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32 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

What leads to attraction?

- Situational factors: proximity, fear-arousing situations

- Interpersonal factors: perceived similarity and complementarity

Physical appearance: universal factors

Aesthetic preferences for symmetry and averageness

Gender specific preferences:

- Woman: baby face, maturity, wait-to-hip ration

- Men: masculinity

+ but culturally shaped and in the eye of the beholder

Parental investment theory

Evolutionary perspective of being attracted to someone due to fertility cues, genetic quality and resources available

Social role theory:

Encourages role-consistent traits and perferences

Evolutionary theory of attachment: Bowlby 1973

Children are born biologically pre-programmed to form attachments and proximity with others

Separation leads to: protest, despair and detachment

Adult relationships follow similar patterns

Anxiety/Avoidance Model of attachment: Brennen et al. 1995

y axis: high to low anxiety

x axis: high to low avoidant

High anxiety + High avoidant: Fearful

Low anxiety + High avoidant: Dismissive

High anxiety + Low avoidant: Preoccupied

Low anxiety + Low avoidant: Secure

- attachment styles

Influence every social interaction

The investment model

Or commitment

The degree to which an individual intends to maintain a relationship, factors:

- quality of alternatives

- investment size

Why interaction increases liking

1. Helps master the world

2. Help us feel connected

3. Mere exposure effect/similarity

Why similarity breeds attraction

1. More likely to be a positive interaction

2. We assume similar others will like us

3. They validate our beliefs and attitudes

Exchange relationship

People exchange rewards in order to receive benefits in return

Communal relationship

People rewards their partner out of direct concern and to show caring

Self- disclosure

Facts about one's life and situation, inner thoughts, feelings and emotions

Increase liking and offer opportunities for sympathetic and supportive responses

Depth and breadth of relationship increases


A situation in which each person's thoughts, emotions and behaviours influence those of other people.

3 types: cognitive, behavioural and affective

Cognitive interdependence

Differences that typically exist between self-knowledge and knowledge about the other are erased: the partner becomes part of the self

Behavioural interdependence

Change in distributions of rewards: yours and others' needs are indistinguishable and love and support is exchanged

Affective interdependence

Ongoing processes of self-disclosure and sympathetic support -> feelings of trust and acceptance -> closeness -> growing sense of commitment


Positive emotional bond that includes understanding and support; steps:

1. self-disclosure

2. partner conveys acceptance and acknowledgement and understanding

3. You feel understood, valued and esteemed


The combined forces (intention to maintain relationship and strong emptional bond) that hold partners together in an enduring relationship

What creates and maintains commitment?

1. Personal satisfaction with relationship

2. Comparison of level of alternatives

3. Barriers to leaving relationship

Implicit theories of relationships

1. Growth belief: conflicts are to be expected and overcome

2. Destiny belief: a romantic partner is inherently compatible

Relationships: gender differences

Different emphasis on rewards offered:

Women: intimacy and sharing feelings

Men: enjoyable activities

Relationships: cultural differences

(Although most research as been carried out in N. America) relationships are:

Western: voluntary, often temporary; romantic love is natural, desirable and necessary

Eastern: permanent, unchosen; romantic love has negative connotations

Attitudes to sex

Premarital, extramarital, same-gender

Sex in relationships

Can strengthen and be a focus of conflict

Resources for relationship maintenance

1. Idealisation of partner

2. Commitment

3. Securely attached

Types of responses to negative acts

1. Constructive accommodation: actions that help maintain relationship

2. Destructive accommodation: actions that actively endanger relationship

Constructive accomodation

eg: discuss problems, loyally waiting for improvement, forgiveness (decrease in negative feelings, increase in positive)

Vicious cycle of conflict

Negative attributions and unwillingness to accommodate

Responses to destructive behaviour are equally destructive

Two constructive approaches to handling conflict in everyday life

Avoid generalising the parter and focus on concrete actions

Communicate about your feelings

Creation of a downward spiral of dissatisfaction

Conflict escalates

Partners spend less time together

Become less open about inner feelings

Growing distance

Level of intimacy decreases

Relationship no longer provides the feelings of self-validation and acceptance

General characteristics of break-ups

- Lengthly and complex process

- Repeated episodes of conflict and reconciliation

- Feelings of being victimised

- Grief and distress

- Longlasting cognitive and emotional consequences


An emotion arising from unmet needs for affection and self-validation from a psychologically intimate relationship