1. Fold a piece of paper in half. (Hotdog Style)
2. On one side of a piece of paper, list the psychological
characteristics, values, and attitudes that describe your
ideal romantic partner (Don’t think of anyone in
3. On the other side list the psychological characteristics,
values, and attitudes that describe yourself.
1. Compare these two lists. Are they more similar or
• HR.1.A- Examine biological, psychological
(cognitive) and social origins of attraction.
• How do you think attraction works?
– Consider the biological, cognitive, and social
• Attraction from an Evolutionary Perspective
– We are attracted to traits (both physical and
emotional) that will help us pass on our
genes/help the group survive.
• The “Biochemical Cocktail” (Drug) of Love
– Hormones (Oxytocin, adrenaline) and
Neurotransmitters (Dopamine, serotonin) drive
our actions while in Love
• We process information on a cognitive level
and determine our feelings of love.
• Attraction-Similarity Model - Byrne (1971)
– We are attracted to people who we believe share
common traits as us.
– Our perception of our partners is dependent on
our relationship with them.
– Relationships can impact our own self-concept
• Proximity Theory –Festinger et al (1950)
– We become friends (and relationships) with
people that we share a physical space with.
– Buss et al. (1990)- Cultural shapes what we value
in a romantic partner.
• In small groups you will…
– Read and record notes for both the Textbook excerpt
and the Study Guide. Identify the two studies that
your think are most important.
– Watch the following clip from R&J and explain how
your perspective would explain the origins of
– What are the strengths and limitations of your
• Find a love song and explain how at least two
perspectives would explain the feelings of
attraction in the song.
• HR.1.B - Discuss the role of communication in
• Happiness in relationships are often shaped by
attributions of behaviors.
– Happy: Positive=Disposition; Negative= Situation
– Unhappy: Positive=Situation; Negative=Disposition
Bradbury & Fitchman (1990)
• Method: Meta-Analysis of research on
attribution of married couples.
• Findings: They found that poor marital quality
in a couple predicted negative traits seen as
dispositional and positive traits seen as
• Conclusion: Attributions a couple has
influences their happiness towards one
• Oxytocin and Communication…more oxytocin
= better communication
Levenson & Gottman (1983)
• Procedure: Observed 30 couples in a laboratory
as they had both low-conflict and high-conflict
• Findings: Unhappy couples showed higher
amounts of negative emotion. Also, unhappy
couples showed similar physical stress responses.
• Conclusion: Unhappy couples experience a
“negative spiral of expressed negative emotions
that led to increased stress and mutual
Gottman and Krokoff (1989)
• Procedure: Compared data from two longitudinal
studies on couples. Used observations from the
field and in labs.
• Finding: Anger and disagreement did not lead to
unhappiness as long as the couples solved their
problem. Couples who avoided conflict were less
• Conclusion: Defensiveness, stubbornness, and
withdrawal were associated with marital
dissatisfaction over time.
Gottman’s Four Horsemen of the
• Criticism: Attacking the partner’s personality or character
to make them wrong.
• Contempt: Attacking the partner’s sense of self with the
intention of insult or psychological harm (sarcasm,
• Defensiveness: Seeing yourself as the victim (Excuses,
• Stonewalling: Withdrawing from the relationship as a way
to avoid conflict (silent treatment, monosyllabic responses)
High School Communication Skits
• With your small group, you will create a skit that
represents both positive and negative
communication between romantic partners.
• Your skit should…
– Include what negative communication looks like
– Include what positive communication would would
• Be prepared to explain what studies/concepts
relate to your conversation.
• HR.1.C – Explain the role that culture plays in
the formation and maintenance of
• As young adults, what characteristics do you
look for in a possible romantic partner?
– Examples: good grades/potential for success,
confident, same age
The Impact of Culture on Relationships
• Relationships are
• Choice Marriages are the
• Love comes before
• Relationships are
• Arranged Marriages are the
• Love comes after marriage.
Marriage without Love?
Levine et al (1995)
• Participants: College Students from 11
• “Would you marry someone if they had all of
the qualities you desired but you did not love
– United States: 4%
– United Kingdom: 8%
– India: 49%
– Pakistan: 51%
Cross-Cultural Study on Mate
Preference-Buss et al (1990)
• Over 9,000 participants from 33 different
• Different countries had different preferences
about possible mates
How do our understandings of culture and
cultural dimensions explain this?
Definitions of Culture
• Matsumoto: “a dynamic system of rules, explicit
and implicit, established by groups in order to
ensure their survival, involving attitudes, values,
beliefs, norms, and behaviors.”
• Hofstede: A set of “Mental Software” (Schema
• Lonner: Common rules that regulate interactions
and behavior in a group as well as a number of
shared values and attitudes in the group.
Are Arranged Marriages Happier?
• Gupta Singh (1982): Interviewed 50 couples
from India (Choice and Arranged)
– Found that arranged marriages showed higher
levels of love while those in choice showed
diminished levels of love
Comparing Marriage Styles
• Yelsma and Athappilly (1988): Compared 28
Indian Arranged couples, 25 Indian Love
couples, and 31 American Love couples.
• Arranged Marriages scored higher on marital
satisfaction compared to the couples in love
Lessons from Arranged Marriages
• What are the main differences between choice
marriage and arranged marriages?
• What are the advantages of arranged marriages? Why
do they work?
• What questions would you have for someone in an
• Would you ever be okay with having your parents
arrange a romantic partner?
• Does United States culture hold a healthy
perspective on relationships?
• Would you be interested in allowing your
parents to have a say in setting up
• What challenges face people in all
• HR.1.D Analyse why relationships may change
Social Exchange Theory
Kelly & Thibaut (1959)
• We make cost-benefits that guide our
– A relationship will endure as long as it is profitable
to both parties.
– Balance is needed for long-term success
• The relationship must be perceived as
equal/balanced in order for relationships to
– Unhappiness comes from imbalanced
• Method: Interviewed 537 college students
• Findings: Individuals who perceived their
relationship as equal were more happy than
those who were under/over privileged.
• Conclusions: Equitable relationships are ones
that will last.
Investment Model of Commitment
• Extends on Social Exchange Theory to apply to
• Adds dimensions of satisfaction and
– Satisfaction: positivity of feelings or attraction to
partner or the relationship.
– Commitment: The tendency to maintain a relationship
or feel psychologically attached to it.
• Comparison to other possible relationships is key
Key ideas of Investment Model
• 1. Satisfaction in a relationship depends on
rewards, costs, and the partner’s comparison
to other possible relationships.
• 2. Commitment: A relationship depends on
satisfaction, alternatives, & investment.
• 3. Commitment directly relates to whether a
person stays in a relationship.
• A dissatisfied partner stays in an abusive
relationship because they feel as though they are
lacking other options or are invested.
• A satisfied partner leaves a relationship because
they feel as though they have other options or
are not attached.
• Key idea: Commitment is the main factor in
• Method: Longitudinal study of 34 new college
couples for 7 months.
– Broke participants into 3 categories: The Stayers, The
Abandoned, The Leavers.
• Findings: Stayers showed more rewards, less
costs, more satisfaction, less alternatives, & more
commitment over the course of the study.
• Conclusions: Those rating predict lasting
Investment Model of Commitment
• Patterns of Accommodation (responding to a
partner’s negative behavior) are key to
• Constructive Accommodations: Discussing
problems openly and honestly, forgiving each
other, and letting problems solve naturally are
key to maintaining relationships.
Flora & Segrin (2003)
• Aim: To investigate the impact of shared interests
and time spent together predicts perception of
happiness in a relationship.
• Participants: Young dating couples and recently
married couples. (Longitudinal)
• Findings: Shared interests and spending time
together was important (especially in men). For
women, the amount of negative
feelings/disappointment towards their partner
• Watch the following clip from UP and explain
how the ideas from this standard explain their
– What makes their relationship work? How do they
use communication? How/why does their
• How might these theories relate to the
happiness in arranged and choice marriages?
• What role does communication have on the
changes within a relationship?