Intimate Relationships - Sharon S. Brehm - Google Livres
She tells us when common sense conceptions about intimate relationships are informative and when they are The McGraw-Hill series in social psychology. Subject: Developmental Psychology, Health Psychology, Social Psychology Sorkin, & Zettel, ), with marriage and romantic relationships being the closest and .. to same- and next-day increases in negative affect (Mogle, Muñoz , Hill, Smyth, .. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social. Study Intimate Relationships (McGraw-Hill Series in Social Psychology) discussion and chapter questions and find Intimate Relationships (McGraw-Hill Series in.
For instance, on a first date, people tend to present their outer images only, talking about hobbies. As the relational development progresses, wider and more controversial topics such as political views are included in the conversations. Second, interpersonal relationships develop in a generally systematic and predictable manner. This assumption indicates the predictability of relationship development. Although it is impossible to foresee the exact and precise path of relational development, there is certain trajectory to follow.
As Altman and Taylor note, "People seem to possess very sensitive tuning mechanisms which enable them to program carefully their interpersonal relationships. For example, after prolonged and fierce fights, a couple who originally planned to get married may decide to break up and turn to be strangers ultimately.
Fourth, self-disclosure is the key to facilitate relationship development. Self-disclosure means disclosing and sharing personal information to others. It enables individuals to know each other and plays a crucial role in determining how far a relationship can go, because gradual exploration of mutual selves is essential in the process of social penetration. In sharing information about themselves, people make choices about what to share and with whom to share it. Altman and Taylor believe that opening inner self to other is the main route to reach to intimate relationships.
As for the speed of self-disclosure, Altman and Taylor were convinced that the process of social penetration moves a lot faster in the beginning stages of a relationship and slows considerably. In other words, penetration is rapid at the start but slows down quickly as the tightly wrapped inner layers are reached. Disclosure reciprocity[ edit ] Self-disclosure is reciprocal, especially in the early stages of relationship development. Disclosure reciprocity is an indispensable component in SPT.
Disclosure reciprocity can induce positive and satisfactory feelings and drive forward relational development. This is because as mutual disclosure take place between individuals, they might feel a sense of emotional equity. Disclosure reciprocity occurs when the openness of one person is reciprocated with the same degree of the openness from the other person.
Onion model Social penetration is known for its onion analogy, which implies that self-disclosure is the process of tearing layers or concentric circles away. It is sometimes called the " onion theory " of personality.
Personality is like a multi-layered onion with public self on the outer layer and private self at the core. As time passes and intimacy grows, the layers of one's personality begin to unfold to reveal the core of the person.
This is done in a reciprocal manner. The main factor that acts as a catalyst in the development of relationships is proper self disclosure. Altman and Taylor proposes that there are four major stages in social penetration: This first stage follows the standards of social desirability and norms of appropriateness. Individuals start to reveal the inner self bit by bit, expressing personal attitudes about moderate topics such as government and education.
This may not be the whole truth as individuals are not yet comfortable to lay themselves bare. This is the stage of casual friendshipand many relationships do not go past this stage.
Individuals are getting more comfortable to talk about private and personal matter, and there are some forms of commitment in this stage. Personal idiomsor words and phrases that embody unique meanings between individuals, are used in conversations. Criticism and arguments may arise. A comfortable share of positive and negative reactions occurs in this stage. Relationships become more important to both parties, more meaningful and more enduring.
It is a stage of close friendships and intimate partners. The relationship now reaches a plateau in which some of the deepest personal thoughtsbeliefsand values are shared and each can predict the emotional reactions of the other person. This stage is characterized with complete openness, raw honesty and a high degree of spontaneity.
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When the relationship starts to break down and costs exceed benefits, then there is a withdrawal of disclosure which leads to termination of the relationship. According to Altman and Taylor, when de-penetration occurs, "interpersonal exchange should proceed backwards from more to less intimate areas, should decrease in breadth or volume, and, as a result, the total cumulative wedge of exchange should shrink".
Relational retreat takes back of what has earlier been exchanged in the building of a relationship. Relationships are likely to break down not in an explosive argument but in a gradual cooling off of enjoyment and care. What is worth noting is that Tolstedt and Stokes finds that in the de-penetration process, the self-disclosure breadth reduces, while self-disclosure depth increases.
This is known as idiomatic communication, a phenomenon that is reported to occur more often among couples in the coming together stages of a relationship. Therefore, this personalized form of communication acts more as a maintainer of a relationship and is not to be necessarily taken as a sign that a couple is moving upward or downward in their relationship trajectory.
Breadth and depth[ edit ] Both depth and breadth are related to the onion model.
As the wedge penetrates the layers of the onion, the degree of intimacy depth and the range of areas in an individual's life that an individual chooses to share breadth increases. For instance, one segment could be family, a specific romantic relationship, or academic studies. Each of these segments or areas are not always accessed at the same time. One could be completely open about a family relationship while hiding an aspect of a romantic relationship for various reasons such as abuse or disapproval from family or friends.
It takes genuine intimacy with all segments to be able to access all areas of breadth at all times. This does not necessarily refer to sexual activitybut how open and close someone can become with another person despite their anxiety over self-disclosure. Doing this will give the person more trust in the relationship and make them want to talk about deeper things that would be discussed in normal, everyday conversation. This could be through friendship, family relationships, peers, and even romantic relationships with either same-sex or opposite-sex partners.
How do people move to deeper intimacy levels?
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When talking with one person over time, someone could make more topics to talk about so the other person will start to open up and express what they feel about the different issues and topics. This helps the first person to move closer to getting to know the person and how they react to different things. This is applicable when equal intimacy is involved in friendship, romance, attitudes and families.
For instance, depth without breadth could be where only one area of intimacy is accessed. This would be depth without breadth.
An example would be when passing by an acquaintance and saying, "Hi, how are you? To get to the level of breadth and depth, both parties have to work on their social skills and how they present themselves to people. They have to be willing to open up and talk to each other and express themselves. One person could share some information about their personal life and see how the other person responds. If they do not want to open up the first time, the first person has to keep talking to the second person and have many conversations to get to the point where they both feel comfortable enough for them to want to talk to each other about more personal topics.
The relationship between breadth and depth can be similar to that used in technology today. Pennington describes in a study that " With a click of the mouse to accept them as a "friend" roommates across the country can learn: Users of these platforms seem to feel obligated to share simple information as was listed by Pennington, but also highly personal information that can now be considered general knowledge.
In cases like this, there is depth without much breadth. For example, some cultures, like the Japanese, value personal privacy more than others. Therefore, a Japanese person may not self-disclose nearly as much or as enthusiastically as, say, a French person.
Partners who come from different religious backgrounds may hesitate to share thoughts or attitudes that concern matters of faith. Men often refrain from expressing deep emotions out of fear of social stigma. Such barriers can slow the rate of self-disclosure and even prevent relationships from forming. In theory, the more dissimilar two people are, the more difficult or unlikely self-disclosure becomes. Stranger-on-the-train phenomenon[ edit ] Most of the time individuals engage in self-disclosure strategically, carefully evaluating what to disclose and what to be reserved, since disclosing too much in the early stage of relationship is generally considered as inappropriate, which can end or suffocate a relationship.AP Psychology - Social Psych - Part 5 - Attraction
Whereas, in certain contexts, self-disclosure does not follow the pattern. This exception is known as "stranger-on-the-train or plane or bus " phenomenon, in which individuals reveal personal information with complete strangers in public spaces rapidly.
In such situations, self-disclosure is spontaneous rather than strategic. This specific concept can be known as verbal leakage, which is defined by Floyd as "unintentionally telling another person something about yourself". Some researchers argue that revealing our inner self to complete strangers is deemed as " cathartic exercise" or "service of confession", which allows individuals to unload emotions and express deeper thoughts without being haunted by the potential unfavorable comments or judgements.
Some researcher suggests that this phenomenon occurs because individuals feel less vulnerable to open up to strangers who they are not expected to see again.
Individuals in a relationship who experience anxiety will find it difficult to divulge information regarding their sexuality and desires due to the perceived vulnerabilities in doing so. In a study published by the Archives of Sexual Behaviorsocially anxious individuals generally attribute potential judgement or scrutiny as the main instigators for any insecurities in self-disclosing to their romantic partners.
Rewards and costs assessment[ edit ] Social exchange theory[ edit ] Further information: Social exchange theory Social exchange theory states that humans weigh each relationship and interaction with another human on a reward cost scale without realizing it.
If the interaction was satisfactory, then that person or relationship is looked upon favorably. But if an interaction was unsatisfactory, then the relationship will be evaluated for its costs compared to its rewards or benefits.
People try to predict the outcome of an interaction before it takes place. Coming from a scientific standpoint, Altman and Taylor were able to assign letters as mathematical representations of costs and rewards. They also borrowed the concepts from Thibaut and Kelley's in order to describe the relation of costs and rewards of relationships. Thibaut and Kelley's key concepts of relational outcome, relational satisfaction, and relational stability serve as the foundation of Irwin and Taylor's rewards minus costs, comparison level, and comparison level of alternatives.
A major factor of disclosure is an individual calculation in direct relation to benefits of the relationship at hand. Each calculation is unique in its own way because every person prefers different things and therefore will give different responses to different questions. An example of how rewards and costs can influence behaviour is if an individual were to ask another individual on a date. Data from a nationally representative sample show that the percentage of American adults who report having no close confidant of any sort more than doubled from 10 percent in to 25 percent in During that same time period the average number of intimate relationships reported by American adults decreased from three to two.
It seems that all the technology at our fingertips is not much help in satisfying the need for love. When committed, intimate relationships break up, people suffer as a result. There is no clearer example of this than divorce, which the research suggests is a major setback for all involved. In general, both spouses tend to suffer in significant ways, though to varying degrees, in many areas of life after a divorce.
Even more, the children of divorce clearly lose out. Here Miller and Perlman are quite clear: Decades of research involving hundreds of thousands of people converge on the conclusion that, compared to those whose parents stay married, children whose parents divorce exhibit lower levels of well-being both as adolescents and as young adults" p.
They go on to discuss these detrimental effects on emotional well-being, behavior, academic performance, and future relationships. Miller and Perlman's book is also helpful in pointing out research-supported ways we can strengthen our close relationships. In addition to carrying positive yet realistic expectations of our relationships and engaging in attuned, empathic communication, they mention such admirable qualities as being willing to make sacrifices, supporting each other's personal growth, patiently tolerating each other's bad moods, finding ways to be playful together, and practicing forgiveness when we are hurt.
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When our marriages or intimate partnerships become especially strained, Miller and Perlman encourage their readers to consider therapy, providing helpful descriptions of several of the leading styles of marital therapy and offering some guidance on how to find a competent provider.
Despite all the interesting findings from relationship science presented by these authors, there are some significant problems with their text as well. First, they tend to minimize the differences between men and women, attributing the majority of such differences to unhealthy cultural values.
There is also a strong bias that recurs throughout the book equating same-sex couples with heterosexual couples. Miller and Perlman selectively present research findings to support the equality of these two types of relationships and also try to argue from the authority of the scientific community for social change in this regard. Former president of the American Psychological Association Martin Seligman has characterized the role of the social scientist as one of describing not prescribing.
Miller and Perlman seem to have no difficulty occasionally straying from this dictum, lapsing into advocacy and sometimes even directly trying to change their reader's behavior, as if being a scientist conferred moral authority.
One area in which this occurs is their frequent repetition in the text of the "safe sex" mantra. These authors deny the effectiveness of abstinence education and fail to adequately address the moral and cultural value of chastity. Rather they repeat again and again the need to use condoms. Apparently they are unconcerned for how such a recommendation may affect readers who hold religious or moral beliefs that contradict their directives. Like so much of what is found in the contemporary psychological literature, there is much of value in Intimate Relationships.