaction= benefits-costs  Alternatives to rlnshp- comparison levels in social exchange theory • Compare outcomes from current rlnshp to poss alternative outcomes from moving to other rlnshps • Greater distance b/w current outcomes to alternatives leads to greater commitment  Investment= amount of resources devoted to rlnshp • Financial contributions, shared property/possessions, time and energy o So greater satisfaction, fewer high quality alternatives and greater investment for stronger commitment o Keeping the rlnshp strong: dealing w/conflict  Unavoidable conflict b/c unlikely have exact same needs and goals  4 types of reactions to conflict: • Constructiveness of response and whether it’s active or passive (dimensions) • Voice= Constructive/active and discussion of conflict, seeking help, making suggestions and attempting to change situation • Loyalty= constructive/passive- waiting for change, patience, hoping for the best, supporting partner in conflict • Exit= Destructive/active and screaming, threatening and even leaving rlnshp • Neglect= Destructive/passive and ignoring/avoiding, being irritable toward partner, letting rlnshp deteriorate  Response to partner’s destructive behaviour w/constructive behaviour called Accommodation (if respond w/this then tend to survive conflict and more likely to continue rlnshp) • ** is one partner always accommodating tho? How is this healthy • Those who accommodate more committed, warm/caring/compassionate, take persp of partner, socially connected and are in mutually dependent rlnshps o Sacrifice for one’s partner related to partner’s willingness to sacrifice also • Satisfied w/rlnshp more positive views of rlnshp and partner, think they and partner have more similar views (eventually do dev more similar attitudes over rlnshp course) • If feel loved tend to deal w/difficulties by seeking greater intimacy w/partner (feel unloved become hostile when problems arise) • Similar patterns on conflict resolution and rlnshp quality for hetero and homo couples o Gottman/Krokoff (4 strategies): Problem solving (compromise, negotiation), conflict engagement (personal attacks), w/drawal (refusing to talk further, ignoring), and compliance (giving in)  Hetero= homo couples for frequency of 4 strategies  Similar also in processes linked to rlnshp functioning/quality but difs in that homo partners functioned at higher level of quality in 78% of comparisons • Negative reactions tend to generate further negative feelings (Conflict cascade) o Can become hypervigilant to partner offenses (dwelling on them and trying to explain them- Negative tracking)  Generally leads to explanations that probs in rlnshp b/c of partner personality characteristics  Also leads to expectations that partner will commit offenses repeatedly in future and no hope for change o So don’t come up w/positive interpretations that can help recovery from negative experiences, increased risk of separation and breakup o In rlnshps that last, smiling/caressing/speaking respectfully (supportive behaviours) are at least 5 times more common than hurtful behaviours (ridiculing, making nasty comments, criticizing) o Willingness of at least one of indivs to respond to negative behaviours w/support rxns serves to greatly reduce risk that rlnshp will fall apart o The Dying embers of love: How rlnshps end  Where did we go wrong: • Less likely to end when constructive strategies used (vs destructive strategies) • If rlnshsp doing well attend less to alternatives, also believe ending rlnshp will be costlier than do those whose rlnshps actually end, also feel more moral obligation to remain in rlnshp • Fatal attraction in 30% of rlnshps- initially alluring/unique factors draw u in but become the death of the rlsnshp • Reasons for breakup: Partners grow apart in interests/attitudes, lack of emotional expression/sharing, conflicts associated w/careers, financial problems, feeling overly controlled/dominated by partner, physical/psychological abuse, no longer being sexually attracted to partner • Cascade model of rlnshp deterioration (Gottman)- particular behaviours and emotional experiences set in motion series of rxns that doom rlnshp o Conflict produces flooding (feelings of intense shock, upset, confusion, and incapacitation in rxn to partner’s negative emotions) o 4 horsemen (Gottman’s destructive behaviours)  Criticism and complaining  Defensiveness  Stonewalling (w/drawing)  Contempt for partner o Reactions to this chain of events (cascade) are to feel that one is the Innocent victim of partner’s unfair criticism or to feel Righteous Indignation (leading the plans of retaliation) o A couple’s history leads to attributions of negative behaviour caused by stable characteristics that will only produce more negative behaviour in future  Hope for change withers, w/draw, rlnshp seen as mistake and eventual breakup o Research on divorce, not dating break up o How do you mend a broken heart? What happens after rlnshps end?  Initially rumination about partner that’s no longer available, intense sadness when accept rlnshp over  Most indivs gradually distance selves emotionally from loss and return to well adjusted state of mind  Those who are responsible for break up found to struggle w/emotional distress for extended periods, even years  Distress from hurt they caused their former partner, worsened if partner follows up w/attempts to rekindle rlnshp  Harvey- model describing process of coping w/major losses (rlnshp end, divorce, and death) • After traumatic loss (involving shock, numbness and feeling overwhelmed) go thru stages of outcry, denial, intrusion, working thru, completion, identity change o Outcry- initially expressing emotions related to loss (fear, despair) o Denial- struggle w/reality of loss, avoiding thinking about it and avoid aspects of life that remind indiv of loved one  Ranges from weeks to months, if years seek counselling o Intrusion- experiences flooded states (episodes of intense emotion where absorbed in reminiscence of loved one)  Often when alone o Working through- constructs accounts of loss  Accounts- personal narratives/stories about events/processes involved in loss and coping that follow loss  Confiding may be involved, sharing of personal account w/others  Becoming used to loss emotionally often allows indiv’s to integrate it into their self understanding and poss move fwd • Not all rlnshps end in bitterness/resentment/avoidance, often civil • Sexuality w/in LT committed rlnshps o How do couples signal interest in sex?  Traditionally man initiates, women respond w/positive rxn or refusal tho women becoming increasingly active in initiating now • Subtly for women- flirting, talking suggestively, creating romantic situation (ie type of music) • Men use talking suggestively, behaving romantically • Little research on initiation of sex in homo rlnshps o Both partners in lesbian rlnshps tend to believe that they were the one who more frequently refused sexual behaviour  Both partners in male rlnshps thought they initiated more (these difs relate to gender roles)  Lesbians feel initiation a type of aggression, counter to mutuality/equality of lesbian rlnshps  Maybe contrib. To gay male couples having highest rates of sexual behave (vs straight and lesbian couples)  Initiating seldom in form of direct request (concerns of embarrassment and fear of rejection) • Most initiation indirect/subtle- getting closer physically, kissing, hugging, stroking areas of body that aren’t explicitly sexual, serving alcohol and playing alluring music • Not wanting to have sex doesn’t usually cause huge conflict/very hurt feelings in LT rlnshps o Expressing lack of interest usually direct verbal statement (usually also involves some type of explanation so refusal not general lack of interest/personal rejection)  Constructive- promise of prospect of sex in very near future o The sex life of couples:  How much sex do couples usually have? • Married couples 2-3 times a week tho difs in typical frequency • 1/3 of couples have sex fewer than 2 times a week, 1/3 have sex 2-3 times a week and another 1/3 have more sex than that o Cohabiting couples have sex more often even when consider age • Rage, religion and education virtually unrelated to frequency of sex • Gay males most genital sex, lesbians and genital sex least o Lesbians most likely nongenital sexual behaviour like caressing, rubbing, kissing, hugging • Amount of sexual behaviour decreases for all couples over time- decreases in physical and sexual functioning associated w/aging and negative effects of extreme familiarity and predictability on sexual desire for partner o Routine, passion fades • Baumeister and Bratslavsky for typical decline in passion: o Passionate love explained by result of sudden, intense increases in intimacy b/w ppl  Intimacy sense that one is understood, respected and appreciated by partner (dev thru verbal self disclosure)  Positive feelings often result from such increases in mutual understanding  Physical and sexual closeness to heighten intimacy o Get to know partner better, revelations about partner less frequent so sudden increases in intimacy grow rarer over time  This model says passion results from sudden increases in intimacy (so both decrease over time) o Model says passion largely occurs early in rlnshps, also model helps understand that long standing well established rlnshps w/high intimacy and lower passion o Model says reunions for greater passion (reacquainted) when been separated  Emotional distance during conflict to provide reunion opportunity  What do couples do sexually? • Variety of behaviours • Common view that rlnshps that endure over time and passionate love fades but companionate love takes its place and fuels emotional intimacy in later years of rlnshp o Become better friends, look to one another to spend time together o BUT passionate love declined and so did Companionate (to an extent) esp for women o Older Men’s feelings of companionate love not much greater than newlywed men • What sexual behaviours are most appealing?
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