Topic 13: regulation of affect in close interpersonal relationships
Topic 13: regulation of affect in close interpersonal relationships PSY 311
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This 15 page Bundle was uploaded by Alicia Rinaldi on Tuesday September 8, 2015. The Bundle belongs to PSY 311 at University of Miami taught by Ray Winters in Spring 2015. Since its upload, it has received 128 views. For similar materials see Emotion in Psychlogy at University of Miami.
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Date Created: 09/08/15
Topic 13 regulation of affect in close interpersonal relationships Neurobiological factors The roles of the social attachment system SAS and caregiving system in interpersonal attachments and bonding Behavioral factors how the family systems approach facilitates effective regulation of emotions in close interpersonal interactions Oxytocin is important in the formation of trust in a relationship 0 Subjects participated in an investment game that required them to trust a stranger in order to choose to invest large amounts of money 0 Subjects who received an oxytocin spray invested signi cantly more money than controls 0 Another study oxytocin was found to maintain trust even after it has been breached by the person the subject trusted Activity in amygdala decreased in subjects who were given the spray 0 Activation of oxytocin receptors in the amygdala decrease fear and anxiety neurobiological basis for effectiveness of social support 0 Fear and anxiety must be reduced to connect to another person Oxytocin can increase aggression Researchers at University of Amsterdam provide rsttime evidence for a neurobiological cause of intergroup con ict 0 Show oxytocin leads humans to selfsacri ce to bene t their own group and to show aggression against threatening outgroups called ethnocentric behavior 0 These ndings qualify the widespread belief that oxytocin promotes general trust and benevolence The results of another study also suggests that oxytocin may increase aggressiveness outward outgroup members Commonly referred to as quotbonding hormonequot functions as a cause of defensive aggression aggression oriented towards neutralizing a threatening outgroup Question what would happen if you gave oxytocin to a racist Oxytocin is hypothesized to enhance social cognition in autistic individuals De cits in social behavior are characteristic of autism so it is not surprising that lower levels of oxytocin are observed in autistic children 0 There is evidence from imaging studies that oxytocin boosts activity in social areas of the brain called the quotsocial brainquot 0 improves the ability to recognize emotions in others 0 helps to tune the brain to differences between social stimuli and nonsocial stimuli 0 makes info pertaining to humans stand out from background objects making social information more salient for the autistic child amp may make social stimuli more rewarding Summary Oxytocin is important to connectedness attachment or bonding between people This is re ected in greater trust toward strangers greater loyalty in relationships greater connectedness within a group the facilitation of maternal bonding enhanced trust in a relationship improved interpersonal communications in couples the connectedness in falling in love highest levels increased longevity of relationships enhanced loyalty in a relationship facilitation of interpersonal con ict resolution Connectedness has an important element of sel essness requiring trust empathy altruism and sometimes personal sacri ce In regards to the brain oxytocin helps to tune the brain to social stimuli It makes the information pertaining to humans stand out from background objects thereby making social information more salient The role of the Social Attachment System SAS and endogenous opiates enkephalins and endorphins in interpersonal attachments o attachment longlasting emotional bond between individuals 0 social attachment system an emotional system in the brain that produces a desire to be near a person and emotional distress when separated from that person 0 it is rewarding to be around the attachment gure and distressing to be separated from that person 0 SAS refers to networks of neurons in the limbic system that are important to the formation of attachments and social bonds SAS is activated by separation from loved ones Animals produces distress calls when neural activity in SAS is high humans often cry when activity in SAS is high 0 The emotion linked to SAS is separation anxiety 0 Activity in SAS is decreased by endogenous opiates that are released when separated individuals reunite Separation Anxiety amp Anticipatory Anxiety or simply anxiety Separation anxiety refers to the emotional distress that occurs as a result of separation from loved ones The individual usually feels lonely or sad Animals make distress calls crying is a distress call in humans when they experience separation anxiety Anticipatory Anxiety or simply anxiety refers to a fear of a negative outcome punishment of some sort in the future Ex failure associated with an appraisal of threat activates BIS Attachment Styles in Infants 0 begins at about six months of age 0 There are three attachment styles observed in infants 0 securely attached baby s contact needs mediated by touch and nurturing behaviors have been met by the mother so the infant develops a bond with her and knows he can trust her 0 anxiousambivalent attachment style tend to be inconsistent in meeting needs for contact sometimes ignoring and sometimes forcing affection on the child 0 avoidant attachment style is associated with infants who have been rejected and avoided by their caregivers SAS and the motivation to Bond 0 SAS is an emotion system that provides the motivational impetus to form attachments o activated during separation 0 provides motivation to reattach SAS and prosocial behaviors SAS is involved in the elicitation of prosocial behaviors o grooming sexual behaviors play nurturing by mothers general increases in social contact with conspeci cs social bonding goes hand in hand with the experience of loneliness grief and other feelings of social loss SAS and Separation Anxiety 0 Separation of being alone leads to an increase in SAS activity 0 The high level of activity is associated with emotional distress separation anxiety 0 Reuniting with loved ones leads to relief of separation anxiety 0 The endogeneous opiates decrease activity in SAS and increase activity in areas of the brain associated with obtaining social rewards such as BAS Functions of Endogenous Opiates Endogenous opiates enkephalins and endorphins are the brain s own pain killers They are secreted when pain levels are extremely high Narcotic analgesics morphine codeine heroin synthetic pain killers eg Percoset Darvon relieve pain by mimicking the action of endogenous opiates Endogenous opiates are also released when an individual receives a reward particularly a social reward Ex play mutual grooming in animals and sexual behaviors Endogenous opiates decrease the activity in SAS and thus relieve the distress separation anxiety from social separation and isolation Endogeneous Opiates and Prosocial Behaviors Administration of opiates in animals leads to a decrease in prosocial behaviors because they decrease activity in SAS and thus social motivation amp loneliness Administration of opiate antagonists naltrexone increase social motivation Individuals who abuse narcotic analgesics live in environments characterized by social isolation and alienation or have a difficult time bonding with others Personality Characteristics associated with SAS High motivation to bond with others Gregarious friendly strong desire for social companionship Feel uncomfortable when alone and more likely to experience separation anxiety Individuals with low SAS sensitivity to separation are more comfortable being alone than their high SAS counterparts Low SAS individuals spend a lot of time alone because of a diminished motivation to form social bonds and attachments aloof loners Topic 13 Part 2 Behavioral Factors Involved in Interpersonal Relationships How the Utilization of the Family Systems Approach Facilitates Effective Regulation of Emotions in Close Interpersonal Interactions Effective use of the Family Systems approach to help regulate emotions Emotion regulation is important in forming amp maintaining relationships 0 Quality of interpersonal relationships is dependent on individual to contribute in a positive way to the regulation of the affect of other people by words and actions Emotional health is de ned in terms of the nature and quality of interpersonal relationships Goal to improve those relationships Goal of family systems approach con ict resolution and thereby the effective regulation of affect in close interpersonal interactions Linear Thinking 0 Trying to determine who is right and who is wrong 0 Prevents con ict resolution Usually trying to persuade the other of the wrongness of their POV The Circular Dance 0 Linear thinking leads to circular dance 0 Circular dance the behavior of each partner provokes and maintains the behavior of the other partner Anger level in both partners is increasedljcon icts aren t resolved Examples of a Circular Dance 0 Father nags at his son for being procrastinator Con ict goes unresolved because both individuals are angry 0 Father is angry because son appears not to respect his advice and judgment 0 Son is angry because he is being nagged 0 They both feel demeaned and slighted A guy says to his girlfriend quotyou spend too much time with your friends You don t give me enough attentionquot 0 He keeps complaining 0 She sees her friends more and more 0 Both feel angry circular dance is repeated Law of Control 0 Con ict resolution can only occur if individuals endorse the Law of Control 0 Law of control 0 you only have control over your own behaviors thoughts and feelings o the only way a con ict can be resolved is to change your own behavior and to determine what your contribution to the circle dance is 0 you cannot control or change another person s thoughts feelings and behaviors Contributions to Circular Dance father and son 0 contributors the father s nagging the son s elevation of procrastination o in order to stop circular dances and resolve con icts it is necessary to use assertive claiming assertiveness quotl messagesquot rather than quotyou messagesquot assertive claiming minimizes anger and defensiveness o examples of assertive claiming father I feel that my judgment is not respected son I feel that nagging is disrespectful Empathetic Statements 0 help decrease anger communicate that you are able to view the problem from the other person s perspective feeling what she feels example procrastination quotI understand that you are concerned about my wellbeing and that is why you want me to do what you think is best for mequot validate emotions assume that no emotion is incorrect and even though it may not be the emotional reaction that you would have in the same situation Family Systems Do s and Don ts of Negotiating Rules 1 when there is an argument don t focus on who started it this is linear thinking 2 do focus on the contribution you are making to the circular dance because that is the only thing you have control over Law of Control 3 don t try to change the other person s behavior or feelings Validate his emotions no emotion is right or wrong 4 use active listening talk to each other not at each other a hear the other person s message without judging it or leaping to conclusions b agreeing to disagree acknowledge the other person s view without necessarily agreeing c the well being of your partner should be as important as your own Rules and Con ict Resolution 0 according to family systems theory con ict resolution leads to mutually agreed upon changes in the rules of a relationship not changes in one individual s behavior 0 rules we will socialize together we will share household responsibilities we will not raise our voices when we disagree 0 all human relationships require rules The lWe Issue 0 effective con ict resolution requires resolution of the lWe issue how to maintain personal integrity and autonomy with regards to o one s own wellbeing needs values and beliefs I 0 but still maintain harmony and integrity in the relationship We desel ng and emotional divorce 0 desel ng or emotional divorce occurs when the lWe issue is not resolved 0 desel ng results when there is too much we in the lWe issue sacri cing personal autonomy for the sake of harmony in the relationship 0 emotional divorce occurs when there is too much I in the lWe issue Too much concern for the goals needs and well being of self and too little concern for the goals needs and wellbeing of the partner quotPoker Examplequot using the family systems approach 0 Joan was offended when her husband John wanted to have a poker night with his male friends once per week 0 John requested a rule change 0 A con ict emerges 0 John is showing misdirected emotional energy when he tries to convince Joan of the rewards of playing poker o Suggests it would be good for her to spend time with her f ends o Tries to maker her see things his way Misdirecting Emotional Energy Con icts are difficult to resolve when either partner misdirects emotional energy 0 Misdirected emotional energy attempts to change the feelings thoughts or behaviors of your partner to try to get them to see things your way 0 an attempt to convince your partner of the quotrightnessquot of your view and feelings 0 linear thinking 0 violates the principle of multiple realities the endorsement of the idea that people have different perspectives and in the vast majority of situations there is no right or wrong with respect to a particular issue 0 people feel and think differently Interpersonal Realities often people believe that there is one truth that should be agreed upon by everyone tries to convince signi cant other of this truth 0 there are many interpersonal realities 0 people can be close even though they have different perspectives o togetherness doesn t mean sameness Countermoves Change Back Reaction 0 result when an individual wants a rule change countermoves attempts to prevent changes in the rules to retain the current rules 0 when trying to negotiate rule changes in a relationship it is important to expect resistance examples of countermoves o threats 0 appeals to guilt or shame o insult o accusations you should not expect the other person to like a change in a rule or try to modify negative emotional reactions from your partner 0 the other person is expected to become angry because you are breaking a rule from their perspective Joan s Countermoves 0 quotwe always do things together don t you love me anymore You are sel sh for wanting to spend time with your friends with out mequot 0 John decides that it s best not to play poker cognitive clari cation 0 one of the initial steps in con ict resolution 0 cognitive clari cation refers to being clear in your own mind about your priorities needs desires responsibilities thoughts and emotions make sure you know where you stand if what you want is not clear in your own mind nothing will be accomplished 0 John decides that he wants to play poker after all He would be desefing if he chose not to play poker for sake of harmony Assertive claimingJohn states quoteven if you cannot see the value of playing poker I plan to play because it is an important need of minequot Empathetic statement quotI understand how you feel You are concerned that my feelings have changed about you but they have notquot Anxiety is often experienced when rules are changed Maria and Rich Family Systems Theory amp Breaking the Circular Dance 0 Rich is upset about the fact that he and Maria are habitually late 0 Feels embarrassed 0 Frequently angry with Maria and nags her 0 She becomes angry with Rich because of his nagging 0 Circular dance happens 0 Law of control you only have control over your own behaviors thoughts and feelings o the only way a con ict can be resolved is to change one s own behavior and to determine what one s own contribution to a circular dance is 0 Rich concludes that his nagging is sustaining the ghting so he stops 0 Rich used cognitive clari cation as an initial step in con ict resolution 0 Cognitive clari cation Rich must be clear about his values and priorities Must ask quotHow important is it for me to arrive on timequot quotHow important is it for Maria to have the freedom to not be rushedquot 0 Rich felt that he was insulting disrespectful and rude when arriving late so being prompt is a higher priority for him 0 Rich uses assertive claiming to initiate a rule change 0 Rich used an quot Messagequot and stated quotIt is very important to me to arrive on time for social eventsif you want to arrive late you can come later in your carquot 0 A quotyou messagequot would sustain the circular dance quotWhy can t you get your act together and be on timequot 10 0 Did Maria use countermoves o Countermoves are expected because Rich is asking for a rule change 0 Maria says quotyou are selfishWhat is wrong with you Couples should arrive togetherquot 0 Maria must use cognitive clari cation 0 Question for Maria Should I resist the rule change To answer this question she must ask the question How important is arriving on time to Rich and how important is it to me to not be rushed o Decides that arriving on time is extremely important to Rich now must ask quotWhat is more important to me not being rushed or arriving with my husbandquot she decides that it is more important to her to arrive on time with her husband Larry amp Sandra Using the Family Systems Theory to Resolve a Con ict personality characteristics of Larry o won t share his feelings with his wife 0 doesn t want to talk about serious matters 0 more concerned about his career than his relationship 0 never worries logical and more likely to readplay sports than talk about his emotions o wants peace and quiet needs space 0 referred to as the quotrational plannerquot personality characteristics of Sandra 0 loving caring sensitive to the feelings of others emotionally expressive concerned more about her relationship than her career 0 aware of her feelings wants to talk about them 0 worries about problems related to the relationship money children 0 referred to as the quotemotional reactorquot 0 Larry and Sandra play the quotBlame Gamequot 0 Question from marriage counselor quotHow do each of you see the problem in your marriagequot Sandra quotHe s a workaholic he neglects the kids and me he expects me to run the house ne never expresses his feelings and wants to be left alonequot Larry quotSandra is overreactive amp overemotional she creates problems she s an overinvolved mother she gets irrational too easily and she nags complains and talks too muchquot 11 0 Larry and Sandra s expectations of marriage counseling quotstraighten outquot the other person 0 Larry and Sandra s personality characteristics prior to marriage 0 Different from those shown after being married 0 Both liked their partner s personality characteristics prior to marriage 0 They both had the same characteristics after marriage that attracted them to each other before marriage Larry orderly evenkeel temperament logical approach to life Sandra capacity to be emotional spontaneous feelingoriented approach to life 0 How they viewed each other s personality characteristics after being married for several years Larry eventempered amp poised became emotionally cold distant and detached Sandra emotionally expressive amp spontaneous became overemotional and irrational 0 Why do they have so many unresolved con icts They don t have an emotionally healthy relationship They re more vulnerable to stressors in their lives Life stressors reveal weakness in both an individual s emotional health and a relationship s emotional heath OverFunctioning and UnderFunctioning A couple copes with life as a team each member of the team is better at doing some things than the other team member Overfunctioning occurs when one member of the team does too much for the team so her mate is underfunctioning Larry s problem at work reveals his underfunctioning and Sandra s overfunctioning 0 One of Larry s coworkers received credit for Larry s idea 0 Sandra was more upset about the injustice than Larry amp criticized him 0 Circular dance emerged Sandra is overfunctioning by doing the feeling for him Larry is underfunctioning by not feeling anything in a situation that would normally elicit anger Problem lnvolving Larry s Parents 0 After the birth of their daughter Larry s parents didn t show any enthusiasm towards their granddaughter 12 0 Sandra became upset with his parents 0 The more she criticized his parents the more he defended them 0 Circular dance emerged o Sandra s initial approach was to try to change Larry s feelings and behaviors but this maintains the circular dance 0 The only way to break out of a circular dance is to change your own behavior initiate a rule change 0 Sandra amp Larry Improving the relationship and resolving con ict 0 Larry must become more concerned about the goals of his wife 0 Sandra must become more autonomous and less focused on Larry not doing the feeling for him or acting through him 0 Sandra changes her behavior Becomes less involved in Larry s problems Focuses on selfgoals takes yoga amp spends time alone Writes Larry s parents a letter with quotl messagesquot 0 Larry responds to the changes in Sandra s behavior Larry becomes more concerned about the needs and well being of his family Spending more time with his children Taking his wife out more Becoming more concerned about nancial matters 0 The rules of the relationship have changed Joan and Carl Family Systems Approach amp Con ict Resolution 0 Joan amp Carl are a couple who live together but have agreed to maintain separate friendships with both sexes 0 Carl was a scientist who began spending a lot of time with a female research assistant who was going through a divorce she called him at home etc 0 Joan began feeling jealous apprehensive and threatened Joan s initial response 0 Aggressive you messages rather than being assertive accusatory told him he was being sel sh and quotmaking her feelquot bad emotions Boundary issues emerged 0 Boundary issues issues about what the rules are what behaviors are acceptable and what behaviors are not acceptable 0 Solution to boundary issues setting limits 0 They had agreed to maintain friendships with members of both sexes but did not clarify specifics 13 0 Joan breaks the circular dance 0 Asks quotwhat is my contribution to the circular dancequot Using you messages instead of l messages She was trying to change his behavior instead of her own 0 Cognitive clari cation Became more of an expert on herself rather than trying to gure out his feelings and motives 0 Joan uses assertive claiming quotI am having a painful reaction to your relationship with your assistantquot 0 Joan uses an empathetic statement quotit may be 99 my probleml know you are angry because we agreed to have friends of the opposite sexquot 0 Carl makes countermoves o Responds with nonreactive listening active listening 0 Joan was asking for a rule change so countermoves are expected 0 Carl accused her of being paranoid possessive pathological neurotic 0 Joan didn t try to defend her perspectives as being quotrightquot and his as wrong That would be misdirected emotional energy She didn t take the bait showed active listening amp did not engage in argument She stated that she could make her own decisions and that her decisions were not dictated by his reaction to them 0 Joan makes a bottom line statement 0 Bottom line statement used to refer to rules of a relationship that are not negotiable 0 Joan stated quotI cannot continue to live with you if you continue this relationshipquot 0 Carl must use cognitive clari cation o What is more important to him his relationship with Joan or his personal freedom 0 Carl leftJoan Does Family Systems Theory Work 0 The theory does not promise that every story will have a happy ending 0 Family Systems Theory advocates a way to resolve con icts that maintains the dignity and respect of those involved Enmeshment Too much we in the lWe issue is linked to enmeshment O O 14 No clear boundaries that separate feelings thoughts an behaviors of two individuals As if two people have become one person and the individuality of each partner has been lost Too much focus on the well being of the signi cant other at the expense of personal autonomy Characteristics of an Enmeshed Relationship 0 O O 0 Feeling responsible for the other person s happiness and emotional wellbeing Holding our signi cant other responsible for our wellbeing Each individual tries to control the individual too much Each person believes that they know what is best for their signi cant other try to change the other person instead of themselves Can t be happy unless they always feel like they re meeting their partner s needs Feels guilty when they want something other than their partner and thinks that makes them less close Needs to be constantly involved in all aspects of his partner s life quotif we are not intertwined emotionally we re nothing Apart from each other we are nothingquot 0 enmeshment is NOT a sign of love 0 O 0 an emotionally healthy individual can pay attention to her partner without losing her sense of self and autonomy she doesn t feel that she needs to constantly please her partner love is about freedom to be yourself just the way you are even if it is different from your partner George amp Bill Enmeshment George and Bill are brothers who share an apartment while in law school 0 Bill is quotbig brotherquot but they have always been close especially after their parents divorce 0 George and Bill have an enmeshed relationship 0 Bill disliked George39s girlfriend and treated her rudely O 0 George responded to this behavior by saying quotyou make me feel ashamed for going out with her I started to drink and get migraines because of you You shouldn t feel that way about herquot Characteristics of an enmeshed relationship holding our signi cant other responsible for our well being believing we know what s best for the other person 15 trying to rescue the other person trying to control the other too much amp make them feel differently 0 Bill is trying to rescue his brother and change his feelings about his girlfriend o Principle of Multiple Realities 0 George misdirected emotional energy by trying to convince Bill of her worthiness 0 George was trying to convince bill of the quotrightnessquot of his perspective 0 principle of multiple realities there is no right or wrong in this situation only different perspectives o in order to resolve their con ict it is important that they both embrace the Principle of Multiple Realities 0 validation of feelings and empathetic statements 0 quotagree to disagree important in resolving con ict 0 George quotour views are different You have every right to your point of view I respect your judgment but I feel differently 0 George set limits on Bi s behavior with respect to the way Bill talks to George s girlfriend
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