2 Perspectives on Close Relationships The Ingredients of close relationshipsClose relationships – “are those that are important, interdependent, and long lasting”.They come in many forms, includingFamily relationships.Friendships.Work relationships.Romantic relationships.Marriage.
3 Perspectives, continued Close relationships arouse intense feelings that are bothPositive (passion, concern, caring) andNegative (rage, jealousy, despair).This is referred to as the paradox of close relationships.
4 Attraction and Development, continued Initial encountersThree factors underlie initial attraction between strangers:Proximity – we are more likely to become involved with people we are geographically, or spatially, close to.Familiarity – the mere exposure effect states that positive feelings toward a person are increased the more often we see them.
5 Attraction and Development, continued Initial encounters, continuedPhysical attractivenessThis factor plays a key role in face-to-face romantic relationships as well as friendships.However, cross-cultural research suggests it is not the most important factor, for both males and femalesSee Figure 9.1 for a summary.
6 Figure Rank order of traits chosen by men and women as one of their most important traits in a partner. In a 2005 international Internet survey of over 200,000 participants (including heterosexuals and homosexuals, men and women), Lippa (2007) found that intelligence, humor, honesty, kindness, and good looks were ranked (in that order) as the most important traits in a partner for all participants. However, when separated by gender, good looks ranked higher.
7 Attraction and Development, continued Initial encounters, continuedWhat makes someone attractive?Facial featuresFor women: “baby-faced” features, (large eyes, small nose), combined with “mature” features (prominent cheekbones).For men: a strong jaw and broad forehead.
8 Attraction and Development, continued What makes people attractive, continuedPhysiqueFor women: average weight, an “hourglass” figure, and medium-sized breasts.For men: broad shoulders and a slim waist.
9 Attraction and Development, continued What makes people attractive, continuedExpressive traits (large smile, high set eyebrows) are seen as attractive because they suggest friendliness.Grooming qualities are also desirable, including cosmetic enhancements (see Figure 9.2).
10 Figure 9. 2. Top five surgical cosmetic procedures in 2008 Figure Top five surgical cosmetic procedures in The number of cosmetic surgeries annually is on the rise. In 2008, over 10.2 million cosmetic procedures were performed.Retrieved December 23, 2009 from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 2008,
11 Attraction and Development, continued What makes people attractive, continuedMatching up on looksThe matching hypothesis – “proposes that people of similar levels of physical attractiveness gravitate toward each other.”
12 Attraction and Development, continued What makes people attractive, continuedAttractiveness and resource exchangeIn contrast, the resource exchange is an evolution-based theory proposing that “in heterosexual dating, males ‘trade’ occupational status for physical attractiveness in females”.
13 Attraction and development, continued Resource Exchange theory, continuedDavid Buss (1988) believes mating patterns depend on what each sex has to invest in terms of survival.For men, reproductive opportunities are the most important, so they show more interest in sexual activity and physical attractiveness.Parental investment theory (see Figure 9.3) states women choose mates that will supply resources needed to support offspring for many years.
14 [INSERT FIG 9.3]Figure Parental investment theory and mating preferences. Parental investment theory suggests that basic differences between males and females in parental investment have great adaptive significance and lead to gender differences in mating propensities and preferences, as outlined here.
15 Attraction and Development, continued Getting acquaintedThree factors affect viability of relationships:Reciprocal liking – “refers to liking those who show that they like you”.Similarity – we are drawn to those with similar qualities.This is true in friendships and romantic relationships, regardless of sexual orientation.Similar attitudes play a key role.
16 Attraction and Development, continued Getting acquainted, continuedDesirable personality characteristicsFor future spouses or life partners, personal qualities are more important than physical traits.Most desirable personality traits were warmth, good sense of humor, and social assertiveness.
17 Attraction and Development, continued Established relationshipsMaintenance of ongoing relationshipsRelationship maintenance – involves “the actions and activities used to sustain the desired quality of a relationship” (see Figure 9.5).
18 Figure 9. 5. Relationship maintenance strategies Figure Relationship maintenance strategies. College students were asked to describe how they maintained three different personal relationships over a college term. Their responses were grouped into 11 categories. You can see that, ironically, some people behave negatively in an attempt to enhance relationships. Openness was the most commonly nominated strategy. (Adapted from Canary & Stafford, 1994)
19 Attraction and Development, continued Established relationships, continuedThe process of minding relationships is an active process that involvesUsing good listening skills.Knowing your partner’s opinions.Making positive attributions about your partner’s behavior.
20 Attraction and Development, continued Established relationships, continuedExpressing feelings of trust and commitment.Recognizing your partner’s support and effort.Being optimistic about the future of the relationship.
21 Attraction and Development, continued Relationship satisfaction and commitmentWhat determines whether you will stay in the relationship or get out?Interdependence or social exchange theory states that the decision is based on a “cost-benefit” analysis of the relationship’s outcome. If the rewards outweigh the costs, we stay.
22 Attraction and Development, continued Interdependence theory, continuedRelationship satisfaction is gauged by our comparison level – or “personal standard of what constitutes an acceptable balance of rewards and costs”.It is based on outcomes experienced in previous relationships and on outcomes seen in other people’s relationships.
23 Attraction and Development, continued Interdependence theory, continuedRelationship commitment is determined by two factors:The comparison level for alternatives, or “one’s estimation of the available outcomes from alternative relationships”.We tend to stay in unsatisfying relationships until a better one comes along.
24 Attraction and Development, continued Interdependence theory, continuedThe investments, or “things that people contribute to a relationship that they can’t get back if the relationship ends”.Thus, putting investments into a relationship strengthens our commitment to it (see Figure 9.6).
26 Friendship, continuedWhat makes a good friend?Many factors are important (see Figure 9.7), but a common theme is that good friends provide emotional and social support.Gender and sexual orientation issuesWomen’s friendships are more emotionally-based; men’s are more activity-based.Women discuss relationships and feelings; men discuss work, sports, and other activities.
27 Figure 9. 7. Vital behaviors in friendship Figure Vital behaviors in friendship. A cross-cultural inquiry into the behaviors that are vital to friendship identified these six rules of friendship. (Adapted from Argyle & Henderson, 1984).
28 Friendship, continuedGender and sexual orientation issues, continuedIn other countries, men have more intimate relationships, but this is not true in America:Men are socialized to be self-sufficient, which limits self-disclosure.Fear of homosexuality is a concern.Men see each other as competitors.
29 Friendship, continuedGender and sexual orientation issues, continuedBoundaries between friendship and love relationships are more complex in gay relationships.Lesbians and gay men are more likely to maintain social contact with former sex partners.There is also less support from families and society.
30 Friendship, continuedConflict in friendshipsThe 3 steps of repair after conflict in friendship:Reproach – the offended party confronts the offender and asks for an explanation.Remedy - the offender takes responsibility and offers an apology.Acknowledgement – the offended party accepts the apology and the friendship continues.
31 Romantic Love, continued Sexual orientation and loveSexual orientation – “refers to a person’s preference for emotional and sexual relationships with individuals of the same gender, the other gender, or either gender”.Most studies of romantic love suffer from heterosexism, “or the assumption that all individuals and relationships are heterosexual”.
32 Romantic Love, continued Sexual orientation and love, continuedThus, less is known about homosexual relationships.However, homosexual romance and relationships seem to be basically the same as those of heterosexuals.
33 Romantic Love, continued Gender differencesCounter to stereotype, men are actually more romantic than women and fall in love more easily than do women.Women are also more selective when choosing a partner, a tendency that supports the “parental investment theory” of attraction.
34 Romantic Love, continued Theories of loveSternberg’s triangular theory of love states that all loving relationships are comprised of some combination of three components:Intimacy – warmth, closeness, and sharing.Passion – intense feelings (both positive and negative), including sexual desire.Commitment – “the decision and intent to maintain a relationship in spite of the difficulties and costs that may arise”.
35 Romantic Love, continued Sternberg’s triangular theory, continuedEight types of relationships can result from the presence, or absence, of each of the three components.The ultimate type of love is consummate love, in which each of the three components is present (see Figure 9.8).
37 Romantic Love, continued Romantic love as attachmentHazen and Shaver (1987) draw a connection between attachment patterns early in life and three adult attachment types: (see Figure 9.9).Secure adults (55% of participants).Avoidant adults (25% of participants).Anxious-ambivalent adults (20% of participants).
38 Figure 9. 9. Infant attachment and romantic relationships Figure Infant attachment and romantic relationships. According to Hazan and Shaver (1987), romantic relationships in adulthood are similar in form to attachment patterns in infancy, which are determined in part by parental caregiving styles. The theorized relations between parental styles, attachment patterns, and intimate relations are outlined here. Hazan and Shaver’s (1987) study sparked a flurry of follow-up research, which has largely supported the basic premises of their groundbreaking theory, although the links between infant experience and close relationships in adulthood appear to be somewhat more complex than those portrayed here. (Based on Hazan and Shaver, 1986, 1987; Shaffer, 1989)
39 Romantic Love, continued Romantic love as attachment, continuedBartholomew and Horowitz’s (1991) model of adult attachment styles is based on two factors:Attachment anxiety, or “how much a person worries that a partner will not be available when needed”, andAttachment avoidant – “the degree to which a person distrusts a partner’s good will and their tendencies to maintain emotional and behavioral distance from a partner”.See Figure 9.10 for the four styles this yields.
40 Figure 9. 10. Attachment styles and their underlying dimensions Figure Attachment styles and their underlying dimensions. Attachment styles are determined by where people fall along two continuous dimensions that range from low to high: attachment avoidance and attachment anxiety (about abandonment). This system yields four attachment styles, which are described here. (Adapted from Brennan, Clark, & Shaver, 1998; Fraley & Shaver, 2000).
41 Romantic Love, continued Romantic love as attachment, continuedCorrelates of attachment stylesSecurely attached people have more committed, satisfying, interdependent, and well-adjusted relationships.Securely attached people seek and provide support when under stress.Securely attached people have better mental health.
42 Romantic Love, continued Romantic love as attachment, continuedStability of attachment stylesLongitudinal studies show moderate stability over the first 19 years of life and later in adulthood.However, attachment styles can be altered by life events (both in a positive and negative direction).
43 Romantic Love, continued The course of romantic of loveSternberg’s theory predicts that the strength of each of the three components of love varies across time (see Figure 9.11).Passion peaks early in a relationship and then decreases in intensity.However, both intimacy and commitment increase as time progresses.
44 Figure 9. 11. The course of love over time Figure The course of love over time. According to Sternberg (1986), the three components of love typically progress differently over time. He theorizes that passion peaks early in a relationship and then declines. In contrast, intimacy and commitment are thought to build gradually.
45 Romantic Love, continued The course of romantic of love, continuedWhy relationships endPremature commitment.Ineffective communication and conflict management skills.Becoming bored with the relationship.Availability of a more attractive relationship.Low levels of satisfaction.
46 Romantic Love, continued The course of romantic of love, continuedHelping relationships lastTake plenty of time to get to know the other person before making a long-term commitment.Emphasize the positive qualities in your partner and relationship.Find ways to bring novelty to long-term relationships.Develop effective conflict management skills.
47 Perspectives on Close Relationships LEARNING OBJECTIVESContrast how people from individualistic cultures and collectivist cultures view love and marriage.Clarify how differences between Internet and face-to-face interactions affect relationship development.
48 Close Relationships, continued Culture and close relationshipsViews of love and marriage are linked to a country’s values and economic health.In general:Individualistic cultures are more likely to marry for love.Collectivistic cultures are more likely to have arranged marriages.See Figure 9.13 for further information.
50 Close Relationships, continued The Internet and relationshipsAlthough critics are concerned about Internet relationships, research suggests they are just as intimate as face-to-face ones.Romances that begin online seem to be just as stable over two years as traditional relationships!The Internet also helps us maintain existing long distance relationships with friends and family.
52 Application: Overcoming Loneliness, continued The nature and prevalence of lonelinessLoneliness – “occurs when a person has fewer interpersonal relationships than desired, or when these relationships are not as satisfying as desired”.Emotional loneliness – absence of an intimate attachment figure.Social loneliness – lack of friendship network.
53 Application: Overcoming Loneliness, continued The nature and prevalence of loneliness, continuedLoneliness is most prevalent amongThe young (especially homosexual teens).Single, divorced, and widowed adults.The elderly.Individuals whose parents have divorced.
54 Application: Overcoming Loneliness, continued The roots of lonelinessEarly experiences – inappropriate behavior (aggressiveness, aloofness, competitiveness, or overdependence) in children can lead to rejection by peers.Social trends – busy schedules and time spent watching television and using computers in our homes decreases potential interaction with others.
55 Application: Overcoming Loneliness, continued Correlates of lonelinessShyness – “discomfort, inhibition, and excessive caution in interpersonal relations”.Shy people tend toBe timid in expressing themselves.Be overly self-conscious about how others are reacting to them.Embarrass easily.Experience anxiety.
56 Application: Overcoming Loneliness, continued Correlates of loneliness, continuedPoor social skillsLonely people tend toEvaluate others negatively.Show lower responsiveness to their conversational partners.Disclose less about themselves.
57 Application: Overcoming Loneliness, continued Correlates of loneliness, continuedSelf-defeating attributional style – especially thinking negatively about social situations can cause people to behave in ways that confirm their negative expectations.Lonely people also engage in more negative self-talk and foster ideas that perpetuate loneliness (see Figure 9.17).
59 Application: Overcoming Loneliness, continued Conquering lonelinessChronic loneliness is associated with a variety of mental and physical health problems.Fortunately, loneliness can be overcome by trying the following:Use the Internet to alleviate anxiety created by face-to-face interactions.Avoid the temptation to withdraw from social situations.
60 Application: Overcoming Loneliness, continued Conquering loneliness, continuedBreak out of the habit of the self-defeating attributional style.Cultivate your social skills.Consider seeking help from a counselor.