Thursday, September 27, 2007

Lecture 7: Relationships (Brief Overview)

In Lecture 7: Relationships we explored topics such as:
  • Attraction: e.g., what causes it? Similarity, propinquity (psychological exposure/proximity), arousal, cultural norms, hormones (incl. testosterone), beauty, etc.
  • Rejection: what causes it and what are its effects? e.g,. numbness, confusion, shame, increased pain tolerance, more likely to eat junk food, etc.
  • Social Exchange Theory and Investment Models of Relationships: which view relationships as economic-like transactions and which make sense from an evolutionary and cognitive point of view
  • Beauty: Symmetry, "what-is-beautiful-is-good", variations across culture, time, and gender; Evolutionary explanations (Women: health, fertility, youth; Men: stability, resources, status)
  • Types of love: Passionate (short-term, physiological arousing, intense, dominant) and Compassionate (longer-lasting, caring, understanding, etc.), Exchange vs. Communal, Sternberg's Triangular Model (Passionate, Intimate, Commitment), Schacter's two factor emotion model (arousal + cognitive interpretation towards an appropriate love object), Hatfield & Walster's (1981) 3-factor theory of romantic love (which basically adds culture to Schacter's model).
  • Attachment styles: Based on Freudian and learning theory, as well animal experiments and human research, psychologists have suggested that adult attachment styles derive to a significant degree from infant and early childhood attachment styles which can range between being overly clingy (Anxious/Ambivalent) to balanced (Secure), to being overly distant and uncomfortable with people getting too close (Avoidant).
  • Maintaining relationships: Idealised picture of one another and the relationship (even though relationships tend not to improve over time) as well as devaluing alternatives (e.g., happily married men rate potential alternative partners as less attractive); secret is avoiding downward spiral e.g., tit-for-tat negative reciprocation, social allergies (small annoying habits become more irritating over time), and relationship-destabilising attributions (i.e., making global, stable, internal attributions for each other's failings and specific, unstable, external attributions for each other's successes). People will tend to stay in relationships in part because of "sunk investment" and the costs and risks involved in switching to an alternative.
  • Ending relationships: Various models describe a period of waiting to see if things will improve and brooding, then accelerated deteriorating through neglect and/or active seeking of alternatives, direct confrontation (voice behaviour), exit behaviour, and then a moratorium period including "grave-dressing" during which the relationship is buried and grieved, so that the partners can get closure and move on.

Did You Know 2.0

here's a jazzed up version of "shift happens" (which I discussed initially in Lecture 1 reflections)- it's basically facts & figures that suggest singularity is well under way - and that we should be moving with this future rather than stuck in the past, etc; a handy reference for those of us working in institutions which don't get it yet:

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Relationship Video #4: Toy Boy (Hyundai Car Ad)

In this Hyundai car commercial, a French wife betrays her husband by heading out for a good time with a handsome toy boy...(0:46)

Relationship Video #3: Blind Date

A hopeful couple head out on a blind date...(0:30)

Relationship Video #2: Last Rolo

In this advertisement, a young man and woman in love go to the movies. The man is so dedicated to his partner that her offers her his last rolo (chocolate caramel candy). However, when presented with a more attractive alternative focus for his attraction... (0:35 mins)

Relationship Video #1: Vodafone Aeroplane Ad

In this ad, a young man on an aeroplane flight attempts to enhance his social status by taking photographs of himself with an attractive woman (who is asleep) and sending them to a friend. (1:38 mins)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Free Speech, Tasering Andrew Meyer, & Disabled Youtube Comments

OK, so its bad enough that journalism student and political enthusiast, Andrew Meyer , didn't get his questions answered, then got arrested, tasered, etc. but why on earth also disable comments about this event on youtube???

Hello? I guess that means conversations to interpret this social event need to use other mediums.

Watch it for yourself:

Student Tasered At Kerry Speech: Longer Version

(Note: Apparently Kerry says something to the effect of "it's OK, let me answer his questions")

This will cause no end of comment, I suspect, especially with the video so readily distributed, and with elections in the US and Australia on their way. And so it should.

Jon Rabin Baitz has provided more erudite insight into the event than typical news reports: More Pinter than Python.

I'm still a bit shocked/outraged to digest the incident intellectually. But here's the beginnings of some elements of social psychology going on here, e.g.,
  • Political psychology
  • Norms
  • Weapons effect (Why not just drag him outside instead of tasering him in the hall!? Was public torture necessary?)
  • Bystander effect
  • Stereotypes
  • Social control
  • Cyberpsychology
  • Culture of fear
  • Leadership
Some other comments: