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UT HDF 304 - HDF 304- Study Guide

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Relationship Cognition● Cognition accessibility● Bottom-up vs. top-down processing○ Bottom-up processing■ Perceptions guided by stimulus■ Input comes from outside○ Top-down processing■ Perceptions guided by the perceiver■ Existing mental representations shape how we view the world■ Input comes from inside the perceiver■ (Relationship examples; how does your mood or other temporary statesaffect the way you perceive your relationships? -- date arrives 30 minuteslate -> your mood: good mood - no big deal, caught in traffic;; bad mood -inconsiderate, doesn’t care)■ (Relationship examples; how does your personality and other chronicstates affect the way you perceive relationships? -- bf/gf forgets youranniversary -> your self-esteem: high - no big deal, just stressed out byschool; low - the relationship is over, partner doesn’t love me anymoreMindsets- implicit theories of relationships● What are they?○ Destiny (fixed)○ growth● What would each predict○ Destiny mindset■ Potential partners are either right or wrong■ A successful relationship is mostly a matter of finding the right partner■ Relationships that do not start off well will probably fail■ “You’re the one who got married, who found that one person, one, out oflike 7 billion, who you’re meant to be with. One! That’s like what spies cando.”○ Growth mindset■ The ideal relationship develops over time■ Obstacles can make love even stronger■ A relationship succeeds through hard work and resolution ofincompatibilities■ (Ex. Dax Shepard on his marriage to Kristin Bell:● “We don’t believe in The One. [Kristin and I] don’t believe in thefairytale. We don’t believe that you can meet someone and youhave perfectly matching personalities.”● “We are opposites and it has taken a tremendous amount of workand therapy for us to coexist.”● “My only fear is that people see us and think, ‘Oh, I just need tofind my Kristin Bell.’ That’s not true. [Relationships] arelabor-intensive. If you want them to last they are labor-intensive.”● Destiny vs. Growth○ Growth mindset is associated with more relationship maintenance behaviors○ Mindsets are orthogonal (i.e., independent - not opposite ends of a spectrum)so it is possible to hold both mindsets■ “Fate brings people together, but then it is up to them”○ Mindsets are flexible and can change over timeBeing Single● Why are there more single people today?○ Demographics■ 97 men for every 100 women in the US○ Economics■ Better career and earning potential for women■ The feeling that one cannot afford marriage○ Technology■ Birth control (1960’s)■ Reproductive technologies○ Culture■ Sex outside of marriage accepted■ Emerging adulthood● Marriage no longer = becoming adult● Order of priorities accomplishments● Effects of being single○ Single individuals are more likely to frequently stay in touch with, provide help to,and receive help from parents, siblings, neighbors and friends than the married○ Being single increased the social connections of both men and women, a trendthat remained even when taking into account structural explanations of socialrelationships○ The researchers concluded that instead of promoting marriage, public policyshould “acknowledge the social constraints associated with marriage andrecognize that single individuals have greater involvement with the broadercommunity.”Cohabitation● Quasi-cohabitation vs. living apart together○ Quasi-cohabitation: when individuals spend most nights together, but maintainseparate residences○ (living apart together is a slightly different version of this)○ People cohabit due to economic reasons and as a precursor to marriage● Is cohabitation related to worse relationship outcomes? When? Why?○ Age at cohabitation, not cohabitation itself, accounts for differences in divorcerates■ Move in together before 23 and your risk of divorce is higher■ Women who have marital commitment prior to cohabitation may havedecreased risk of later divorce■ Currently best time to get married is between 28-32Communication● Identify and describe the different positive and negative conflict styles discussed in class○ The “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” - communication behaviors used bycouples who were highly likely to go on to divorce■ Criticism - not a complaint or critique (which focuses on specificbehavior)- instead an ad hominem attack on your partner● Complaint - “I was scared when you were running late and didn’tcall me. I thought we had agreed that we would do that for eachother.”● Criticism - “You never think about how your behavior is affectingother people. I don’t believe you are that forgetful, you’re justselfish! You never think of others! You never think of me!”■ Contempt● Mean and disrespectful● Attitude of utter disgust or hatred● Sarcasm, name-calling, eye-rolling, sneering, mockery● “You’re ‘tired’? Cry me a river. I’ve been with the kids all day,running around like mad to keep this house going and all you dowhen you come home from work is flop down on that sofa like achild and play those idiotic computer games. I don’t have time todeal with another kid - try to be more pathetic…”■ Defensiveness● Blaming the partner● It’s not me - it’s definitely you!■ Stonewalling● Listener withdraws from the interaction● Shuts down, closes themselves off from the other● Acts as though they don’t care● Avoidance of not just the fight but the relationship itself○ Other problematic behaviors■ Unhappy couples do a poor job of saying what they mean● Kitchen sinking: addressing several problems at once (soeverything but the kitchen sink gets added to the fight)○ “You never load the dishes in the dishwasher, you neverfold the laundry, you don’t pick up the kids from school, youjust leave me to do everything.”● Off-beam: wandering from topic to topic so that the conversationnever stays on one problem long enough to resolve it○ “You never do what I ask… You’re just as stubborn as yourmother, and you always take her side - like last week whenwe went to her house…”■ Unhappy couples do a poor job of hearing each other● Mindreading: jumping to conclusions and assuming they knowwhat their partner means, instead of checking their understanding○ Distressed couples tend to perceive unpleasant motiveswhere neutral or


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