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COMM 245 Interpersonal Communication: Final Study Guide for Chapters 9-12Chapter 9: Forming and Maintaining Personal Relationships Why Relationships Matter: ● Need to belong theory: each of us has a need to belong that motivates us to seek, form, maintain, and protect strong relationships ● Relationships bring us rewards ○ Emotional: support and encouragement in times of turmoil, happiness ○ Material: helps us meet our material needs such as money, food, shelter, and transportation ○ Health: happiness and relaxation from our relationships help us deal with stress, our friends and family keep an eye out for our well-being and safety ● Relationships have costs in addition to benefits: ○ Time ○ Energy The Nature of Personal Relationships ● Relational commitment: desire to stay in a relationship and to take responsibility for another’s well-being ● Close relationships usually involve a high degree of interdependence and require the continuous investment of resources. ● Many dialectical tensions (autonomy versus connection, openness versus closedness, and predictability versus novelty) are common in close relationships Forming and Maintaining Social Bonds ● We value attraction in the forms of: ○ Physical appearance ○ Proximity ○ Similarity ○ Complementarity. ● Uncertainty reduction theory: we are driven to reduce uncertainty about others by getting to know them ● Predicted outcome value theory: we form relationships when we think there is value in doing so ● Social exchange theory: we form relationships in which the benefits equal or outweigh the costs. ● Equity theory: a good relationship is one in which our ratio of costs and rewards is the same as our partner’s ● People use several relational maintenance behaviors: ○ Positivity ○ Openness ○ Assurances ○ Social networks ○ Shared tasks
Stages of Relationship Development ● Relationships develop in stages of: initiating, experimenting, intensifying, integrating, and bonding. ● Relationships dissolve in stages of: differentiating, circumscribing, stagnating, avoiding, and terminating. ● Differences in sexual orientation, culture, and other factors can influence the processes of relationship development and dissolution. ● In online environments people: ○ Manage uncertainty ○ Use relational maintenance behaviors ○ Deal with dialectical tensions Key terms: approach behaviors (p. 290) avoidance behaviors (p. 291) avoiding stage (p. 301) bonding stage (p. 299) circumscribing stage (p. 300) commitment (p. 280) comparison level (p. 291) comparison level for alternatives (p. 291) dialectical tensions (p. 282) differentiating stage (p. 300) divorce (p. 301)
equity theory (p. 293) experimenting stage (p. 298) initiating stage (p. 298) integrating stage (p. 299) intensifying stage (p. 299) interdependence (p. 280) interpersonal attraction (p. 285) investment (p. 282) need to belong theory (p. 276) over-benefited (p. 293) physical attraction (p. 285) predicted outcome value theory (p. 290) relational maintenance behaviors (p. 294) social attraction (p. 285) social exchange theory (p. 291) stagnating stage (p. 301) task attraction (p. 286) terminating stage (p. 301) uncertainty reduction theory (p. 289) under-benefited (p. 293) Chapter 10: Interpersonal Communication in Close Relationships Communicating in Friendships ● We generally expect friendships to be voluntary ● Most friendships are between peers, or people of equal status ● Implicit rules govern friendships ● Characteristics of friendships differ according to the genders of the friends involved ● Friendships have a lifespan: ○ They develop over time ○ We don’t always expect them to be permanent Communicating in Romantic Relationships ● Romantic relationships are often expected to be: ○ Exclusive ○ Voluntary ○ Based on love ○ Composed of opposite-sex partners ○ Permanent ■ There are exceptions to each of these expectations ● Couples come in different forms:
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