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Human Relationships

Your pass to uncover the Higher Level IB syllabus of Psychology!

Watasit Chindakawee

on 18 March 2011

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Transcript of Human Relationships

Interpersonal Relationships Biological, Psychological and Social origins of attraction. Role of communication in maintaining relationships Role that culture plays in the formation and maintenance of relationships Analyse why relationships may change or end Empathy-altruism
not selfish (genuine altruism)
better generalizability (human studies) Evaluate sociocultural explanations of the origins of violence Discuss the effects of short-term and long-term exposure to violence Discuss the relative effectiveness of two strategies for reducing violence. VIOLENCE Individualistic and Collectivistic Point of View on Relationship
Individualistic – values love as an important component of relationship
Collectivistic – place emphasis on sense of duty before love in relationship

Supporting Researches
Levine (1994) – In individualistic culture, love is a mandatory component of a marriage. Therefore, the loss of this love is perfectly a reason to end the relationship with one’s partner, while in collectivistic culture relationship can still be maintain through other factors such as social responsibility and sense of duty toward one’s spouse.

Simmon et al (1990) – Individualistic cultures favor love in relationship more than collectivistic culture.
Etic and Emic Researches
Kephart (1967) & Simpson et al (1984) – College students were asked if they would marry a person with all the desirable quality without love. In 1967, 65% of male and 24% refused. This is contrasted by a replication in 1984 where 85% of both gender refused. The finding of these two experiments shows the change in individualistic culture’s perspective on love.

Buss (1994) – Investigate different cultural conception of important quality in marriage partner with 10,000 participants in 37 countries. His result shows some traits that are universally value cross culturally. For example, the majority of male participant prefer younger female possibly due longer reproductive period and female participants prefer older male due to increase in likelihood of stability and maturity. The finding of this study reflects both the universal and culture specific aspect of desirable qualities in one’s marriage partner. Rules in Maintenance of Relationship
Argyle (1985) The rules are mostly applicable cross culture. However there may be some cultural variations.

Provide favors, compliment, and emotional support.
Respect each other’s privacy
Mutual trust
Avoid criticizing partner in public and stand up against the criticism incase of their absence
Use first name to refer to one’s partner (familiarity)
Look at the partner’s eyes during conversation Variation
Hong Kong – emphasize privacy between partner more than other culture
Japan – protecting partner from criticism is not necessary
Level of intimacy in a relationship may varied across culture Cross-cultural perspectives on infidelity (Druckerman, 2007)
Japanese do not consider it cheating if you pay for sex
Russians do not consider it cheating if you have extramarital sex while on vacation at a beach resort
South Africans consider inebriation a proper excuse for cheating - they are forgiven Supporting Studies:

Zimbardo (1969)
Undergraduate female students
The experiment was that participants would have to give shocks to another participant and was told it was to help them learn
The participants were separated into two groups one which their identity is known and the other which the identity is unknown
The shocks that are given are according to the experimenter telling the participants positive or negative things
The findings showed that the people with their identity unknown had given more shocks than the participants who the identity is known
It shows that when the identity of the participants are unknown they feel that they would not have to stay in the cultural norm, or that they would not have to face the responsibility giving shocks Johnson and Downing (1979)
supporting study for Zimbardo
Participants were separated into two groups one group were given the ku Klux klan outfit, the other were given a nurse outfit
The findings had showed that the participants who were given the ku Klux klan outfit had given double amount of shocks that the participants with the nurse outfit
It shows how the people who had been given the role of the ku Klux klan which was an aggressive group had been more aggressive than participants who were given a nurse outfit which their role is to help others Deindividuation theory
people would become more violent when they are in groups or in a very large crowd
The reason that lead to this is due to that the identity of the person would be unknown, and that with them acting aggressively would not affect them, or that other people would not be able to find out
Example could be seen in sports such as a soccer game, where the fans would have a fight break out with one another. Human Relationships Violence
“an aggressive act in which the actor or perpetrator abuses individuals directly or indirectly.”
Sociocultural violence, could be due to gender, culture, ethic group, and social classo
The differences could lead to violence that happen to them

An example of sociocultural violence could be seen during the holocaust
The violence due to two ethic groups (Nazis, and Jewish)
The Nazis decided to kill the Jewish due to their ethnicity Short Term Effects



Festinger (1950): Friendship in a dormitory is more likely between those who live closer to one another than those who live further away

Nahemov & Lawton (1975): In homes for college students and the elderly, the distances between rooms predicted friendship and attraction.


Mere exposure effect: Familiarity increases liking

Zajonc (1971): Subjects evaluated photos of strangers. Those photos that appeared more often than others were rated more positively Social
Face Symmetry
Effect of hormones and neurotransmission:
(E.g. oxytocin, vasopresin, serotonin) on bonding
Evolutionary origins of attraction: Jealousy, physical attractiveness, female/male partner preference
Waist-to-hip-ratio affects male attraction to females (Johnson and Tassinary, 2005) Social Studies
Evolutionary: Buss (1979, 1996), Wedekind (1995), Brehm (1992), Clarke & Hatfield (1989)

Effect of hormones and neurotransmission:
E.g. Mazaritti (1999, 2004), Young et al. (2004)Neuroimaging studies: E.g. Fischer (2003), Bartels & Zeki (2000) Biological Psychological
Early childhood experiences
Psychological Similarity
Attraction-similarity model (Morry 2007): People tend to see friends and partners as similar to themselves

Studies for Similarity
Markey et al. (2007): Surveys that demonstrated that people prefer someone who is similar to themselvesNewcomb (1961): Roommates that were initially similar were more likely to like each other after a year.
Rubin (1973): Surveys show that married couples are similar in sociological characteristics (e.g. age, race, religion, education)
Caspi & Herbener (1990): A longitudinal study of 135 married couples found that similarity between was related to marital satisfaction Transference
Whenever we encounter someone new that reminds us of a significant other in the past our old schema will affect our impression of the new person
Early Childhood Experiences
We have a need of forming attachments to caregivers as children (Bowlby)
A romantic relationship is an attachment relationship that resembles experiences of attachments from childhood (Hazan & Shaver)
Whenever we encounter someone new that reminds us of a significant other in the past we may be attracted to this person (Transference)
Our past experiences create a “love map” – our idea of an ideal partner

Studies supporting Early Childhood Experience
Hazan & Shaver (1987)
Developed a questionnaire to study the association between individual differences in adult attachment and their perception of their early relationships with their parents
Hazan and Shaver found an association between adult attachment and childhood attachment

Chen & Anderson (1999)
Participants in the experimental group identified two of their significant others – one that they disliked and one that they liked and provided short descriptions of them
2 weeks later the participants learned about a new person with whom they were told they were to interact. The description of the person was rigged to resemble their descriptions of the significant others
When the participants of the experimental group interacted with the person their attitude towards him/her was shifted towards their attitude to the significant others compared to a control groupEvalutionEmpirical supportMethodological problems with findingsCorresponds to schema theory and evolutionary theory Distinguish between altruism and prosocial behavior. Using one or more research studies, explain cross-cultural differences in prosocial behaviour Contrast two theories explaining altruism in humans.
Kin selection vs. empathy-altruism model Social Responsibility Examine factors influencing bystanderism. Rate of Helping in Different Cities - Levine (1990)
Aim – To investigate rate of helping behavior in different cultural setting

Procedure – Field experiment – the researchers staged 3 helping scenario across 36 cities in USA and another 23 large cities around the world, in which the pedestrians were used as test subjects. The scenarios include dropping pen, hurt leg, and helping a blind man cross the street. The rate in which help is given to the researcher is recorded then compared to differences such as population size, cultural value, economic wellbeing, and pace of life.
•Helping behavior occurs more often in small town than in big cities
•Less help is given to the researchers in area with high population density
•Good economic wellbeing is inversely correlated with helping
•High stress level tend to make people less helpful
•Rate of helping is higher in cultures that value social responsibility Evaluation
High Generalizability
High external validity
Replicated study shows similar finding

Some culture specific ideas may exist as confounding variable
Cultural norm in helping may change over time

Cultural differences contribute to different rate of helping
There are a number of factors that can affect helping behavior
Economic productivity is the only strong factor in predicting helping behavior, while the country’s individualistic and collectivistic viewpoint is a poor indicator Helping behavior intentionally helps or benefits others in the spirit of making a difference

Prosocial behavior: every behavior that benefits others or has positive social consequences (Staub, 1978)

Altruism: a type of prosocial behavior, behavior intended to help others with no reward or even cost to oneself ⁃ Kin Selection
Degree of altruism depends on the number of genes shared by the individuals. The closer the relationship between the helper and those being helped, the greater the chance for altruistic behavior. The genes compete for fitness (survival and propagation) rather than the individuals.
preserve and cultivate our genes
self-interested (social hedonism)
more ecologically valid
long-term study (generalizable through time)
animal studies (not generalizable to humans) Kin Selection Wilkinson (1985) studied vampire bats' altruistic behavior in their natural habitat for 26 months. Because young bats cannot find food easily, mature bats regurgitate blood for younger bats on a regular basis. After the long term investigation, he found that vampire bats do not share blood arbitrarily, but preferentially with individuals who are, but not always, most related. Wilkinson (1985) Batson et al. (1981)
conducted a study where students were asked to listen to recorded interviews of Carol's car accident. She also talked about the struggle after the incident, especially not being able to catch up in school. Listeners each received a letter, asking them to meet with Carol and share psychology notes. There were a total of four variations of students who listened to the recorded interviews and received the letter: high empathy level, high cost / high empathy level, low cost / low empathy level, high cost / and low empathy level, low cost. High empathy level for the students was manipulated by telling those students to pay attention to Carol’s feelings (may lead to low ecological validity), while low empathy level students were told not to concern the feelings of Carol. The two variables mentioned are matched with two levels of costs- high and low. Some students were told that Carol would return to their psychology class after she recovers (high cost), and the rest believed Carol would finish the class at home (low cost). They found that students in high empathy group were almost equally likely to share notes with Carol in either the low and high cost circumstance, while the low empathy group mostly helped for the low cost circumstance. Batson et al. Empathy-altruism ⁃ Olweus (1992)
depression by age of 23
higher rates of illness
relative academic performance Elliot and Kirkpatrick (1999)
administered surveys to approximately 2000 UK students and concluded that only 3% of students who were not bullied had attempted suicide, whereas up to 20% of those participants who had experienced bullying had attempted suicide Short Term Effects Olweus (1992)
low self-esteem
lingering feelings of anger
fear of familiar social situations Snyder (2003)
a longitudinal study observing 226 children from kindergarten to elementary school interacting on the playground. The researchers recorded instances of aggression and victimization, and discovered that boys who experienced bullying were more likely to become antisocial. Delville (2002)
⁃ investigated effects of bullying on the brain development of adolescent hamsters. Male adolescent hamsters were kept in a mature hamster’s cage, for one hour per day, for two weeks. The older hamsters reacted aggressively with the young males, chasing/biting them. A control group of young male hamsters were simply in an empty cage for an hour per day. Both conditions induced stress reactions in the adolescents, though the long-term effects differed. Cortisol, a stress hormone, was high in both conditions initially. However, the cortisol levels remained elevated throughout the entire experiment only in the victimized rodents. Research has found that chronic secretion of cortisol has adverse effects on memory. Evaluation
studies support Olweus' findings, and are good illustrations of the short/long-term effects of bullying
application towards reducing recurring violence
problems with ecological validity and generalisability with studies Evaluataion Long Term Effects Long Term Effects Long Term Effects bystanderism: an antisocial behavior, not helping someone who is in need of help even though one is able to

Real life example: The case of Kitty Genovese on March 13, 1964, where 38 bystanders watched or ignored the murder passively
Bystanderism Pluralistic ignorance (Catz and Allport, 1931) Based on informational social influence. The situation where the majority of group members think that other people have accepted a norm while they privately reject it. It is a type of conformity, where people look how others act in order to decide on how to react. Even though individuals may have a desire to help, they choose to conform to the group norm and be bystanders. Latane and Darley (1969): Experiment subjects were told to wait in a room before participating in an experiment. When the female experimenter left the room, participants heard her fall and cry out loud in the next room. Then everything went quiet. The participants were more likely to react more often and more quickly when they were alone than if they were sitting with a stooge who was showing no sign to offer help and did not react to the noise. Latane and Darley (1969) Diffusion of responsibility

Diffusion of responsibility is a phenomenon that occurs in large sized groups. In such groups people there may be unclear who is responsible for action, and people are also more anonymous. In larger groups there is therefore a tendency of individuals to refrain from responsibility and to expect or believe that others are responsible. In the case of the bystander effect, people may think that other people have already helped, or that someone that someone more competent than them should help. Diffusion of responsibility Latane and Darley (1968)
Participants were told that they were going to be interviewed about living in high-pressure urban environment. Anonymity would be preserved by using an intercom. 1st group was told that 5 others will be listening, 2nd group was told that 1 other person will listen, and 3rd group told that no one will listen to the intercom. All comments they heard were actually prerecorded. When interviewees heard a choking noise, 85% of 3rd group rushed to help, 65% of 2nd group helped, and 31% of 1st group helped. This study shows that believing somebody else will intervene lowers the probability of a person taking responsibility. Latane and Darley (1968) Arousal-cost-reward-model

Based on social exchange theory. Costs are weighed with benefits when deciding whether to help. Arousal-cost-reward model Piliavin et al. (1969, 1981)
Confederates acted as strangers in need of help in the New York subway. The confederates either acted as men with canes who appeared ill or drunk. While they faked falling unconsciously to the floor of the subway car other researchers measured the speed of help from people present in the subway car. The results did not find any differences in group size and the help was almost instant in most cases. People were faster in helping the cane victim than the drunken victim. The helper tended to be of the same ethnicity of the victim and as observed in many other studies on emergency situations, men were more likely to help compared to women. Piliavin et al. (1969, 1981) Levine (1990) "Communication is one of the most important factors in a relationship"

determine if a relationship would be happy, or unhealthy
Bad communication to lead to an end in the relationship
no communication = no relationship
plays an integral role in the maintenance of relationships. Social Penetration Theory A close relationship are formed by a process of self disclosure

Self disclosure is “the sharing of fats about one’s life with a loved one, as well as inner thoughts, feelings and emotions” Collins and Miller (1994) Studies supporting self disclosure
Collins and Miller (1994)
Self disclosure leads to self – validation, which is the feeling of being truly known and accepted
With understanding of each other the partners it would be easier for the partners to satisfy the need of the other
It also symbolizes trust which leads to attachment
They found out that people who gave more personal information about themselves are more like than people who did not Fundamental Attribution Error

“the tendency to overestimate dispositional factors and to underestimate situational factors of behavior” Fundamental Attribution Error Bradbury & Fincham (1990)
a meta-analysis research about attributions made by different couples
findings showed that poor marriage life of a couple was affected attributing negative behaviors to dispositional factors

Bradbury & Fincham (1993)
a 12 month longitudinal study of couples
findings showed that the kind of attributions that the couples had for one another predicted the marriage satisfaction at the end of the study. Bradbury& Fincham Reis (1986)
The experiment findings showed that women self disclose more than men, and that they also self disclose to other women, more than men to other men.
Gender Differences
in Communication
Deborah Tannen (199) Deborah Tannen (1990)
observing the way men and women communicate
findings showed that there are a difference in how men and women communicate
Men would interrupt more than women do, and also they have problem solving approaches to problems
Women use more language tags, and prefer emotional supports Reis (1986) Communication Etic and Emic Lee's Sequences of Separation Model (1984) Lee's Sequences of Separation Model (1984)
Based on a survey on 112
romantic break ups of premarital couples, Lee identified
the following stages:
Dissatisfaction-Recognising there is a problem
Exposure- Problem brought out into open.
Negotiation- Discussion about issue raised
Resolution Attempts-Each partner attempts to problem solve.
Termination-Resolution attempts are unsuccessful.
Duck's Model of Dissolution (1999) Duck's Model of Dissolution (1999)
Duck supposed there were five stages
which could be triggered by a threshold.
1. Breakdown-Dissatisfaction leads to crisis. Repair strategy: correct own faults
2. Intra-psychic phase-Thinking about relationship in private, then with close friend. Repair strategy- re-establish liking for partner.
3. Dyadic phase- Deciding to break up/repair: repair strategy- recalculate rules for future.
4. Social phase. Include others in your argument i.e. take your side. Repair strategy outsiders 5. encourage reunion.
5. Grave Dressing- Public & private dissection of relationship. Repair strategy- Try to salvage friendship and agree upon acceptable version of events. Evaluation These models show that dissolution is not a sudden step but a process
They identify stages where things start to go wrong
Reasons for Break Ups Reasons for Break Ups
Withdrawal (social penetration theory)
Rule violations
Individual Differences
Reduced proximity
Change in lifestyle
Negative emotions
Rule Violations Rule Violations
Argyle & Henderson (1984): 160 participants aged 17-34 were asked on the dissolution of friendships
The most critical rule violations were jealousy, lack of tolerance for a third party relationship, disclosing confidences, publicly criticizing the person and not volunteering when helping
Individual differences: Women identified emotional support, younger participants public criticism, over 20s lack of respect or request for personal advice
Individual Differences Individual Differences
Brehm & Kassin, 1996: Women are more likely to stress unhappiness and incompatibility whereas men are more upset by sexual withholding
Caspi & Herbener (1990): A longitudinal study of 135 married couples found that similarity between was related to marital satisfaction
Hill, Rubin, & Peplau (1976): A two year study of dating relationships among college students. Found differences such as age, education, intelligence, unequal involvement in the relationship, and physical attractiveness. The desire to break up was seldom mutual.
Reduced Proximity Reduced Proximity

Shaver et al. (1985): Moving away from each other is often responsible for the dissolution of relationships

Holt and Stone (1988): Found out that there was little decrease in relationship satisfaction for long distance relationships if lovers were able to unite regularly.
Change in Lifestyle Change in Lifestyle
Hays & Oxley (1986): Found that the most adaptive social networks for first-year university students involved new friends who were also university students rather than old school or neighborhood friends.
Negative Emotion Negative Emotion

Rogge, 2010: 222 volunteers in romantic relationship conducted a computer tasks where they were to associate their partner’s first name with positive or negative words. Volunteers who found it easy to associate their partner with bad words and difficult to associate her with good things were more likely to separate over the next year.
What is Bullying? Bullying: When a person is exposed repeatedly over time to negative actions on the part of one or more people
Cyber bullying: The use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group that is intended to harm others
Happy slapping: Using physical violence against a person while a third person videotapes the event Teaching Social Skills:

Feschbach (1982): Trained junior school children to imagine how they would feel in other children’s circumstances, to recognize the feelings of others, and to share their emotions. Children who engaged in empathy training were less aggressive in everyday playground activities
Teaching Social Skills Teaching Social Skills Teaching Social Skills
Aronson (1979): The use of cooperative learning/jigsaw classroom; a technique that works on the idea that everyone works together to a common goal and that everyone has something to contribute to the learning process; lowers the rate of bullying in schools and increases positive interaction between outgroups
Evaluation Evaluation of Teaching Social Skills
Feschbach (1982): Has a proven effect of increasing empathy and thus reduce may reduce bullying
Aronson (1979): Emphasize cooperation and collective norms, thus reducing bullying.
Research is qualitative, therefore there are possible researcher biases or Hawthorne effects. Research cannot measure whether the methods are effective outside of school
Research is about 20 years old. Newer research, e.g. Figueireido et al. (2007) with computer training shows similar effects
Other factors, such as policies and monitoring of students are also important
It is more effective to teach social in earlier grade levels
Conclusion: The method is probably quite effective. School should emphasize training of social skills Antibullying Programmes Antibullying Progmmaes
Vreeman (2006): Classroom discussions, role-playing or detention are ineffective. Whole school interventions that involve teachers, administrators and social workers committed to change, are the most effective, especially throughout high school. Antibullying Programmes Antibullying Programmes
Olweus (1972): Developed a whole-school programme for schools in Norway. This programme uses cooperative learning, teachers are trained to recognize and deal with bullying, lunchrooms and playgrounds are supervised, and counsellors conduct therapy with bullies and their parents. The programme has reduced bullying by 50 %.
Evaluation Evaluation
Generalisability problem. Olweus’ research was only conducted in Norway, a country that already emphasizes communitarian norms. It is possible that other, less communitarian or individualistic cultures also require a change in cultural norms
Policies and programmes may only be effective if everyone is aware of them and committed to change, including parents
Research is qualitative, therefore there are possible researcher biases or Hawthorne effects. Research cannot measure whether the methods are effective outside of school
Conclusion: Antibullying programmes have been shown to be effective and are important at all grade levels.
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