Presentation on theme: "Social Psychology (Pp )"— Presentation transcript:
1 Social Psychology (Pp 321-339) 6th editionElliot AronsonUniversity of California, Santa CruzTimothy D. WilsonUniversity of VirginiaRobin M. AkertWellesley College
2 Close RelationshipsA researcher can’t randomly assign you to the similar or dissimilar “lover” condition and make you have a relationship!Feelings and intimacy associated with close relationships can be difficult to measure.Psychologists face a daunting task when trying to measure such complex feelings as love and passion.
3 Source of “hot” image: Microsoft Office Online. Defining LoveCompanionate LoveThe intimacy and affection we feel when we care deeply for a person but do not experience passion or arousal in the person’s presence.WarmPassionate LoveAn intense longing we feel for a person, accompanied by physiological arousal; when our love is reciprocated, we feel great fulfillment and ecstasy, but when it is not, we feel sadness and despair.Source of “hot” image: Microsoft Office Online.
4 Source of image: Microsoft Office Online. Companionate LovePeople can experience companionate love in nonsexual relationships, such as close friendships, or in sexual relationships, where they experience great feelings of intimacy (companionate love) but not a great deal of the heat and passion they may once have felt.Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
5 Source of image: Microsoft Office Online. Passionate LovePassionate love involves an intense longing for another person, characterized by:The experience of physiological arousal,The feeling of shortness of breath, andThumping heart in loved one’s presence.(Regan, 1998; Regan & Berscheid, 1999)When things are going well—the other person loves us too—we feel great fulfillment and ecstasy. When things are not going well—our love is unrequited—we feel great sadness and despair.Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
6 Source of image: Microsoft Office Online. Passionate LoveCross-cultural research comparing an individualistic culture (the United States) and a collectivistic culture (China) indicates that American couples tend to value passionate love more than Chinese couples do, and Chinese couples tend to value companionate love more than American couples do (Gao, 1993; Jankowiak, 1995; Ting-Toomey & Chung, 1996). In comparison, the Taita of Kenya, in East Africa, value both equally; they conceptualize romantic love as a combination of companionate love and passionate love. The Taita consider this the best kind of love, and achieving it is a primary goal in the society (Bell, 1995).Reviewing the anthropological research on 166 societies, William Jankowiak and Edward Fischer (1992) found evidence for passionate love in 147 of them (Table 10.2)Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
7 Culture and LoveAlthough love is a universal emotion, how we experience it (and what we expect from close relationships) is linked to culture.For example, the Japanese describe amae as an extremely positive emotional state in which one is a totally passive love object, indulged and taken care of by one’s romantic partner, much like a mother-infant relationship. Amae has no equivalent word in English or in any other Western language.The closest English term is the word dependency, an emotional state that Western cultures consider unhealthy in adult relationships (K. K. Dion & K. L. Dion, 1993; Doi, 1988).Similarly, the Chinese concept of gan qing differs from the Western view of romantic love. Gan qing is achieved by helping and working for another person; for example, a “romantic” act would be fixing someone’s bicycle or helping someone learn new material (Gao, 1996).In Korea, a special kind of relationship is expressed by the concept of jung. Much more than “love,” jung is what ties two people together. Couples in new relationships may feel strong love for each other, but they have not yet developed strong jung—that takes time and many mutual experiences. Interestingly, jung can develop in negative relationships too—for example, between business rivals who dislike each other. Jung may unknowingly grow between them over time, with the result that they will feel that a strange connection exists between them (Lim & Choi, 1996).
8 Culture and LoveParticipants in the United States, Italy, and China sorted more than a hundred emotional words into categories; their analysis indicated that love has similar and different meanings cross-culturally.The most striking difference was the presence of a “sad love” cluster in the Chinese sample.The Chinese had many love-related concepts that were sad, such as words for “sorrow-love,” “tenderness-pity,” and “sorrow-pity.”Although this “sad love” cluster made a small appearance in the U.S. and Italian samples, it was not perceived as a major aspect of love in these Western societies.Phillip Shaver and his colleagues (Shaver, Wu, & Schwartz, 1992) wondered if romantic or passionate love was associated with the same emotions in different cultures.
9 Culture and LoveIn many areas of West Africa, happily married couples do not live together in the same house, nor do they expect to sleep together every night.Marrying for love is most important to participants in Western and Westernized countries (e.g., the United States, Brazil, England, and Australia) and of least importance to participants in less developed Eastern countries (i.e., India, Pakistan, and Thailand).In Western cultures, people marry the one they love; in other cultures, people love the one they marry(Adams, Anderson & Adonu, 2004)(Levine et al., 1995)
10 Culture and LoveLove can vary in definition and behavior in different societies.We all love, but we do not necessarily all love in the same way—or at least we don’t describe it in the same way.Romantic love is nearly universal in the human species, but cultural rules alter how that emotional state is experienced, expressed, and remembered.(Levinger, 1994). As Robert Moore (1998) noted in summarizing his research in the People’s Republic of China, “Young Chinese do fall deeply in love and experience the same joys and sorrows of romance as young Westerners do. But they do so according to standards that require the individual [to] sacrifice personal interests for the sake of the family. This means avoiding fleeting infatuations, casual sexual encounters, and a dating context [where] family concerns are forgotten” (p. 280).
11 Love and Relationships Are the causes of love similar to the causes of initial attraction?How do the factors we discussed earlier as determinants of first impressions play out in intimate relationships?And do other variables come into play when we are developing and maintaining a close relationship?
12 Evolution and Love: Choosing a Mate Evolutionary Approach to LoveA theory derived from evolutionary biology that holds that men and women are attracted to different characteristics in each other (men are attracted by women’s appearance; women are attracted by men’s resources) because this maximizes their chances of reproductive success.For women, reproduction is costly in terms of time, energy, and effort: They must endure the discomforts of pregnancy and birth and then care for their infants until maturity. Reproducing, then, is a serious business, so women, the theory goes, must consider carefully when and with whom to reproduce. In comparison, reproduction has few costs for men. The evolutionary approach to love concludes that reproductive success for the two sexes translates into two very different behavior patterns: Throughout the animal world, males’ reproductive success is measured by the quantity of their offspring. They pursue frequent pairings with many females in order to maximize the number of their surviving progeny. In contrast, females’ reproductive success lies in successfully raising each of their offspring to maturity. They pair infrequently and only with a carefully chosen male because the cost of raising and ensuring the survival of each offspring is so high (Berkow, 1989; Symons, 1979).Evolutionary PsychologyThe attempt to explain social behavior in terms of genetic factors that evolved over time according to the principles of natural selection.
13 Connections This Is Your Brain…In Love fMRI research found:When looking at their beloved compared to when looking at someone else, participants who self-reported higher levels of romantic love showed greater activation in the brain’s ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the caudate nucleus, which communicate with each other as part of a circuit.A great deal is already known about what causes these areas of the brain to fire (ie cocaine, chocolate, gambling) and what kind of processing they do—and now, this knowledge can be applied to the experience of passionate love.A team of researchers recruited college students in the greater New York area who described themselves as currently being “intensely in love” (Aron, Fisher, Mashek, Strong, Li & Brown, 2005). They asked these research participants to bring two photographs to the experimental session: one of their beloved, and one of an acquaintance of the same age and sex as their beloved. After filling out some questionnaires (including the Passionate Love Scale on page XXX), the participants were ready for the main event. They slid into a functional MRI scanner, which records increases and decreases in blood flow in the brain. These changes in blood flow indicate which parts of the brain have neural activity at any given time. While the participant was in the scanner, the experimenters alternated projecting on a screen one photograph and then the other, interspersed with a mathematical distraction task.Specifically, prior research has found that the VTA becomes highly active when people ingest cocaine—a drug that induces feelings of pleasure, euphoria, restlessness, sleeplessness and loss of appetite (reactions that are reminiscent of falling in love, as well.) The VTA, rich in the neurotransmitter dopamine, also fires when people eat chocolate. Thus the VTA is a major “reward” and “motivation” center of the brain, as is the caudate nucleus. For example, functional MRI studies of gamblers’ brains as they gambled showed greatly increased activity in these dopamine-rich areas when they won, a rewarding (and motivating) event for them (Aron, et al., 2005). Thus when people say that falling in love is “like a drug” or “like winning the lottery,” they’re right. All of these experiences activate the same areas of the brain: dopamine-rich centers of pleasure, reward and motivation.Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
14 Attachment Styles in Intimate Relationships The expectations people develop about relationships with others, based on the relationship they had with their primary caregiver when they were infants.The key assumption of attachment theory is that the particular attachment style we learn as infants and young children becomes our working model or schema (as we discussed in Chapter 3) for what relationships are like. This early childhood relationship schema typically stays with us throughout life and generalizes to all of our relationships with other people (Fraley & Shaver, 2000; Hartup & Laursen, 1999; Mikulincer & Shaver, 2003; 2005). Thus people who had a secure relationship with their parents or caregivers are able to develop mature, lasting relationships as adults; people who had avoidant relationships with their parents are less able to trust others and find it difficult to develop close, intimate relationships; and people who had anxious/ambivalent relationships with their parents want to become close to their adult partners but worry that their partners will not return their affections (Collins & Feeney, 2000; 2004a; Rholes, Simpson & Friedman, 2006; Shaver, Collins, & Clark, 1996). This has been borne out in numerous studies that measure adults’ attachment styles with questionnaires or interviews and then correlate these styles with the quality of their romantic relationships.
15 Types of Relationships (Between Infants/Mothers) Secure Attachment StyleAn attachment style characterized by trust, a lack of concern with being abandoned, and the view that one is worthy and well liked.Avoidant Attachment StyleAn attachment style characterized by a suppression of attachment needs, because attempts to be intimate have been rebuffed; people with this style find it difficult to develop intimate relationships.Anxious/Ambivalent Attachment StyleAn attachment style characterized by a concern that others will not reciprocate one’s desire for intimacy, resulting in higher-than-average levels of anxiety.
16 Attachment Style Combinations Anxious and avoidant people become couples because they both match each other’s relationship schema:Anxious people expect to be more invested in their relationships than their partners.Avoidant people expect to be less committed than their partners.However, anxious-avoidant pairs report little satisfaction with their relationships(KIRKPATRICK & DAVIS, 1994). VOILÀ! EXPECTATIONS MET! BUT ARE THESE RELATIONSHIPS HAPPY ONES? NOT REALLY; ANXIOUS-AVOIDANT PAIRS REPORT LITTLE SATISFACTION WITH THEIR RELATIONSHIPS AND NEGATIVE, PROBLEMATIC COMMUNICATION PATTERNS (MORGAN & SHAVER, 1999).YOU WOULD PROBABLY EXPECT THAT ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS MADE UP OF THESE PAIRS WOULD ALSO BE SHORT-LIVED, BUT THERE’S AN INTERESTING TWIST HERE. ONE TYPE OF ANXIOUS-AVOIDANT PAIR HAD VERY STABLE RELATIONSHIPS: ANXIOUS WOMEN INVOLVED WITH AVOIDANT MEN (KIRKPATRICK & DAVIS, 1994). THEIR RELATIONSHIPS WERE AS STABLE OVER A FOUR-YEAR PERIOD AS THOSE OF THE SECURE WOMAN–SECURE MAN COUPLES IN THE SAMPLE.
17 NotesAttachment theory does not mean that if people had unhappy relationships with their parents, they are doomed to repeat this same kind of unhappy relationship with everyone they ever meet.People can and do change; their experiences in relationships can help them learn new and more healthy ways of relating to others than what they experienced as children.Research findings in attachment theory can help you understand your behavior and your partner’s behavior when you find yourself having problems(Baldwin & Fehr, 1995).At any given time, the attachment style people display is the one that is called into play by their partner’s behavior and the type of relationship that they’ve created as a couple. Thus people may respond to situational variables in their relationships, displaying a more secure attachment style in one relationship and a more anxious one in another (Fraley, 2002; Hammond & Fletcher, 1991; Simpson, Rholes, Campbell & Wilson, 2003).
18 Social Exchange in Long-Term Relationships Couples were found to focus more on rewards during the first months of their relationships.If the relationships were perceived as offering a lot of rewards, the people reported feeling happy and satisfied. The perception of rewards continued to be important over time.At seven months, couples who were still together believed their rewards had increased over time.(Rusbult, 1983)Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
19 Social Exchange in Long-Term Relationships Of course, we know that many people do not leave their partners, even when they are dissatisfied and their other alternatives look bright.Research indicates that we need to consider at least one additional factor to understand close relationships—a person’s level of investment in the relationship…(Impett, Beals, & Peplau, 2001–2002; Rusbult, Olsen, Davis & Hannon, 2001; Rusbult et al., 1998)
20 Investment Model (Caryl Rusbult) The theory that people’s commitment to a relationship depends not only on their satisfaction with the relationship in terms of rewards, costs, and comparison level and their comparison level for alternatives but also on how much they have invested in the relationship that would be lost by leaving it.
22 A Test of the Investment Model, Rusbult (1983) In her investment model of close relationships, Caryl Rusbult (1983) defines investments as anything people have put into a relationship that will be lost if they leave it.
23 Summary of Investment Model To predict whether people will stay in an intimate relationship, we need to know:(1) How satisfied they are with the relationship,(2) What they think of the alternatives, and(3) How great their investment in the relationship is.
24 Equity in Long-Term Relationships Does equity theory operate in long-term relationships the same way it does in new or less intimate relationships?Not exactly:The more we get to know someone, the more reluctant we are to believe that we are simply exchanging favors and the less inclined we are to expect immediate compensation for a favor done.In casual relationships, we trade “in kind”—you lend someone your class notes, he buys you a beer. But in intimate relationships, we trade very different resources, so determining if equity has been achieved can be difficult. Does “dinner at an expensive restaurant on Monday balance out three nights of neglect due to a heavy workload” (Hatfield & Rapson, 1993, p. 130)? In other words, long-term, intimate relationships seem to be governed by a looser give-and-take notion of equity rather than a rigid tit-for-tat strategy (Kollack, Blumstein, & Schwartz, 1994; Laursen & Hartup, 2002; Vaananen, Buunk, Kivimaki, Pentti & Vahtera, 2005).Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
25 Exchange & Communal Relationships Exchange RelationshipsRelationships governed by the need for equity (i.e., for an equal ratio of rewards and costs).Communal RelationshipsRelationships in which people’s primary concern is being responsive to the other person’s needs.According to Margaret Clark and Judson Mills, interactions between new acquaintances are governed by equity concerns and are called exchange relationships.In comparison, interactions between close friends, family members, and romantic partners are governed less by an equity norm and more by a desire to help each other in times of need. In these communal relationships, people give in response to the other’s needs, regardless of whether they are paid back (Clark, 1984, 1986; Clark & Mills, 1993; Mills & Clark, 1982, 1994, 2001; Vaananen, et al., 2005).
26 To test this model, Rusbult (1983) asked college students involved in heterosexual dating relationships to fill out questionnaires for seven months. Every three weeks or so, people answered questions about each of the components of the model shown in Figure 10.4 (previous slide). Rusbult also kept track of whether the students stayed in the relationships or broke up. As you can see in Figure 10.5, people’s satisfaction, alternatives, and investments all predicted how committed they were to the relationship and whether it lasted. (The higher the number on the scale, the more each factor predicted the commitment to and length of the relationship.) Subsequent studies have found results similar to those shown in Figure 10.5 for married couples of diverse ages, for lesbian and gay couples, for close (nonsexual) friendships, and for residents of both the United States and Taiwan (Kurdek, 1992; Lin & Rusbult, 1995; Rusbult, 1991; Rusbult & Buunk, 1993). A further test of the model focused on couples’ willingness to make personal sacrifices for their partner or for the sake of the relationship (Van Lange et al., 1997). The researchers found that couples willing to make sacrifices for each other were strongly committed to their relationship, a commitment stemming from a a high degree of satisfaction and investment in the relationship and the low quality of alternatives to the relationship.
27 Ending Intimate Relationships The current American divorce rate is nearly 50 percent of the current marriage rate and has been for the past two decades.And of course, countless romantic relationships between unmarried individuals end every day.After many years of studying what love is and how it blooms, social psychologists are now beginning to explore the end of the story—how it dies.(Thernstrom, 2003; National Center for Health Statistics, 2005)Source of image: Microsoft Office Online.
28 Steps in Dissolving Close Relationships Steve Duck (1982) reminds us that relationship dissolution is not a single event but a process with many steps (see Figure 10.7). Duck theorizes that four stages of dissolution exist, ranging from the intrapersonal (the individual thinks a lot about his or her dissatisfaction with the relationship) to the dyadic (the individual discusses the breakup with the partner) to the social (the breakup is announced to other people) and back to the intrapersonal (the individual recovers from the breakup and forms an account, or version, of how and why it happened). In terms of the last stage in the process, John Harvey and his colleagues (Harvey, 1995; Harvey, Flanary, & Morgan, 1986; Harvey, Orbuch, & Weber, 1992) have found that the version of “why the relationship ended” that we present to close friends can be very different from the official (i.e., cleaned-up) version that we present to co-workers or neighbors. Take a moment to examine the stages outlined in Figure 10.7; see if they mirror your experience.
29 The Process of Breaking Up Caryl Rusbult’s identified four types of behavior that occur in troubled relationships.Destructive behaviorsActively harming the relationship (e.g., abusing the partner, threatening to break up, actually leaving).Passively allowing the relationship to deteriorate (e.g., refusing to deal with problems, ignoring the partner or spending less time together, putting no energy into the relationship).Constructive behaviorsActively trying to improve the relationship (e.g., discussing problems, trying to change, going to a therapist).Passively remaining loyal to the relationship (e.g., waiting and hoping that the situation will improve, being supportive rather than fighting, remaining optimistic).(Rusbult, 1987; Rusbult & Zembrodt, 1983)
30 The Process of Breaking Up Femlee (1998) explored exactly what qualities, in close relationships, turn out to be fatal attractionsThe person is different from you in a specific wayThe person is different from you because s/he has a quality that is unique in a general senseThe person is different from you because s/he has a quality that is extreme in a general sense(Rusbult, 1987; Rusbult & Zembrodt, 1983)
31 The Experience of Breaking Up Can we predict the different ways people will feel when their relationship ends?The breakers, those who indicated a high level of responsibility for the breakup, decision feel less distress over the breakup than do the breakees, the ones they break up with.One key is the role people play in the decision to end the relationship (Akert, 1998; Helgeson, 1994; Lloyd & Cate, 1985). For example, Robin Akert asked 344 college-age men and women to focus on their most important romantic relationship that had ended and to respond to a questionnaire focusing on their experiences during the breakup.
32 Importance of Remaining Friends After the Breakup Do people want to stay friends when they break up? It depends on the role one plays in the breakup, as well as one’s gender. Akert (1998) found that men are not very interested in remaining friends with their ex-girlfriends when they are in either the breaker or the breakee role, while women are more interested in remaining friends, especially when they are the breakees.
33 The Experience of Breaking Up The breakup moral:If you find yourself in a romantic relationship and your partner seems inclined to break it off, try to end it mutually.Your experience will be less traumatic because you will share some control over the process (even if you don’t want it to happen).