PS28A Interpersonal Attraction  &  Close Relationship
Communication & Relational Dynamics <ul><li>For communication to have meaning it must have a life.  It must transcend “you...
Introduction <ul><li>Why do we find it important and sometimes even compelling to form relationships? </li></ul><ul><li>Wh...
Definition - Attraction <ul><li>Interpersonal Attraction is defined as the evaluation one person makes of another along a ...
Definition - Attraction <ul><li>Attraction depends on : </li></ul><ul><li>The person who is doing the evaluation; </li></u...
Reasons for Building Close Relationships   <ul><li>The need for affiliation  – a desire to establish and maintain relation...
Reasons for Building Close Relationships <ul><li>The need for intimacy  -  a desire for close and affectionate relationshi...
Emotions that block us from forming relationships <ul><li>Loneliness   </li></ul><ul><li>It is a subjective experience and...
Emotions that block us from forming relationships <ul><li>Social Anxiety </li></ul><ul><li>Is a feeling of discomfort that...
Attachment and Close Relationships  <ul><li>The patterns we have in our relationships largely grow from habits learnt from...
Theories on Attraction <ul><li>Reward theory   </li></ul><ul><li>The degree of attraction we feel toward another person va...
Theories on Attraction <ul><li>How are we rewarded? </li></ul><ul><li>Simply being near people we like is rewarding (physi...
Theories on Attraction <ul><li>Reinforcement-affect theory </li></ul><ul><li>This theory builds on the basic principles of...
Factors That Influence Attraction <ul><li>Physical Proximity </li></ul><ul><li>Propinquity, physical proximity or physical...
Factors That Influence Attraction <ul><li>Similarity   </li></ul><ul><li>Similarity in attitudes, beliefs, interests, pers...
Factors That Influence Attraction <ul><li>Complementarity   </li></ul><ul><li>When each partner’s characteristics satisfy ...
Factors That Influence Attraction <ul><li>Competence   </li></ul><ul><li>We like to be around those who are skilled, talen...
Factors That Influence Attraction <ul><li>Physical Attractiveness   </li></ul><ul><li>Research shows that we find physical...
Factors That Influence Attraction <ul><li>Reciprocal Attraction </li></ul><ul><li>We are attracted to people who we believ...
Factors That Influence Attraction <ul><li>Disclosure   </li></ul><ul><li>Revealing important information about yourself gi...
Evaluating Relationships <ul><li>Social Exchange theory </li></ul><ul><li>It is described as an economic model of relation...
Evaluating Relationships <ul><li>Social Exchange Theory (con’t) </li></ul><ul><li>How people feel about the relationship d...
Intimacy <ul><li>Largely when we use the word intimacy or intimate we refer specifically to a close sexual relationship. <...
Intimacy <ul><li>Intimacy may include: </li></ul><ul><li>Disclosing secrets/sharing feelings (JoHari Window) </li></ul><ul...
Dimensions of Intimacy <ul><li>Intimacy has several dimensions including: </li></ul><ul><li>Physical  </li></ul><ul><li>In...
Dimensions of Intimacy <ul><li>Physical </li></ul><ul><li>One example is the relationship between a fetus and its mother. ...
Dimensions of Intimacy <ul><li>Intellectual Intimacy </li></ul><ul><li>This takes place when one person engages another in...
Dimensions of Intimacy <ul><li>Emotional Intimacy </li></ul><ul><li>Involves the sharing of important feelings. </li></ul>...
Dimensions of Intimacy <ul><li>Shared Activities </li></ul><ul><li>When partners spend time together, they can develop uni...
Factors Influencing Intimacy <ul><li>Emotional Expression vs. Doing </li></ul><ul><li>Previously it was held that women ar...
Factors Influencing Intimacy <ul><li>Timing and Meaning of Sex </li></ul><ul><li>Differing ideas along this factor can lea...
Models of Relational Development and Maintenance <ul><li>Dialectical Perspectives </li></ul><ul><li>Some theorists argue t...
Dialectical Tensions <ul><li>Connection vs. Autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>We seek out involvement with others but at the same...
Dialectical Tensions <ul><li>2. Predictability vs. Novelty </li></ul><ul><li>Stability is an important need in relationshi...
Dialectical Tensions <ul><li>3. Openness vs. Privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Intimacy is one characteristic of interpersonal rel...
Dialectical Tensions –  Strategies to Manage Them <ul><li>Denial </li></ul><ul><li>In this strategy, communicators respond...
Dialectical Tensions <ul><li>2. Disorientation </li></ul><ul><li>Communicators feel so overwhelm and helpless that they ar...
Dialectical Tensions <ul><li>3. Alternation </li></ul><ul><li>This strategy is used when individuals choose one end of the...
Dialectical Tensions <ul><li>4. Balance </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals who use balance strategy recognize that both forces ...
Dialectical Tensions <ul><li>5. Recalibration </li></ul><ul><li>Communicators respond to dialectic challenges by reframing...
Dialectical Tensions <ul><li>5. Reaffirmation </li></ul><ul><li>This strategy acknowledges that the dialectical tensions w...
Kahlil Bilbran,  The Prophet <ul><li>Love one another, but make not a bond of love: </li></ul><ul><li>Let it rather be a m...
Self Disclosure in Relationships <ul><li>Degrees of Self Disclosure </li></ul><ul><li>Depending on the breadth and depth o...
Reasons for Self-Disclosure <ul><li>Self clarification   </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes you clarify your beliefs, opinions, t...
Reasons for Self-Disclosure <ul><li>Catharsis   </li></ul><ul><li>You self disclose “to get it off your chest”.  In a mome...
Reasons for Self-Disclosure <ul><li>Relationship Maintenance </li></ul><ul><li>Research shows a strong relationship betwee...
Reasons for Self-Disclosure <ul><li>Reciprocity </li></ul><ul><li>You may choose to disclose information about yourself to...
Guidelines for Self Disclosure <ul><li>Is the other person important to you   </li></ul><ul><li>Is the person someone you ...
Guidelines for Self Disclosure <ul><li>Is the risk of disclosing reasonable   </li></ul><ul><li>Even if the probable resul...
Guidelines for Self Disclosure <ul><li>Is the disclosure relevant to the situation at hand   </li></ul><ul><li>The kind of...
Guidelines for Self Disclosure <ul><li>Are the amount and type of disclosure appropriate   </li></ul><ul><li>Gradual discl...
Alternatives to Self Disclosure <ul><li>Lying – reasons include to save face; avoid tension or quarrel (white lie) </li></...
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Attraction & Close Relationship

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Attraction & Close Relationship

  1. 1. PS28A Interpersonal Attraction & Close Relationship
  2. 2. Communication & Relational Dynamics <ul><li>For communication to have meaning it must have a life. It must transcend “you” and “me” and become “us” … In a small way, we then grow out of our old selves and become something new </li></ul><ul><li>(Hugh Prather) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Why do we find it important and sometimes even compelling to form relationships? </li></ul><ul><li>Why are we attracted to some people more than others? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Definition - Attraction <ul><li>Interpersonal Attraction is defined as the evaluation one person makes of another along a dimension that ranges from strong liking to strong dislike </li></ul><ul><li>(Baron & Byrne, 2000) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Definition - Attraction <ul><li>Attraction depends on : </li></ul><ul><li>The person who is doing the evaluation; </li></ul><ul><li>The similarities and differences between the evaluator and the person evaluated; </li></ul><ul><li>The situational context in which they are interacting </li></ul>
  6. 6. Reasons for Building Close Relationships <ul><li>The need for affiliation – a desire to establish and maintain relationships with others (Wong & Csikzentimihalyi, 1991) </li></ul><ul><li>Affiliation provides: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emotional support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunity </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Reasons for Building Close Relationships <ul><li>The need for intimacy - a desire for close and affectionate relationships in which personal information is disclosed and sharing occurs (McAdams, 1982) </li></ul><ul><li>Intimacy with friends and lovers involves sharing and disclosing personal information </li></ul>
  8. 8. Emotions that block us from forming relationships <ul><li>Loneliness </li></ul><ul><li>It is a subjective experience and not dependent on the number of people we have surrounding us; </li></ul><ul><li>Our feelings of loneliness are strongly influenced by how we evaluate our personal relationship (Peplau & Perlman, 1982). </li></ul>
  9. 9. Emotions that block us from forming relationships <ul><li>Social Anxiety </li></ul><ul><li>Is a feeling of discomfort that arises from a person’s expectations of negative encounters with others (Leary, 1983). Tendencies include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>sensitivity and fearfulness of disapproval and criticism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foresee negative outcomes to anticipated social interactions which arouses anxiety </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fear of being evaluated by otehrs </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Attachment and Close Relationships <ul><li>The patterns we have in our relationships largely grow from habits learnt from our earliest relationships. Patterns of attachment styles evolve into working models </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Working Model - mental representation of what an individual expects to happen in a close relationship (Shaver, Hazan & Bradshaw, 1988). </li></ul>
  11. 11. Theories on Attraction <ul><li>Reward theory </li></ul><ul><li>The degree of attraction we feel toward another person varies according to the frequency with which that person rewards us (Theodore Newcomb, 1961) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Theories on Attraction <ul><li>How are we rewarded? </li></ul><ul><li>Simply being near people we like is rewarding (physical proximity) </li></ul><ul><li>When others agree with our ideas (similarity) </li></ul><ul><li>When others fulfill our needs (Complementarity) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Theories on Attraction <ul><li>Reinforcement-affect theory </li></ul><ul><li>This theory builds on the basic principles of learning (classical conditioning) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We associate positive affect with people and events that are rewarding to us </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We associate negative affect with those that are distasteful to us </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Factors That Influence Attraction <ul><li>Physical Proximity </li></ul><ul><li>Propinquity, physical proximity or physical immediacy is an important determinant of attraction, especially at the beginning of a relationship. It facilitates: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Familiarity: constant exposure to the person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunity for interaction: increase chance for attraction </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Factors That Influence Attraction <ul><li>Similarity </li></ul><ul><li>Similarity in attitudes, beliefs, interests, personality and even physical appearance strongly influences the likelihood of interpersonal attraction, not in number of similar attitudes but the proportion and importance of similar attitudes. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Factors That Influence Attraction <ul><li>Complementarity </li></ul><ul><li>When each partner’s characteristics satisfy the other’s needs (opposites attract). Example, partners agree that one will exercise control over certain areas (money) and the other will take the lead in different ones (house décor) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Factors That Influence Attraction <ul><li>Competence </li></ul><ul><li>We like to be around those who are skilled, talented, or intelligent, probably because we hope display their level of talent, have their skill. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Factors That Influence Attraction <ul><li>Physical Attractiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Research shows that we find physical attractive people more appealing than unattractive people, at least on initial contact (Eagly, et al 1991). </li></ul><ul><li>Dimensions of Physical Attractiveness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facial expression : facially attractive people are seen (perceived as warm, honest) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Physique : we hold notions of which bodily attributes are attractive </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Factors That Influence Attraction <ul><li>Reciprocal Attraction </li></ul><ul><li>We are attracted to people who we believe are attracted to us </li></ul><ul><li>Conversely, there are people who you don’t like who likes you (and vice versa). </li></ul><ul><li>R eciprocal liking builds attractiveness and people who approve of us bolster our feelings of self esteem. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Factors That Influence Attraction <ul><li>Disclosure </li></ul><ul><li>Revealing important information about yourself gives another the opportunity to how similar you are, which can build liking. </li></ul><ul><li>Not all disclosure leads to liking. If sharing is poorly timed, results can be negative. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Evaluating Relationships <ul><li>Social Exchange theory </li></ul><ul><li>It is described as an economic model of relationships as it looks at the rewards vs costs that you have in a relationship. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Evaluating Relationships <ul><li>Social Exchange Theory (con’t) </li></ul><ul><li>How people feel about the relationship depends on their perceptions of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The rewards and cost of the relationship, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The kind of relationship they deserve, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their chances of having a better relationship with someone else. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Intimacy <ul><li>Largely when we use the word intimacy or intimate we refer specifically to a close sexual relationship. </li></ul><ul><li>The concept of intimacy, however, is much broader. It varies in meaning from one relationship to another </li></ul>
  24. 24. Intimacy <ul><li>Intimacy may include: </li></ul><ul><li>Disclosing secrets/sharing feelings (JoHari Window) </li></ul><ul><li>Spending time together </li></ul><ul><li>Having sexual intercourse </li></ul>
  25. 25. Dimensions of Intimacy <ul><li>Intimacy has several dimensions including: </li></ul><ul><li>Physical </li></ul><ul><li>Intellectual </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional </li></ul>
  26. 26. Dimensions of Intimacy <ul><li>Physical </li></ul><ul><li>One example is the relationship between a fetus and its mother. At this stage the unborn child develops a closeness with its mothers and at birth it continues – breast feeding, bathing, constantly held and hugged. </li></ul><ul><li>Other examples? </li></ul>
  27. 27. Dimensions of Intimacy <ul><li>Intellectual Intimacy </li></ul><ul><li>This takes place when one person engages another in an exchange of important ideas. From the discussion, which can be powerful and exciting, a type of bonding takes place. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Dimensions of Intimacy <ul><li>Emotional Intimacy </li></ul><ul><li>Involves the sharing of important feelings. </li></ul><ul><li>Is it possible to experience emotional intimacy from our “chat room” encounters? </li></ul>
  29. 29. Dimensions of Intimacy <ul><li>Shared Activities </li></ul><ul><li>When partners spend time together, they can develop unique ways of relating that transform the relationship from an impersonal one to a personal one. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Factors Influencing Intimacy <ul><li>Emotional Expression vs. Doing </li></ul><ul><li>Previously it was held that women are better at developing and maintaining intimate relationships than men. Do you agree? </li></ul><ul><li>(J.T. Wood & C.C. Inman, 1995, “In a Different Mode: Masculine Styles of Communicating Closeness”) </li></ul>
  31. 31. Factors Influencing Intimacy <ul><li>Timing and Meaning of Sex </li></ul><ul><li>Differing ideas along this factor can lead to misunderstanding as it is shown that: </li></ul><ul><li>Women think of sex as a way to express intimacy that has already developed </li></ul><ul><li>Men are more likely to see it as a way to create that intimacy </li></ul>
  32. 32. Models of Relational Development and Maintenance <ul><li>Dialectical Perspectives </li></ul><ul><li>Some theorists argue that communicators seek important but incompatible goals throughout virtually all their relationships. The struggle to achieve these goals creates dialectical tensions: conflicts that arise when two opposing or incompatible forces exist. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Dialectical Tensions <ul><li>Connection vs. Autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>We seek out involvement with others but at the same time we do not want to sacrifice our entire identity to even the most satisfying relationship. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Dialectical Tensions <ul><li>2. Predictability vs. Novelty </li></ul><ul><li>Stability is an important need in relationship but too much can lead to feelings of staleness. The predictability-novelty dialectic reflects the tension of knowing your spouse so well that it can lead to boredom. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Dialectical Tensions <ul><li>3. Openness vs. Privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Intimacy is one characteristic of interpersonal relationship. Yet, along with the drive for intimacy, we have an equal need to maintain some space between ourselves and others. These conflicting needs create the openness-privacy dialectic. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Dialectical Tensions – Strategies to Manage Them <ul><li>Denial </li></ul><ul><li>In this strategy, communicators respond to one end of the dialectical spectrum and ignore the other. </li></ul>
  37. 37. Dialectical Tensions <ul><li>2. Disorientation </li></ul><ul><li>Communicators feel so overwhelm and helpless that they are unable to confront their problems. In the face of a dialectical problem, they may freeze, fight or leave the relationship. </li></ul>
  38. 38. Dialectical Tensions <ul><li>3. Alternation </li></ul><ul><li>This strategy is used when individuals choose one end of the dialectical spectrum at some times and the other at other times. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Dialectical Tensions <ul><li>4. Balance </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals who use balance strategy recognize that both forces are legitimate and try to manage them through compromise – which is inherently a situation where everybody loses at least a little of what he or she wants. </li></ul>
  40. 40. Dialectical Tensions <ul><li>5. Recalibration </li></ul><ul><li>Communicators respond to dialectic challenges by reframing them so that the apparent contradiction disappears. E.g. change in thinking can transform your attitude from loving someone in spite of your differences to loving that person because of these differences. </li></ul>
  41. 41. Dialectical Tensions <ul><li>5. Reaffirmation </li></ul><ul><li>This strategy acknowledges that the dialectical tensions will never disappear. Instead of trying to let them disappear, reaffirmation communicators accept – or even embrace – the challenges that the tensions present. </li></ul>
  42. 42. Kahlil Bilbran, The Prophet <ul><li>Love one another, but make not a bond of love: </li></ul><ul><li>Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your soul. </li></ul><ul><li>Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. </li></ul><ul><li>Give one another of your bread but eat not of the same loaf. </li></ul><ul><li>Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone. </li></ul><ul><li>Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. </li></ul>
  43. 43. Self Disclosure in Relationships <ul><li>Degrees of Self Disclosure </li></ul><ul><li>Depending on the breadth and depth of information shared, a relationship can be defined as casual or intimate. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Breadth of information given – the range of subjects covered </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depth of information given – the shift from relatively non-revealing messages to more personal ones </li></ul></ul>
  44. 44. Reasons for Self-Disclosure <ul><li>Self clarification </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes you clarify your beliefs, opinions, thoughts, feelings and attitudes by talking about them with another </li></ul>
  45. 45. Reasons for Self-Disclosure <ul><li>Catharsis </li></ul><ul><li>You self disclose “to get it off your chest”. In a moment of candor you might reveal your regrets for behaving so badly in the past </li></ul>
  46. 46. Reasons for Self-Disclosure <ul><li>Relationship Maintenance </li></ul><ul><li>Research shows a strong relationship between the quality of self disclosure and marital satisfaction (Fincham & Bradbury, 1989) </li></ul>
  47. 47. Reasons for Self-Disclosure <ul><li>Reciprocity </li></ul><ul><li>You may choose to disclose information about yourself to encourage another person to do so – but do this responsibly as the other may not follow suit. </li></ul>
  48. 48. Guidelines for Self Disclosure <ul><li>Is the other person important to you </li></ul><ul><li>Is the person someone you have an ongoing relationship with so sharing will deepen this relationship; or is it someone you relate to on a less personal level but you see a chance for it to grow closer – disclosing may be the path to develop that personal relationship </li></ul>
  49. 49. Guidelines for Self Disclosure <ul><li>Is the risk of disclosing reasonable </li></ul><ul><li>Even if the probable results are great, opening yourself to almost certain rejection may be asking for trouble. </li></ul><ul><li>On the other hand, knowing your partner is trustworthy and supportive makes the prospect of speaking out more reasonable. </li></ul>
  50. 50. Guidelines for Self Disclosure <ul><li>Is the disclosure relevant to the situation at hand </li></ul><ul><li>The kind of disclosure that is often a characteristic of highly personal relationships usually isn’t appropriate in less personal settings. </li></ul>
  51. 51. Guidelines for Self Disclosure <ul><li>Are the amount and type of disclosure appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>Gradual disclosure makes better relationship. </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing too much too soon can lead to negative outcomes </li></ul>
  52. 52. Alternatives to Self Disclosure <ul><li>Lying – reasons include to save face; avoid tension or quarrel (white lie) </li></ul><ul><li>Equivocating – language with two or more meanings </li></ul><ul><li>Hinting – more direct than equivocal statements; seeks to get a desired response without embarrassing the receiver </li></ul>

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