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PSYCH301: Social Psychology

Unit 6: Interpersonal Relationships and Attraction   In this unit, we will focus on the psychology of individuals in terms of how they are attracted to one another and how they form relationships. While the relationships we will discuss are typically romantic in nature, many of the same concepts can be applied to friendships and family relationships as well. We will be primarily concerned with how relationships differ and why some relationships last longer than others. These issues become quite complex when you consider the diversity of the human relationships that exist. Accordingly, psychologists have developed a number of theories that attempt to explain different aspects of relationships. This unit will also look at physical attraction, identifying different types of attraction (i.e. physical and aesthetic) and why attraction is an important part of human survival.

Unit 6 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 7.75 hours.
 
☐    Introduction: 3.25 hours
☐    Subunit 6.1: 1 hour
☐    Subunit 6.2: 2 hours
☐    Subunit 6.3: 1.5 hours

Unit6 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- identify the basic properties of and factors involved in interpersonal attraction and affiliation; - identify the function of and factors involved in the formation and maintenance of relationships; and - describe attachment theory and other relevant theories related to interpersonal bonds.

  • Lecture: YouTube: University of California, Berkley: Professor Robb Willer’s “Lecture 30: Relationships” Link: YouTube: University of California, Berkley: Professor Robb Willer’s “Lecture 30: Relationships” (YouTube)
     
    Also available in:
    iTunes U
     
    Instructions: Start the video at 24 minutes as the first part of the lecture is not relevant to the topic of relationships. Note this webcast covers concepts outlined for subunits 6.1-6.3.
     
    Watching the lecture and pausing to take notes should take you approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative 3.0 License.  It is attributed to Robb Willer and the University of California, Berkley, and the original version can be found here.

  • Lecture: University of Idaho: Professor Traci Craig’s “Attraction” and “Close Relationships: What is Love? How does it Work?” Link: University of Idaho: Professor Traci Craig’s “Attraction” (RealAudio) and “Close Relationships: What is Love? How does it Work?” (RealAudio)
     
    Also available in:
    Transcript (HTML) “Attraction”
    Transcript (HTML) “Close Relationships”
     
    Instructions: Note these lectures cover a wide variety of topics relating to interpersonal attraction and relationships, including what brings people together and different theories of love. Click on the hyperlinks to the audio lecture and PowerPoint slides, which are located at the bottom of the To-Do List box on the right side of the webpage. Listen to these lectures lecture as you read the PowerPoint slides. 
     
    Listening to these lectures and reading the slides should take you approximately 2 hours.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.1 Initial Attraction   6.1.1 Interpersonal Attraction   Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below the unit introduction.

6.1.2 Reasons for Affiliation   Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below the unit introduction.

6.1.3 Factors Influencing Affiliation Motivation   Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below the unit introduction.

6.1.4 Theory of Social Exchange   Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below the unit introduction.

6.1.5 Proximity and Familiarity   Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below the unit introduction.

6.1.6 Physical Attractiveness   Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below the unit introduction.

6.2 Intimacy   6.2.1 Intimacy Defined   Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below the unit introduction.

6.2.2 Attachment Theory   Note: This material discusses adult attachments styles and how they relate to romantic relationships. Attachment theory first was researched with respect to infants and their mothers. The nature and quality of the infant’s attachment to the parent is presumed to provide a working model for relationships in general. To the extent that this model remains stable over the years it might influence how adults approach their romantic relationships. The four primary adult attachment styles (one secure and three insecure) are described in detail.

6.3 Relationship Satisfaction and Stability   - Reading: Course Resources on the Web (CROW): Dr. W. B. Swann, et al.’s “Embracing the Bitter Truth: Negative Self-Concepts and Marital Commitment” Link: Course Resources on the Web (CROW): Dr. W. B. Swann, et al.’s Embracing the Bitter Truth: Negative Self-Concepts and Marital Commitment” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Scroll down to 1992, and click on the link to read Embracing the Bitter Truth. Note this article covers concepts outlined in subunits 6.3.1 and 6.3.2. Read this empirical journal article as advised by the readings presented earlier in subunit 1.2 of this course.
 
Reading this article should take you approximately 1 hour.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.3.1 Overview of Research in Relationship Satisfaction   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 6.3.

6.3.2 The Social Psychological Approach   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 6.3.

  • Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “Attraction and Relationships in the Virtual World” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Attraction and Relationships in the Virtual World” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: For this activity, you should think about each of the open-ended questions and then write out your answers. There are no correct or incorrect answers for this activity. Rather, the activity is designed to help you think more deeply about how the development and progression of relationships in the virtual world may differ from face-to-face relationships.
     
    Considering the questions and writing out thoughtful responses should take you approximately 30 minutes.

Unit 6 Assessment   - Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 6 Assessment” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 6 Assessment”

 Instructions: Complete this assessment to check your understanding
of the material covered in this unit. You will see the correct
answers after you hit the “Submit” button.