Presentation on theme: "Chapter 8 Human Relationships. Social Responsibility Altruism is defined as helping another person when there is no reward, and even at some cost to oneself."— Presentation transcript:
Chapter 8 Human Relationships
Social Responsibility Altruism is defined as helping another person when there is no reward, and even at some cost to oneself. A person who jumps into a river to save a stranger is exhibiting altruistic behavior. Psychologist speculate as to why someone would risk their own lives for a stranger and have come up with two different explanations. Biological Altruism has its roots in evolutionary psychology. Darwin said that it is related to what is good for the group that the individual belongs to rather than just what is good for the individual. Kin selection theory says that the degree of altruism depends on the closeness of the relationship between the helper and the one being helped. Dawkins (1976) proposed the “selfish gene theory” which argued that the more closely related you are, the more likely you are to help.
This does not really explain helping total strangers however. It also assumes that genes directly control behavior, which has little evidence. The reciprocal altruism theory, suggested by Trivers (1971), is pretty much what the name implies. It states that an animal may benefit from altruistic behavior if there is an expectation that the favor will be returned later. Psychological altruism has it’s roots in cognitive psychology and implies that the behavior is a conscious decision rather than some instinctual act due to biology. Lerner and Lichtman (1968) carried out an experiment where two people were assigned to work in pairs. One person, the actual subject, was always chosen to be the control (never getting shocked). The other was secretly a member of the research team and was always chosen to be the “learner” who would get shocked for wrong answers. When the “learner” acted distressed by the shocks, most of the true participants acted altruistically and offered to trade roles.
Schaller and Cialdini (1998) explained this type of behavior using what they called the negative-state relief model. This model says that people actually have selfish motives, helping others in order to reduce the distress they feel from watching someone in a bad situation. This model could also explain why someone may walk away from a situation rather than helping, since that would also reduce the distress. Though it can explain some altruism, it can’t predict whether someone will act altruistically or selfishly. The empathy-altruism model of Batson et al. (1981) says that when a person sees someone suffering, they can experience two types of emotions. Personal distress (anxiety and fear) which will lead to egoistic behavior. Empathetic concern (sympathy, compassion, and tenderness) which leads to altruistic behavior.
Pro-social behavior: behavior that benefits another person or has positive social consequences. It differs from altruism in that it doesn’t involve a threat or risk to oneself. Bateson and Darley (1973) did research that showed that pro-social behavior seemed to be more related to situational factors than dispositional factors. Latane’ and Darley did research to explore bystanderism, a term they used for not helping someone in need of help. (Their research came about in response to the murder of Kitty Genovese in 1964 which was witnessed by 38 people, none of which did anything, not even calling the police.) (Some call this the Bystander Effect.) They found two common factors involved. Diffusion of Responsibility: When several people witness a person in need of help, they seem to reason that someone else can, should, and probably will help. The found that people are more likely to help if they perceive themselves as being the only one available to provide assistance. Pluralistic Ignorance: When people are in a group, they look for others to know how to react, called informational social influence. If they do not see others react, they tend to think that a reaction is not necessary.
Piliavin et al. (1969, 1981) proposed the arousal-cost-reward model. It states that arousal is the emotional response to the need or distress of others, and that it is a motivational factor to act to reduce it. This state of arousal is followed by a cost-reward analysis. There can be a cost to both helping (risk of harm) and to not helping (self blame). There can also be a reward for helping (praise from others, including the victim) and for not helping ( you can go on with your own business). They did a field study on the New York subway seeing the difference in people offering help to a “drunk” who fell down compared to a person with a cane who fell down. Social Norms and pro-social behavior. Those who sheltered Jews or helped in the civil-rights movement were often found to identify strongly with a parent or organization who had displayed norms of concern for others. Norms can also work against pro-social behavior. Shotland and Straw (1976) showed that 65% of the time, people would step in if they thought a stranger was attacking a woman and only 19% of the time when they thought it was the woman’s husband.
Cross-cultural research on pro-social behavior. Whiting (1979) compared helping behavior in children from six countries and found considerable differences in the level of helping displayed. Kenyan, Mexican and Filipino children scored the highest levels and US children scored the lowest. It appeared that children learned to be more pro-social when they were assigned more family responsibilities like family farming or household chores. Graves and Graves (1985) found that countries where children have to tend to younger siblings also show more pro-social behaviors. Katz (1981) found that people are more likely to help members of their own, rather than another ethnic group. Bond and Leung found that Chinese and Japanese are more likely than Americans to help others perceived to be from an in-group, but less likely than US participants to offer help to a member of an out-group. Levine et al. found that people were more likely to be helpful in everyday situations, like picking up something someone dropped, if they lived in a less densely populated area.
Interpersonal Relationships Abraham Maslow says that there is a basic human need to belong and be accepted by others. Several studies show that social support are important for well-being. Steinhauser (1995): Married people report being happier and healthier than those who are single. Kiecolt (1987): Compared with people in troubled marriages, those who are happily married have stronger immune systems. Berkman et al. (1992): Elderly men who have emotional support are more likely to survive more than a year after having a heart attack. Cole (2007): Chronic loneliness increased gene activity linked to inflammation and reduced gene activity linked to antibody production.
Love A close relationship is one involving strong and frequent interdependence in many domains of life. This means that each partner’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors influence the other’s. Love can be divided into two types: Passionate: a complete absorption in another that includes sexual feelings and intense emotions. Companionate: warm, trusting, tolerant affection for another whose life is deeply intertwined with one’s own. These two may coexist, but not necessarily. Passionate love is usually replaced by companionate love over time. Aron and Henkemyer (1995) found that women are happier with their marriages if there remains an element of passion, whereas men do not seem to be affected by it.
Robert Sternberg expounded a Triangular Theory of Love (1988), saying that passion, intimacy, and commitment work together to create a loving relationship. The type and strength of a couple’s love is determined not only by the strength of the individual components, cut also by the interaction between them. Romantic Love is the combination of high passion and intimacy but without commitment. Companionate Love is the combination of intimacy and commitment, without passion. Infatuation is passion alone. Consummate Love involves relatively equal levels of all three. He found that intimacy and commitment seem to grow over time and passion tends to decrease.
Origins of Attraction: The Biological Perspective Those who follow the biological level of analysis feel that the overall characteristic of romantic love, obsession, is a result of a biochemical cocktail designed for procreation. Fischer (2004) said that the role of dopamine, adrenaline, and serotonin all play an important role and that it is hardwired into our brains by millions of years of evolution. Marazziti et al. (1999) found that serotonin levels of those in love were similar to untreated patients with OCD. Fischer et al. (2003) used fMRI to find that blood flow in the reward center of the brain was much higher for those in love. Oxytocin, a powerful hormone related to the bond between mothers and their children also seems to be present in those experiencing romantic love. Vasopressin, another powerful hormone is released during sexual relations and is associated with animals, like prairie voles and humans, who mate for life and tend to have sexual relations more than necessary for procreation.
Buss (1996) argues that jealousy may be biologically based. He found that during menstruation, women are more sexually jealous and during ovulation, they were more emotionally jealous. Low (1990) found that there was a strong correlation between the degree of pathogen stress and the degree of polygyny (when males have more than one spouse or sexual partner). He found the higher the pathogen stress, the higher the number of unmarried men. Looks of the male were considered more important in places where there was greater pathogen stress. This was thought to be due to the effects of illness during adolescents leading to less androgen and therefore less development of what is considered attractive masculine features. Wedekind (1995) carried out the “dirty shirt study” and found that women are more attracted to men with diverse genes related to immunity.
Origins of Attraction: The Cognitive Perspective Research tends to show that we are attracted more to people who appear to be similar to us. The old adage “opposites attract” is not really valid, especially for those with normal self-esteem. Morry (2007) suggested the attraction-similarity model, saying that people tend to be friends with and are attracted to people who they perceive to be similar to themselves. Markey et al. (2007) found that when people were asked to describe the characteristics of their ideal partner (with no one in particular in mind) and later asked to describe themselves, there was a very high correlation between the two. Reciprocity: when you like someone who shows that they like you. This tends to help us feel better about ourselves by getting feedback that supports our self concept.
Origins of Attraction: the Sociocultural Perspective Festinger et al. (1950) and Nahemow and Lawton (1975) both showed that people have a tendency to like those with whom they have the most interaction. We test the validity of our views by comparing them with others. We get a sense of connectedness and attachment. The familiar is more likable than the unfamiliar. Zajonc et al. (1971) found that when showing photos of strangers to people, the people in the photos that were repeated the most were deemed to be more trustworthy. The role of culture in the formation and maintenance of relationships. The idea that love is the most important factor in choosing who to marry is a very western idea. The idea is that “love leads to marriage”. Many cultures have arranged marriages. The idea is that “marriage leads to love”.
Westerners see marriage as the union between two people, whereas more traditional cultures see it as a union of two families. (Dion, 1993) Individualistic cultures see love as a vital part of marriage and the disappearance of love as being a valid reason to end a marriage. Buss (1994) did a study using respondents from 37 countries and found many similarities. In all but one country, women ranked financial prospects as being more important than males. In all countries, men favored younger women and women favored older men. In 23 countries, males rated chastity as being more important than women did. There were differences in ratings of the importance of love; the US ranked love first, Iran ranked it third, Nigeria fourth, China sixth and the Zulu in South Africa ranked it seventh.
The role of communication in maintaining relationships. Attribution style seems to be an important factor in the maintenance of relationships in that it has a large impact on the way we communicate. In happy relationships, attributions seem to be positively biased; that is, positive behaviors are seen as dispositional and negative behaviors are seen as situational. In unhappy relationships, we see just the opposite. Bradbury and Fincham (1992, 1993) found that attributions affected behaviors; negative dispositional attributions led to negative behaviors toward the spouse. They also found that attribution style could predict happiness in a relationship. Social penetration theory (Altman and Taylor) argue that close relationships are formed when participants move from a superficial to and intimate relationship in a gradual process of self-disclosure; the sharing of facts about one’s life, as well as inner thoughts, feelings and emotions.
Collins and Miller (1994) showed that disclosing something about yourself makes both strangers and friends like you more, as well as making you like them more. Differences in the way men and women communicate can also lead to maintenance problems in relationships. Reis (1986) found that women are more likely to self-disclose than men. Tannen (1990) found that women are more likely than men to respond to disclosure of negative feelings with understanding and acceptance, whereas men are more likely to respond by offering helpful advice. This can lead to communication problems. A woman may be looking for understanding rather than advice when they complain about a problem at work. They find that their feelings are not validated when a man tries to fix the problem.
A man may feel that a women saying that she understands how he feels invalidates the uniqueness of his problem and that she is not being helpful in finding a solution. Women tend to use more overlapping speech; utterances such as uh- huh, meant to convey support and understanding. This can lead to misunderstandings where the man thinks the woman agrees. Men tend to interrupt and change the topic more frequently, leading women to feel that they aren’t supportive. Understanding these differences can alleviate some of the problems in communication within relationships. We can often frame our feelings in a way that makes it hard for our partner to be anything but defensive. “You never help around here” rather than “I have so much to do, could you give me a hand?”
Why do relationships change or end? Social exchange theory (Kelly and Thibaut) looks at relationships through a cost-benefit analysis. The cost of the relationship must not outweigh the benefits. Equity theory (Walster) proposes that the perception of equality determines whether a relationship will be maintained. Hatfield (1979) found that those who felt that they were putting more into the relationship than their spouse were more likely to have extra- marital relationships. Research shows that those who felt that their relationship was equitable were more likely to feel that it would last, whereas those who saw it as inequitable were more doubtful about future prospects. Surprisingly, this was even true when the person say the inequity as being in their favor.
Patterns of accommodation (Rusbult et al., 1991) have been shown to be integral to maintaining relationships. Constructive accommodations include discussing problems openly and honestly, forgiving each other, and waiting for the situation to improve naturally. Destructive accommodations include silent treatment, recounting lists of past failures, and physical avoidance. Idealization of a partner can lead to constructive accommodations, as can having a strong sense of commitment to the relationship. Despite best intentions, many relationships do end. Researchers have noted several trends. Women terminate relationships more often than men. Marriages of younger than average partners tend to be unstable. Early parenthood tends to create problems, financially and emotionally. Couples from lower socioeconomic levels and with lower educational levels tend to be more prone to divorce. Couples whose parents divorced seem to have more unstable marriages.
Human Relationships: Violence Aggression: any sequence of behavior in which the goal is to dominate or harm another individual. Violence: an aggressive act in which the perpetrator abuses individuals directly or indirectly. It can be verbal, physical, or psychological and can be inflicted by individuals, groups, institutions, or nations. A lot of violence is low base-rate behavior, that is relatively rare and is often hard to predict. School shootings are an example of this type of violence. It has also been observed in Chimps and other animals.
The Biological Perspective and Violence The role of testosterone, a male hormone implicated in both sexual arousal and aggression. Bernhardt (1997) found a positive correlation between high levels of testosterone and antisocial behavior in males of low socioeconomic status. This shows that, at least in humans, the role of testosterone should be interpreted within a cognitive and sociocultural context. Mazur and Booth (1998) found that athlete’s testosterone rises before competition, leading them to believe that it has more to do with dominance and status seeking than aggression. They found that the winner had higher levels of testosterone than the loser, even in a chess match.
Some argue that cause and effect are not clear with aggression and testosterone. Sapolsky (1998) argued that it has a permissive effect – that is, it’s presence is enough to allow for aggression, but does not actually cause it. The role of Serotonin in aggression. People with low levels of serotonin are highly irritable and aggressive, displaying a negative correlation between serotonin levels and aggression. Bernhardt (1997) suggest that it is a combination of lower levels of serotonin and higher levels of testosterone that results in aggression. The role of brain abnormalities in aggression. Grafman et al. (1996) showed that frontal lobe lesions can play a role in aggressive behaviors. Raine et al. (1997) found dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex, the amygdala, and the hippocampus in convicted murderers.
The Cognitive Perspective and Violence. Social Cognition is defined as the way people make sense of and respond to their social world. Some research has indicated that some violent behavior may be caused by previous experiences which have resulted in biased cognitive processing related to social information. This could come about through learning or undergoing extreme stressors like growing up in a violent family. General knowledge structures, cognitive schemas about the self and about social interactions may be distorted. Information processing, may also be affected which may distort interpretations of social situations and other people’s motives. People who have experienced abuse, rejection or violence by peers or family are at greater risk of developing antisocial behavior.
Cognitive Therapy techniques such as anger management training attempt to help individuals identify trigger situations and deal with maladaptive thinking patterns. Social Learning Theory has also been applied to violent behavior. Gerner et al.’s cultivation theory argues that violence in media such as movies and video games gives people a perception that the world is more hostile than it is and teaches them that violence is acceptable normal behavior. Merrill (1996) says that domestic violence is often learned through direct instruction, modelling, and rewards. Some argue that bullying may come from a person having poor self- esteem but Baumeister and Bushman (1998) argue that it is just the opposite. They argue that people with inflated and unstable forms of high self-esteem sometimes react to threats to their self concepts in violent ways.
The Sociocultural Perspective and Violence The Russian psychologist Vygotsky suggests that often, the use of violence is the result of power differences between different social groups. Men are more likely to be violent toward women than the other way around. Numerous examples in history show one group being violent towards less powerful social groups. The treatment of the Jewish people during WW II. Genocide in Rwanda and Bosnia. The violence in these cases are publicly justified by the perpetrators. The behavior is accepted by large groups in the community.
Deindividuation theory says that when people join crowds, they often give up a sense of personal responsibility. Being part of a group provides a degree of anonymity allowing them to be more impulsive, irrational, aggressive and even violent. Soccer fans in Europe are known for violently attacking the fans of the opposing teams. Riots have broken out after numerous sporting events in the US. Zimbardo (1969) did a study showing that people whose identity was hidden by masks were more likely to administer stronger shocks to other participants. Diener et al. (1976) showed that children who were anonymous and wearing a mask were more likely to take more candy than they were told to take when trick-or-treating.
Reicher (1987) argues that deindividuation increases a persons sense of group identity, allowing the group norms to become the guiding principles. Johnson and Downing (1979) did a variation of Zimbardo’s study where some of the subjects were dressed in KKK outfits while others were dressed as nurses. Those in the KKK outfits were much more likely to give stronger shocks. Social Identity Theory says that people look to the group to provide guidance in what is and is not acceptable behavior. Self-categorization theory suggest that people look for other individuals in the group with whom they can identify. This may offer an explanation of why police and rioters act very differently in the same environment.
Bullying Bullying is when a person is exposed repeatedly to an attempt to inflict injury or discomfort on the part of one or more people over a period of time. It can be direct (physical or verbal threats) or indirect (isolation and exclusion). It is often associated with children but happens to adults in the workplace,e also. In a study of 15,000 US students, 17% said that they had been bullied. Similar numbers were found in Japan and Korea. Dan Olweus (1993), considered by many to be the foremost researcher on bullying, found the following trends in Norway and Sweden. 1 in 10 students had been the victim of bullying The percentage decreases with age. Girls experience more indirect bullying. Boys carried out most of the bullying against girls. Teachers and parents were mostly unaware of the bullying.
Olweus suggests that bullying is a more complicated than just a direct interaction between the bully and the victim. He outlined what he called the bullying circle that surrounds the victim. The bully/bullies start the bullying and take an active part. The follower henchmen take an active part but do not start it. The supporter/passive bully supports the bullying but do not take and active part. The passive supporter/possible bully likes the bullying but do not display open support. The disengaged onlooker who watches what happens but don’t take a stand seeing it as none of their business. The possible defender who dislikes the bullying and thinks they ought to help but doesn’t. The defender who tries to help the victim.
Cyber-bullying as defined by Belsy (2004) involves the use of information and communication technologies such as , mobile phones, test messages, instant messaging, defamatory personal websites, and defamatory online personal polling websites to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group that is intended to harm others. The perception of anonymity allows some to bully that would not do so in person, freeing them from social norms and letting them think they cannot get caught or punished. The cyberbully often does not see the effects of the bullying in person and therefore lacks the tangible feedback the allows an empathetic reaction.
The origins of bullying Eley et al. (1999) did research on twins in Sweden and Great Britain and found that monozygotic twins were more likely that dizygotic twins to show aggressive antisocial behavior. They also found that antisocial behavior in girls was more likely to be genetically based. The research also showed that there was a strong environmental role. Lieu and Raine (2004) did a longitudinal study of 1000 children living on a small island in the Indian Ocean over a 10 year span and found that those who were exposed to malnutrition when young were much more likely to display violent antisocial behavior as teens and young adults. Eron (1987) found that parents of bullies are often authoritarian, using very strict, and often physical, methods of punishment. Dodge (1980) found that aggressive children are more likely to believe that others have hostile intent in their interactions.
The effects of violence (bullying) on the individual. Olweus (1992) found that those who are bullied have lower self-esteem and more depression by the age of 23. Elliot and Kirkpatric (1999) surveyed several thousand UK students and found that 20% of those who had experienced being bullied had attempted suicide compared to only 3% of those who had not. Delville (2002) observed the affects of bullying on adolescent hamsters. Some of the hamsters were put in a cage with older males and they were bullied. (Adult male hamsters will bully intruders into their territory.) Others were just put into an empty cage, which also caused stress. Cortisol levels went up at first for both groups, but stayed high for the hamsters being bullied. Carney and Hazler (2007) found that humans under continued bullying sometimes have lower levels of cortisol (hypocortisol), which is linked to chronic fatigue syndrome and PTSD>
Negative impacts of bullying can be somewhat diminished in several ways. Making a downward comparison, that is comparing oneself to someone who is ever worse off. If there is no one to compare to, they often imagine an even worse situation to compare it to. Thompson (2000) says this can help them to focus on the positive aspects of being a survivor. Kliewer et al. (2004) suggest that perception of control can lead to less long-term effects. Those who felt that they were able to influence or escape their bullies had less long-term effects. Having family and peer support can lessen the impact.
Statistics on bullying of gay and lesbian students. Gay and Lesbian youth are much more likely to commit suicide than heterosexuals. Of completed suicides for youth, 30% are committed gay and lesbian. It is the leading cause of death in this group. 28% of gays and lesbians drop out of high school due to harassment about their sexual orientation. 45% of gay males and 20% of lesbians report experiences of verbal abuse and/or physical violence during high school. 26% of gay and lesbian youth leave home due to conflicts with their families over their sexual identity. 53% of students report hearing homophobic comments made by school staff.
Reducing Violence and Bullying in Schools Many schools are starting to offer anger management counseling to students. They make an effort to teach students to take a more considered approach, that is, think before reacting. Feshbach and Feshbach (1982) trained junior high students to be more empathetic toward others. They found those who had gone through the training to by much less aggressive in playground activities. Computer games have been designed to improve empathy. Some argue that cooperative learning helps but others think that is only true when the groups are made up of students with equal power. Olweus (1972) developed a whole-school program for schools in Norway where the teachers, staff, and administrators are trained to look out for and deal with bullying. It has been imported here. It has helped reduce bullying by up to 50% in schools where it has been implemented completely.