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PSYCH 354 (3)
Chapter 14

Chapter 14

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University of Waterloo
Daniel Nadolny

Chapter 14: Maintaining and Repairing Relationships Maintaining and Enhancing Relationships Relationship maintenance mechanisms: the strategic actions people take to sustain their partnerships Cognitive maintenance mechanisms - Several changes in people’s perspectives o They think of themselves not as separate individuals but as part of a greater whole  Perceive greater overlap between their partners’ lives  Use more plural pronouns  Change in self-definition referred to as cognitive interdependence o Committed partners think of each other with positive illusions  Idealizes each other and perceives their relationship is best possible light  Partners’ faults are judged to be trivial, misbehaviour is dismissed as an unintentional or temporary and deficiencies are considered unimportant  They misremember the specific obnoxious and thoughtless actions and explain them away to maintain global evaluations as more positive o Committed partners tend to think that their relationships are better than most  Perceived superiority, makes one’s relationship seem even more special o Satisfied partners are less likely to be on the prowl  Attractive rivals can distract, only when our partners know they exist  Inattention to alternatives, leaves them relatively uninterested and unaware of how well they could be doing in alternative relationships  Those not very committed, monitor their other options  Committed lovers, pay less attention to such possibilities, helps to protect and maintain their current partnerships o Committed partners do notice attractive rivals and judge them to be less desirable alternatives than others think them to be  Derogation of tempting alternatives, allow people to feel that other potential partners are less attractive than the ones they already have  Strongest when the alternatives are most tempting and thereby pose the greatest threat  Committed men judge a potential alternative to be less attractive when she is fertile than when she is not  To protect their relationships, happy lovers tend to underestimate the desirability of other potential partners Behavioural maintenance mechanisms - Committed people are often willing to make various personal sacrifices o Wiliness to sacrifice, often involves trivial costs (ex. seeing a movie that is not of my interest), substantial costs in which people endure rather long periods of deprivation in order to preserve or enrich their partnerships - Relationship will prosper when partners behave toward us in ways that encourage us to gradually become the people that we want to be o Michelangelo phenomenon  when partners encourage us to be all that we can be, supporting the development of skills we want to learn and promoting the self- growth we seek, both our relationships and our personal well-being are enhanced - Committed lovers swallow minor mistreatment from their partners without biting back o Accommodation, the willingness to control the impulse to respond in king to a partner’s provocation and to instead respond constructively  Occurs when people tolerate a partner’s bad mood, pointless criticism  Provides effective means of preventing conflicts o Takes active self-restraint and self-control  Makes forgiveness more likely and we use self-control to withstand temptation , so it aids our efforts to resist the lure of attractive alternatives  People differ in their dispositional levels of self-control  More self-control two partners possess, the greater the sum of their combined abilities to make good decisions and the smoother and more satisfying the relationship will be  Lacking self-control, more tempted by alternatives, less forgiving - Couples are usually content when they find ways to engage in noel, challenging, exciting, and pleasant activities together  Finding time to play in inventive and creative ways is beneficial in close relationships - Those who are committed are more likely to offer forgiveness after a partner’s betrayal o Forgiveness quickens the healing of both the relationship and less stressful to forgive than to nurse a grudge o Forgiveness promotes good health both in relationship and in those who give it Staying content - Contented partners try to o Foster positivity  Being polite, staying cheerful, remaining up beat o Encourage openness  Self-disclosure, sharing their own thoughts and feelings o Provide assurances  That announces their love, commitment and regard for each other o Share a social network  Having friends in common and spending time with their partner’s family o Share tasks  Fair share of household responsibilities o Provide support and maintain good humour  Spend sufficient time together and they apologize when they are wrong - Best predictors of happy marriage, positivity, assurances and sharing tasks - Beneficial effects were short lived, if these desirable effects sto
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