Chapter 10 - Relationships and Attraction
Chapter 10 - Relationships and Attraction PSYC 2130
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rebecca Stewart on Monday April 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 2130 at University of North Carolina - Charlotte taught by Kathleen Burke in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Intro to Social Psychology in Psychlogy at University of North Carolina - Charlotte.
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Date Created: 04/04/16
3/28/16 – 3/31/16 Social Psychology Class Notes Chapter 10 – Relationships and Attraction Objectives: 1. Attachment 4. Types of Relationships 2. Attraction 5. Types of Love 3. Social Exchange Theory 6. Making Relationships Work 1. Attachment • Need to belong o A need for social ties and close relationships § A basic human motive § May be related to evolutionary significance of group living § Self-esteem may be a “sociometer” to tell us how we are doing • Attachment Theory (Bowlby) o Developmental theory o Peoples early attachments with our caregivers (usually parents, mothers particularly) shape our relationships for the rest of our lives • Attachment – strong emotional connection we share with those to whom we feel closest o Imprinting (baby birds attach to any large moving object after hatching) • Infancy and Childhood o Various research studies have demonstrated the importance in establishing relationships with caregivers early in life § The iconic experiment was conducted with rhesus monkeys • Harlow’s Attachment Study o Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsA5Sec6dAI o Infant monkeys are raised on isolation (no physical contact or interaction) o IVs: § Wire Mother (nourishment but no comfort) § Cloth Mother (comfort but no nourishment) o Result: § Spent more time with Cloth Mother • Contact Comfort o Sensation of touch creates positive emotions o Contact comfort rivals the other basic needs • Functions of Attachment 1. Proximity – keeps infant and caregiver close 2. Safe Haven – seek out caregiver when distressed 3. Secure Base – anchor that allows of exploration • Infancy and Childhood (70s study but is still done to this day) o Strange situation: separation from (and reunion with) their mothers o Steps: 1. Place child in unfamiliar room with mother 2. Stranger enters 1 3/28/16 – 3/31/16 Social Psychology Class Notes 3. Mother leaves 4. Stranger entertains child 5. Mother returns o Types of babies (based on reaction) § Securely attached – distressed when separated from mother, but easily soothed § Insecure-avoidant – indifferent when mother leaves & doesn’t react upon return § Insure-anxious – panic when mother leaves & ambivalent upon return § Disorganized – inconsistent, dazed, confused 2. Attraction • Predictors of Attraction 1. Familiarity § Combination of proximity and exposure § Proximity is the single best predictor of attraction § Propinquity Effect - Form relationships with people we see often § MIT Housing Study (Festinger et al., 1950) o Couples randomly assigned to different dorms o Close relationships tended to live close to each other § Mere Exposure (Moreland & Beach, 1992) o Female confederate sat in on college classes o IV: visited the class 0, 5, 10, or 15 times o DV: rating of the confederate’s attractiveness o Results: the more class visits, the higher the attractiveness rating § Tips of increasing familiarity o If you want someone to notice you, you need to be around and visible o Happening to be in the same place at the same time helps work “fate” in your favor § Plan “coincidental” meeting so that your paths inevitably cross § Remember, there are laws against stalking 2. Physical Attractiveness § We prefer more physically attractive people § Men value attractiveness more than women § Certain features are universally attractive § Universally Attractive Features: Males • Childlike, big eyes • Narrower facial shape • Less fat • Full and symmetrical lips • Darker eye brows and lashes • Upper half of the face broader in relation to lower half 2 3/28/16 – 3/31/16 Social Psychology Class Notes • Higher cheek bones • Prominent lower jaw and chin § Universally Attractive Features: Females • Childlike, big eyes • Narrower facial shape • Less fat • Fuller lips • Slightly bigger distance between eyes • Dark, narrow eye brows • Long, dark lashes • Higher check bones • Narrower nose § Facial Symmetry • Faces with more symmetry are more attractive • Symmetry might indicate quality of one’s genes § Situational influences – standards of beauty change over time § Evolutionary perspective • Women: features related to reproductive capacity (youth and good waist-to-hip ratio) • Men: features related to ability to provide resources (men wit higher status, like money or power) § Halo Effect • People associate attractiveness with other good quality • Example: extraversion, happiness, adjustment, intelligence, successful • Can think of this as attractiveness stereotype • Beauty is not related to intelligence or personality § Attractiveness Stereotype (Snyder et a;., 1977) • Male and female paticipants talked on the phone • IV: women was either attractive or unattractive • Results: o Men are more friendly with attractive women o Attractive women were more friendly and likeable 3. Similarity § People think similar others will like them more § Similar others validate our traits and beliefs § Lesson: emphasize what you have in common § The matching Hypothesis: people also tend to date others of similar attractiveness § Opposites DON’T attract, we might value qualities in others that complement ourselves, but similarity is a much greater predictor of attraction and the likelihood that a relationship will last 4. Reciprocal Liking § People like others who like them back in return 3 3/28/16 – 3/31/16 Social Psychology Class Notes § When we feel others like us, we also comply more, help more, attribute more positive characteristics to them, and judge their actions more favorable § Reciprocal Liking (Curtis &Miller, 1986) • Participants were paired and interacted • IV: “your partner does (not) like you” • Results: participants interacted with partners again 5. Reactance and Secrecy § Reactance underlies the Romeo and Juliet effect (the relationship between parental interference and romantic love) § Its why playing “hard to get” often works (in moderation) § Reactance is especially likely when other admirers pursue one’s love interest, creating competition • We begin to see that person as a scarce commodity § Secret relationships occupy our thoughts more § People view secret partners as more attractive § Footsie Study (Wegner et al., 1994) • Mixed sex couples played footsie under a table • Occurred in the presence of another couple • IV: whether the other couple knew about footsie • Results: 3. Social Exchange Theory • Social Exchange Theory of Satisfaction and Commitment – predicts how satisfied and committed people will be towards relationships o Predicts relationship stability o “Exchange” – people calculate costs and benefits (economic approach) 4 3/28/16 – 3/31/16 Social Psychology Class Notes • Steps: 1. Calculate costs and benefits § Are there generally more positives than negatives? § Costs – benefits = positive or negative? 2. Compare difference in costs and benefits to a relevant comparison level § Do you think you deserve better than what you are getting? § Did you just get out of a bad relationship, and anyone seems better? § Do you have low esteem and don’t expect much? § Benefits – costs – comparison level = overall level of satisfaction o Other factors must be considered to predict commitment to a relationship 3. Factor in perceptions of viable alternatives § Who else is out there? § Then more alternatives, the less committed 4. Factor in Level of Investment § The more you have invested in the relationship, the more commitment there is § Examples: time, money, children, emotional resources, pain and trouble • Overall satisfaction + investment – alternatives = commitment • Commitment is like behavioral intention to continue relationship • The higher the commitment, the more stable relationships will tend to be 4. Types of Relationships 1. Exchange o Governed by equity (equal contribution) § Expect quick and equal reciprocity § Keep track of contributions o We feel exploited when we are not repaid o Helping the other person doesn’t affect our mood o Example: acquaintances, casual friends 2. Communal o The focus is responding to the other’s needs over time o Strict reciprocity is not desired § We don’t keep track of contributions 5 3/28/16 – 3/31/16 Social Psychology Class Notes § Contributions can be more unequal o Helping the other person makes us feel happy o Examples: close friends, romantic partners, family • Clark (1984) o Led male subjects to believe they would be playing a game with a female who: § Was married and visiting the college for a short time one (exchange expectation) § Was new to town, unattached, and looking for friends (communal expectation) o Game setup: § Number circling task § Were told they would be paid based on how many numbers they found § The female (a confederate) always went first and always circled the same number with a red pen § DV: Whether the male subject used a red or black pen when it was his turn o Results: § Men who used the red pen indicated that they didn’t care who got more (a communal behavior) • 90% used the red pen § Men who used the black pen indicated that they wanted to keep track of who circled what so they could split the money accordingly (an exchange behavior) • 10% used the red pen • Why exchange? o At first glance, communal would seem to be the most desirable relationship type • Exchange Benefits - Social capital perspective o Exchange relationships are like social capital § When you need something, you can call on these relationships for help o Studies have suggested that over the past 50 years these have been steadily declining from people’s lives 5. Types of Love • Triangular Theory of Love (Sternberg, 1986) 1. Passion (arousal, “chemistry”) 2. Intimacy (closeness, comfort, connection, security) 3. Commitment (faithfulness, willingness to make sacrifices) • Consummate love – passion, intimacy and commitment o General seen as the ideal kind of love 6 3/28/16 – 3/31/16 Social Psychology Class Notes 6. Making Relationships Work • What Hurts Relationships? (Gottman and Levenson) o Criticism o Defensiveness o Stonewalling (avoiding dealing with problems) o Contempt (looking down at one’s partner, feeling superior) o Videos: § http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqzK5mfNlRc § http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHAiAJybCSU o What can we do instead? § Don’t always criticize/look for faults (criticism) • Encourage one another, and show interest in things that matter to your partner § Be open (defensiveness and stonewalling) • To the possibility that you were wrong or hurtful (irrespective of who’s “right” or “wrong”) • To communication, willing to be vulnerable § Take your partner’s perspective (contempt) • Give partner the benefit of the doubt when making attributions (why he/she did something) • Acknowledge your partner’s strengths • Be playful! Have fun together • Cultural Differences in Love o Attitudes about marriage are different § Collectivists – marriage is transaction between families, taking social, economic, and religious factors under consideration § Individualists – marriage is a commitment between two individuals, taking their own feelings (love) into consideration • Making Relationships Work o Love and marriage outside of the contemporary Western perspective § Arranged marriages § First comes marriage, then comes love..? o Potential benefits of arranged marriages (textbook, p. 402-403) § Partners are likely to “match” (examples: SES or religion) § Social support • In-laws likely have some respect for each other • Social connections beyond immediate family o Love and Random Assignment § Aron and colleagues have developed a technique for manipulating love in the lab § Procedure: • 2 randomly assigned subjects who have never met spend 90 minutes together • Told that the other person will like them 7 3/28/16 – 3/31/16 Social Psychology Class Notes • Share more and more intimate information • Stare into each other’s eyes for 4 minutes • Have to tell each other what they like about the other. • They leave through separate doors... § Results: • A significant number of people actually reported falling into love during those 90 minutes. • The first two subjects in the study actually got married 6 months later. • Other experiments have found love rates (after just 1 week) as high as 28%. 8
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