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Ch 9 Summary

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Psychology 2035A/B
Doug Hazlewood

Chapter 9 - Friendship and Love The Ingredients of Close Relationships  Close relationships are those that are important, interdependent, and long lasting  Paradox of close relationships- close relationships are related to some of the best aspects of life (well-being, happiness, health), but they do have a dark side (abuse, deception, break-ups) Initial Attraction and Relationship Development  Attraction is the initial desire to form a relationship  Homosexuals face unique dating challenges: o They have a smaller pool of potential partners o They are often under pressure to conceal their sexual orientation o They have limited ways to meet prospective partners o Fear of hostility may cause them to guard their self-disclosures to acquaintances and friends INITIAL ENCOUNTERS  Proximity refers to geographic, residential, and other forms of special closeness  People who are near each other are more likely to get acquainted and find out their similarities  Individuals who live or work close by may be seen as more convenient and less costly (in terms of time and energy) than those farther away  People might develop attraction just because someone in close proximity becomes familiar to them  Mere exposure effect- an increase in positive feelings toward a novel stimulus (person) based on frequent exposure to it  Positive feelings arise just on the basis of seeing someone frequently- not because of social interaction  If your initial reaction to someone is negative, increased exposure will only intensify your dislike  For a marriage partner, both male and female college students ranked the traits of honesty and trustworthiness most highly  For a sexual partner, both men and women ranked “attractive appearance” as the highest  Especially males prefer attractiveness in their same- and other-gender friends  Gender rather than sexual orientation to be the more important factor in partner preferences (men request physically attractive partners more than women)  Heterosexuals value religion, fondness for children, and parenting abilities more than homosexuals do  Personal qualities, such as kindness and intelligence, were ranked higher by both genders than physical attractiveness was (cross-cultural study)  An unattractive body is seen as a greater liability than an unattractive face  Males, whether gay or straight, place more emphasis on body build and physical attractiveness than females do  Women who have neonate qualities such as large eyes, small nose, and full lips get high attractiveness ratings o Combined with mature features such as prominent cheekbones, wide smile  Men who have mature features such as a strong jaw and a broad forehead get high ratings on attractiveness  Males who are tall and have broad shoulders, slim waists and legs, and small buttocks receive high attractiveness ratings as well  Women of average weight with an “hourglass” figure and medium-sized breasts are rated high in attractiveness  African American men and women prefer a larger body type  Expressive traits, such as a large smile and a high set of eyebrows are also related to perceptions of attractiveness  Grooming qualities are characteristics people use to enhance their other physical qualities, such as cosmetics, hairstyle, clothing, and accessories  Currently in the US, thinness receives heightened emphasis, especially for girls and women o Women who associate positive attributes with being underweight have a higher incidence of eating disorders o Eating disorders are less common among African American females  Gay males feel more body shame, more body dissatisfaction, and eat less when given the opportunity than straight males do  Gay men show greater dissatisfaction with their overall body, studies indicate that they are most dissatisfied with their body hair or muscularity  Both gay and heterosexual men desire to be thinner and more muscular, and this dissatisfaction increases with age  Appearance may become more central to men’s self-concept, leading to greater body dissatisfaction and more eating disorders in this group  The matching hypothesis proposes that people of similar levels of physically attractiveness gravitate toward each other  Theorists believe that individuals mostly pursue highly attractive partners and that their matching is the result of social forces beyond their control  Another theory maintains that physical attractiveness is a resource that partners bring to the relationship and, in general, partners want to maintain equitable balance  In heterosexual dating, males “trade” occupational status for youth and physical attractiveness in females, and vice versa  Women rate “good financial support” and “ambitious and industrious” as more important characteristics than men do  Parental investment theory maintains that a species’ mating patterns depends on what each sex has to invest- in the way of time, energy, and survival risk- to produce and nurture offspring o Male should prefer young and attractive females because these qualities are assumed to signal fertility o Females have little or no incentive for mating with many males. Instead, females can optimize their reproductive potential by selectively mating with reliable partners who have greater material resources  It is women in countries with limited educational and career opportunities for females who show the strongest preferences for men with high incomes  When women’s economic power increases, so does their preference for a physically attractive mate GETTING AQUAINTED  Reciprocal liking refers to liking those who show that they like you  Participants who believed that they were liked were rates as disclosing more about themselves, behaving more warmly, disagreeing less, and having a more positive tone of voice and general attitude than those who believed that they were disliked  “Playing hard to get” : non-reciprocity  Similarity continues to play a key role in attraction  The similarity principle operates in both friendships and romantic relationships regardless of sexual orientations  Heterosexual married and dating couples tend to be similar in demographic characteristics (age, race, religion, socioeconomic status, and education), physical attractiveness, intelligence and attitudes  Similarity in personality might be more important than actual similarity, at least in the early phases of getting acquainted o Similarity in personality is associated with relationship satisfaction  You assume that a similar person will probably like you  When others share your beliefs, you feel validated  People who are similar are more likely to react to situations in the same way, thus reducing the chances of conflicts and stress ESTABLISHED RELATIONSHIPS  Relationship maintenance involves the actions and activities used to sustain the desired quality of a relationship  These behaviours often occur spontaneously, at other times, behaviours are more intentional and require more planning  Long distance romantic partners e-mails demonstrated assurance, openness, and positivity  Both spontaneous and intentional maintenance activities are correlated with relationship satisfaction and commitment  The best predictors of marital satisfaction are positivity, assurances, and sharing tasks  Gay and lesbian couples generally use the same maintenance behaviours as heterosexual couples  Minding is an active and ongoing process of continuing mutual self-disclosure and maintaining relationship-enhancing beliefs and attributions about one’s partner  A high level of minding is associated with satisfying and intimate long term relationships, and vice versa  Interdependence or social exchange theory postulates that interpersonal relationships are governed by perceptions of the rewards and costs exchanged in interactions o Based on B.F. Skinner’s principle of reinforcement, which assumes that people try to maximize their rewards in life and minimize their costs  People assess a relationship by its outcome- their subjective perception of the rewards of the relationship minus the costs  A compensation level is a personal standard of what constitutes acceptable balance of rewards and costs in a relationship o Based on previous relationships, others’ experiences, fictional relationships, etc o Relationship satisfaction is higher when rewards are perceived to be high and costs are perceived to be low  Comparison level for alternatives are one’s estimation of the available outcomes from alternative relationships o Helps explain why many unsatisfying relationships are not terminated until another love interest actually appears  Investments are things that people contribute to a relationships that they can’t get back if the relationship ends o Putting investments into a relationship strengthens one’s commitment to it  The likelihood of ending the relationship depends on the number of important investments a person has in the relationship and whether the person believes that an alternative relationship is available that could yield greater satisfaction  Social exchange principles seem to operate in a similar fashion regardless of a couple’s sexual orientation  Exchange relationships are with strangers, acquaintances, co-workers, etc.  Communal relationships are with close friends, lovers, family members, etc.  In exchange relationships, the usual principles of social exchange dominate, but in communal relationships these principles seem to be applied differently  Individuals pay more attention to the needs of a partner in a communal relationship than in an exchange relationship Friendship  Friendship quality is predictive of overall happiness  Intimate and stable friendships are associated with les stress in adulthood and less troublesome behaviour in teens  Same-gender friendships between women are linked to positive mental and physical health  Themes that underlie friendships: o The emotional dimension of friendship  Self-disclosure, expressing affection and support o Communal nature of friendship  Participating in or supporting each other in mutually shared activities o Sociability and compatibility  The most important element of friendship is emotional support  In the US, women’s friendships are more often emotionally based, whereas men’s tend to be activity based  Men’s friendships are typically based on shared interests and doing things together, whereas women’s friendships more often focus on talking- usually about personal matters  Women are far more likely than men to discuss personal problems, people, relationships, and feelings  Men are much more likely to talk about sports, work, vehicles, and computers than personal concerns  Women’s friendships are closer and more satisfying because they involve in more self- disclosure  Short-circuits of intimate connections between men include: o Men are socialized to be self-sufficient, which inhibits self-disclosure o Homophobia is stronger in males than females, and is a barrier to intimacy among males and contributes to inconsistent and often ambiguous standards for emotional expression and intimacy between men o Traditional gender role expectations encourage men to see each other as competitors  Interpersonal competition is highest in male-male friendships  Three steps in friendship repair rituals: o There is a reproach, in which the offended party acknowledges the problem and asks the offender for an explanation o The offender offers a remedy by taking responsibility and offering a justification, a concession, an apology, or a combination of these three o Acknowledgement stage- the offended party acknowledges the remedy and the friendship progresses Romantic Love  Sexual orientation refers to a person’s preference for emotional and sexual individuals of the same gender, other gender, or either gender  Heterosexism is the assumption that all individuals and relationships are heterosexual  Both heterosexual and homosexual couples hold similar values about relationships, report similar levels of relationship satisfaction, perceive their relationships to be loving and satisfying, and say they want their partners to have characteristics similar to theirs  Men are the more romantic gender  Men fall in love more easily than women, whereas women fall out of love more easily than men  Women are more likely to report physical symptoms associated with love and are more likely to verbalize and display tender emotions  More similarity than disparity in men’s and women’s conceptions of love  Intimacy refers to warmth, closeness, and sharing in a relationship  Passion refers to the intense feelings (both positive and negative) experienced in love relationships, including sexual desire o Passion figures most prominently in romantic relationships  Commitment involves the decision and intent to maintain a relationship in spite of the difficulties and costs that may arise o Short-term aspect concerns the conscious decision to love someone; long-term aspect reflects the determination to make a relationship endure  Nonlove is not pictured in the diagram (triangular theory of love) because it is defined as the absence of any of the three components  When all three components are present, consummate love is said to exist  All three components are positively related to satisfaction in dating relationships  Measures of commitment and intimacy were found to be among the best predictors of whether dating couples continued their relationships  Passion and intimacy scores were lower for casual daters, higher for engaged participants, and lower for married subjects, while commitment scores increased from casually dating participants to married participants  Scores on the three components of love increased as relationships became more serious  Attachment style predicts intimacy and commitment levels, each of which predict satisfaction  Adult romantic love and infant attachment share a number of features: o Intense fascination with the other person o Distress at separation o Efforts to stay close and spend time together  Attachment styles are typical ways of interacting in close relationships  Attachment styles develo
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