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Buss, & Bennett, 2002). Conversely, women would be less likely to forgive an emo-
tional in¬delity than a sexual one and would be more likely to break up with a partner
who engages in emotional in¬delity. Forgiveness is also more likely to occur if there is
a high-quality relationship between partners before the in¬delity occurs (McCullough,
Exline, & Baumeister, 1998).
What are the psychological factors that mediate forgiveness for infidelity?
Forgiveness is related to whether empathy for the transgressing partner is aroused
(McCullough, Worthington, & Rachal, 1997). McCullough et al. report that when a
transgressing partner apologizes, it activates feelings of empathy for the transgressor and
leads to forgiveness. Additionally, the type of attribution made for in¬delity is impor-
tant. For partners in a pre-transgression relationship that is of high quality, attributions
for a transgression like in¬delity are likely to be “benign” and arouse empathy, which
will lead to forgiveness (Fincham, Paleari, & Regalia, 2002).


Love in the Lab
John Gottman has studied marriages in a systematic and scienti¬c manner by using a
variety of instruments to observe volunteer couples who agree to live in an apartment
that is wired and to have their behavior observed and recorded. Results of research from
Social Psychology
348

what is known as the “love lab” suggest that there are three kinds of stable marriages
(Gottman, 1995). The ¬rst type is the con¬‚ict avoiding couple, who survive by accen-
tuating the positive and simply ignoring the negative; the second type is the volatile
couple, who are passionate in everything they do, even ¬ghting. Last is the validat-
ing couple, who listen carefully to each other, compromise, and reconcile differences
(Gottman, 1995). All these styles work, because the bottom line is that each style pro-
motes behavior that most of the time is positive.
Gottman has been able to predict with uncanny accuracy the couples that are headed
four horsemen of the for divorce. He has identi¬ed four factors he refers to as the four horsemen of the
apocalypse Four factors apocalypse. These four factors are: complaining/criticizing, contempt, defensiveness,
identi¬ed as important in and withdrawal from social interaction (stonewalling). The last factor is the most
relationship dissolution:
destructive to a relationship and is a very reliable predictor of which couples divorce.
complaining/criticizing,
There is no answer to stonewalling, but it means that communication has ceased and
contempt, defensiveness,
one partner is in the process of ostracizing the other by refusing to talk. Gottman
and withdrawal from social
interaction (stonewalling). suggested that there is a cascading relationship between the four horsemen of the
apocalypse. Criticism may lead to contempt, which may lead to defensiveness and
¬nally to stonewalling.
Most happy couples do not refuse to talk. Indeed, Gottmanʼs observations in the love
lab suggest that these partners make lots of attempts to repair a dispute to make sure the
argument does not spiral out of control. These repair attempts, reaching out to the other,
also include humor that works to defuse anger. Gottman (1995) noted that most marital
problems are not easy to resolve. But happy couples realize that their relationship is
more important than satisfying their own preferences and idiosyncracies. For example,
one spouse may be a “morning” person and the other is not. So when this couple goes
on trips, they compromise. The “morning” person is willing to wait a bit later to start
the day and the “night” person is willing to wake up a bit earlier.

Friendships
According to Sternbergʼs de¬nition mentioned earlier, liking involves intimacy without
passion. Given that liking involves intimacy, does liking lead to romantic loving? The
answer to this question appears to be no. Liking evidently leads only to liking. It is as
if the two states”liking and loving”are on different tracks (Berscheid, 1988). People
may be fond of each other and may go out together for a long time without their affec-
tion ever quite ripening into romantic love. Can we say, then, that liking and loving are
basically different?
Rubin (1970, 1973) thought that liking and loving were indeed essentially differ-
ent. He constructed two separate measures, a liking scale and a loving scale, to explore
the issue systematically. He found that although both friends and lovers were rated high
on the liking scale, only lovers were rated high on the loving scale. Moreover, sepa-
rate observations revealed that dating couples who gave each other high scores on the
loving scale tended more than others to engage in such loving actions as gazing into each
otherʼs eyes and holding hands. A follow-up study found that these couples were more
likely to have maintained the relationship than were those whose ratings on the loving
scale were lower. Therefore, according to Rubin, we may like our lovers, but we do not
generally love those we like, at least with the passion we feel toward our lovers.
However, even if liking and (romantic) loving are conceptually different, this does
not necessarily mean that friendship does not involve love or that some of the same
motives that drive romantic relationships are absent in long-term friendships. The friend-
ships that we form during our lives can be loving and intimate and passionate. Baumeister
Chapter 9 Interpersonal Attraction and Close Relationships 349

and Bratslavsky (1999) suggested that passion can be just as strong in friendships except
that the sexual component may be absent for a variety of reasons, the most obvious one
being that the gender of the friend is wrong. The history of a friendship ought not to
differ very much from that of a romantic relationship. When two individuals become
friends, they experience attraction and affection and share disclosures and experiences.
This rising intimacy leads to an increase in the passion of the friends, absent the sexual
component (Baumeister & Bratslavsky, 1999).

Gender Differences in Friendships
Female same-sex friendships and male same-sex friendships show somewhat different
patterns (Brehm, 1985). Males tend to engage in activities together, whereas females
tend to share their emotional lives. Richard and Don may play basketball twice a week,
and while playing, they may talk about their problems and feelings, but that is not their
purpose in getting together. Karen and Teri may have lunch twice a week with the
express purpose of sharing their problems and feelings. Men live their friendships side
by side; women live them face to face (Hendrick 1988; Wright, 1982).
The degree of this difference may be diminishing. In the last few decades, there
has been a marked increase in the importance both men and women assign to personal
intimacy as a source of ful¬llment (McAdams, 1989). In fact, both men and women see
self-disclosure as an important component in an intimate friendship. It is just that men
may be less likely to express intimacy via self-disclosure (Fehr, 2004). Some research
suggests that men and women self-disclose with equal frequency and perhaps intensity
(Prager, Fuller, & Gonzalez, 1989). Additionally, both males and females place greater
weight on the “communal” nature of friendship (i.e., friendship involving interpersonal
closeness, intimacy, and trust) over the “agentic” nature (e.g., enhancing social status)
of friendship (Zarbatany, Conley, & Pepper, 2004).
Men and women report having about the same number of close friends. Women
tend to view their close friends as more important than men do, but menʼs close friend-
ships may last longer than womenʼs (Fiebert & Wright, 1989). Men typically distin-
guish between same-sex and cross-sex friendships. For men, cross-sex bonds offer the
opportunity for more self-disclosure and emotional attachment. Men generally obtain
more acceptance and intimacy from their female friends than from their male friends
(Duck, 1988). However, for heterosexual men, cross-sex relationships are often perme-
ated with sexual tension (Rawlins, 1992).
Women, in comparison, do not sharply distinguish among their friendships with
males and females. They also see differences in their feelings for the various men in their
lives. Some of their relationships with men are full of sexual tension, whereas other men
may be liked, even loved, but sexual tension may be absent in those relationships.
Greater levels of interaction with females are associated with fewer episodes of lone-
liness for both men and women. Why? Interactions with women are infused with disclo-
sure, intimacy, and satisfaction, and all these act as buffers against loneliness (Wheeler,
Reis, & Nezlek, 1983). Women seem to make better friends than men do. It is telling
that married men, when asked to name their best friend, are likely to name their wives.
The expectations women have for friendship are often not satis¬ed by their spouse, and
they tend to have at least one female friend in whom they con¬de (Oliker, 1989).

Friendships over the Life Cycle
Friendships are important throughout the life cycle. But they also change somewhat in
relation to the stage of the life cycle and to factors in the individualʼs life. Sharing and
Social Psychology
350

intimacy begin to characterize friendships in early adolescence, as a result of an increas-
ing ability to understand the thoughts and feelings of others. Girls have more intimate
friendships in their early adolescent years than boys do, and this tends to remain true
throughout life (Rawlins, 1992).
Why are boys less intimate than girls with same-sex friends? The reason might be
that girls trust their friends more than boys do (Berndt, 1992). Girls tend to listen to
their friends and protect their friendsʼ feelings, whereas boys tend to tease or embarrass
their friends when the opportunity arises. The more intimate the adolescent friendships,
the more loyal and supportive they are. However, disloyalty and lack of support can
sometimes result from pressure to conform to the peer group. Of course, these issues
are not unique to adolescent friendships. Con¬‚icts between intimacy and social pres-
sure simply take on different forms as people get older (Berndt, 1992).
As individuals move into early and middle adulthood, the end of a marriage or other
long-term intimate relationship can profoundly affect the pattern of a coupleʼs friend-
ships. When a woman experiences the breakup of a relationship, her friends rally around
and support her (Oliker, 1989). Often, the coupleʼs close friends will have already guessed
that the relationship was in trouble. When the breakup occurs, they tend to choose one
partner or the other, or to simply drift away, unable to deal with the new situation.
In later adulthood, retirement affects our friendships. We no longer have daily
contact with coworkers, and thus lose a source of potential friends. With increasing
age, new issues arise. The death of a spouse affects friendships perhaps as much as
the breakup of a marriage. People who are recently widowed can often feel like “¬fth
wheels” (Rawlins, 1992). The physical problems often associated with old age can lead
to a con¬‚ict between a need for independence and a need for help (Rawlins, 1992). As
a result, older friends might have to renegotiate their relationships to ensure that both
needs are met. Whatever the problems, friendships among the elderly are often uplifting
and vital. This is well illustrated by the following statement from a 79-year-old widower:
“I donʼt know how anyone would ever live without friends, because to me, theyʼre next
to good health, and all your life depends on friendship” (quoted in Rawlins, 1992).



Gertrude and Alice Revisited
Stein and Toklas are important because of their role in the vibrant literary world of Paris
just after the end of World War I, a period that lasted well into the 1930s. However,
aside from their historical importance, the relationship of these two individuals re¬‚ects
and exempli¬es the basic characteristics of close relationships. We saw how the need
for intimacy overcame Aliceʼs very strong feelings of social anxiety. Their relation-
ship changed over time, of course, ending, ¬nally, in a companionate one. However,
they touched all the vertices of Sternbergʼs triangle of love: intimacy, passion, and
commitment.


Chapter Review
1. What is a close relationship?
The essence of a close relationship is intimacy, friendship, sharing, and love
between two people.
Chapter 9 Interpersonal Attraction and Close Relationships 351

2. What are the roots of interpersonal attraction and close relationships?
Human beings possess positive social motives, the need for af¬liation (the
desire to establish and maintain rewarding interpersonal relationships) and the
need for intimacy (the desire for close and affectionate relationships), which
in¬‚uence us to seek ful¬lling relationships. There are, however, motives that
may inhibit the formation of social relationships, particularly loneliness and
social anxiety, which arise because of a personʼs expectation of negative
encounters with and evaluations from others. Another important factor in
interpersonal attraction and close relationships is our earliest interaction
with our primary caregiver, which shapes our particular attachment style.
Attachment styles are patterns of interacting and relating that in¬‚uence
how we develop affectional ties with others later in life. Each of these
styles evolves into a working model, a mental representation of what we as
individuals expect to happen in a close relationship.
3. What are loneliness and social anxiety?
Loneliness is a psychological state that results when we perceive an
inadequacy in our relationships. It arises when there is a discrepancy between
the way we want our relationships to be and the way they actually are. It
is not related to the number of relationships we have. The way loneliness
is experienced varies across cultures and across age levels. Loneliness has
been found to have psychological effects (e.g., feelings of social exclusion
and depression) and physical effects (e.g., precursors to hypertension and
heart ailments).
Social anxiety arises from a personʼs expectation of negative encounters
with others. A person with social anxiety anticipates negative interactions with
others, overestimates the negativity of social interactions, and dwells on the
negative aspects of social interaction. Many of these negative assessments are
not valid, however. Social exclusion and teasing are a major factor in a person
developing social anxiety.
4. What are the components and dynamics of love?
In Sternbergʼs triangular theory of love, love has three components: passion,
intimacy, and commitment. Passion is the emotional component involving
strong emotions. Intimacy involves a willingness to disclose important
personal information. Commitment is the cognitive component of love
involving a decision to maintain love long term.
Different mixes of these three components de¬ne different types of love.
Romantic love, for example, has passion and intimacy; it involves strong
emotion and sexual desire. Companionate love has intimacy and commitment;
it is based more on mutual respect and caring than on strong emotion.
Consummate love has all three components. Limerence is an exaggerated
form of romantic love that occurs when a person anxious for intimacy ¬nds
someone who seems able to ful¬ll all of his or her needs. Unrequited love”
love that is not returned”is the most painful kind of love. Secret love seems
to have a special quality. Secrecy makes a partner more attractive and creates
a bond between individuals.
Social Psychology
352

5. How does attachment relate to interpersonal relationships?
During infancy, humans form attachments to their primary caregivers.
These early attachments evolve into working models, which are ideas about
what is expected to happen in a relationship. Wording models transfer
from relationship to relationship. Individuals with a secure attachment
style characterized their lovers as happy, friendly, and trusting and said that
they and their partner were tolerant of each otherʼs faults. Those with an
avoidant attachment style were afraid of intimacy, experienced roller-coaster
emotional swings, and were constantly jealous. An anxious-ambivalent style is
associated with extreme sexual attraction coupled with extreme jealousy. The
ways in which we respond to our earliest caregivers may indeed last a lifetime
and are used when we enter adult romantic relationships.
6. How does interpersonal attraction develop?
Several factors in¬‚uence the development of interpersonal attraction. The
physical proximity effect is an initially important determinant of potential
attraction. The importance of proximity can be partly accounted for by the
mere exposure effect, which suggests that repeated exposure to a person
increases familiarity, which in turn increases attraction. Proximity is also
important because it increases opportunities for interaction, which may
increase liking. The advent of the Internet as a communication tool has led to
a reevaluation of the proximity effect. Individuals who live far apart can now
easily contact each other and form relationships. Research shows that Internet
relationships are similar to face-to-face relationships: They are important to
the individuals involved, they are incorporated into everyday lives, and they
are stable over time. However, face-to-face relationships tended to be more
interdependent, involved more commitment, and had greater breadth and
depth than Internet relationships. On the downside, individuals who use the
Internet to form relationships tend to be socially anxious and lonely. These
lonely individuals may still experience negative affect, despite having formed
relationships over the Internet.
Another factor affecting attraction is the similarity effect. We are attracted
to those we perceive to be like us in interests, attitudes, personality, and
physical attractiveness. We tend to seek out partners who are at the same
level of attractiveness as we are, which is known as the matching principle.
Matching becomes more important as a relationship progresses. Similarity
is most important for relationships that are important to us and that we are
committed to. One hypothesis says that we are repulsed by dissimilar others,
rather than being attracted to similar others. In fact, dissimilarity serves as an
initial ¬lter in the formation of relationships. Once a relationship begins to
form, however, similarity becomes the fundamental determinant of attraction.
We also tend to be more attracted to people who are physically attractive,
which is a third factor in interpersonal attraction. Generally, males are more
overwhelmed by physical attractiveness than are females. Facial appearance,
body appearance, and the quality of oneʼs voice contribute to the perception

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