Question : Explain the causes for interpersonal attraction in romantic relationships using three different psychological perspectives. In the broader sense, attraction can be defined as 'a feeling of being drawn to another person or thing, usually with a positive feeling toward the other ', and interpersonal attraction as 'the sense of liking and wanting to be close to another person ' (Cambridge Dictionary of Psychology 2009). The William James award, which is the highest scientific honor of the Association for Psychological Science was awarded to Ellen Berscheid and Elaine Hatfield in 2012 for their contributions, starting as early as the 1960s, to the study of interpersonal attraction and close relationships (Reis, Aron, Clark and Finkel 2013). Coon and Mitterer, define interpersonal attraction as the social attraction that is experienced by one person to another (Coon and Mitterer 2011). Attraction and relationships have been studied by other researchers as well, before Berscheid and Hatfield.
The intimacy component refers to the feelings of a relationship that promote bonding between individuals and creates the desire to promote the welfare and happiness of the loved one. As well as being able to be reliant on the loved one, therefore strengthening the trust, amongst others. This may be applied to the affect and affiliation of interpersonal attraction. When individuals have reached the level of intimacy, it is evident that the propinquity effect has been positive and has led to the repeated exposure effect then leading to physical attractiveness. Thus, leading to romantic attachment, which are the positive feelings and attitudes felt for another
TOPIC - DEVELOPMENT PSYCHOLOGY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY RESEARCH QUESTION - To what extent do early attachments affect adult interpersonal relationships? INTRODUCTION Attachment can be referred to as a deep and enduring emotional bond connecting one individual to another across the barriers of time and space. It need not be a reciprocal relationship in nature. Renowned psychologist John Bowlby has defined attachment as a “lasting psychological connectedness occurring between human beings’. One person may be attached to another individual without this relationship being mutual.
Attachment theory and romantic relationship The most salient person variable with regards to interpersonal relationships is the contact of attachment style, which is theoretically grounded in Bowlby's attachment theory. Attachment theory posits that when an infant is separated from the primary caregiver or attachment figure (usually the mother). A set of behaviors will ensue which serve the function of regaining proximity to the caregiver. This is known as the separation protest behavioral system (Bowlby, 1973). Separation protest is unique to attachment relationships.
On the other, there is a new pursuit of intimate relationships that combine love with sexual pleasure, generally associated with women. In this situation, the quest for sex becomes particularly prone to conflicts between men and women. The second of these developments is the evolution of the ‘pure relationship’ as ‘the prototypical form of personal life’ (Giddens, 1992:154). This contemporary ideal of intimate relationship is based on a form of democratic mutual self-interest. According to this model, a relationship is ‘entered into for its own sake, for what can be derived by each person from a sustained association with another; and…continued only in so far as it is thought by both parties to deliver enough satisfactions for each individual to stay within it’ (Giddens,
Not only are relations essential for survival but also perform an important role in a person’ self-worth and self-esteem. Previous studies have suggested that although close friendships and marriage share many factors, they also have distinctive provisions. For example, Weiss’ (1974) suggested the study of attachment relationships shows marriage offers an individual with many provisions however is not enough to provide sense of worth and mutual confiding and trust. Researcher Cooley (1902) study of looking-glass theory suggested feedback from other individuals as a source of self-esteem. It is demonstrated that compared to males, females romantic relationships are more likely to contribute to their self-esteem (Crammer, 1990).
As a result of evolutionary psychology’s scientific importance, insights have been given into areas that have functioned outside of evolutionary sciences. It has been suggested that personality characteristics like low emotional stability and low empathy have a damaging effect on ones mating success. Furthermore this effect is more significant when such personality features rise to dangerous levels and are categorised as personality disorders. Evolutionary theories have been used to explain the increased frequency of such maladaptive traits. Thus this study adds to the importance of the models contribution by hypothesising that in familial cultures there was poor selection pressures on personality characteristics that predict success in intimate relationships.
Western Journal Of Communication, 77(4), 411-423. This study examined verbal aggressive behavior in adult romantic relationships from being exposed to familial verbal aggression in childhood and the strength of individuals’ motivation systems. History of family verbal aggression was positively associated with the perceived acceptability of verbal aggression with a romantic partner. This study will help understand aggression with parents that lead to aggression in relationships later in life. Crockett, L. J., & Randall, B.
Like dismissive-avoidant adults, fearful-avoidant adults tend to seek less intimacy, suppressing their feelings (Hazan & Shaver, 1987). Present research is closely linked to Shaver and Hazan’s (1987) attachment theory. Adult attachment theory helps to find out different attachment styles and their effect on personality. These different attachment styles and their respective characteristics figure out the traits that leads to secure romantic relationship. Compassionate vs Passionate Love theory.
There are many concepts related with intimacy. Attachment and authenticity are two concepts that affect how intimate someone is with their partner. Intimacy killers are things that can affect a couple’s relationship in negative ways. Sexual intimacy is something that can affect relationships positively or negatively. It is very important to understand how each of these things can affect a relationship.