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Flashcards in Virtual relationships Deck (23):

Which demographic uses online dating the most?

20-45 year-olds


What issues with relationships are being solved by technology?

They are not as rich in communication because interactions don't have a visual or auditory element, allowing more scope for communication issues. However, these issues are beginning to be rectified as advances in technology now allows webcams


What relationships have been increased because social media and online dating platforms facilitate them?

Inter-racial and homosexual relationships


What dangers does online dating pose?

People misrepresenting themselves, and due to the anonymous nature of the internet, people, especially women, get harassed or threatened in ways they wouldn't in face-to-face relationships. This is known as trolling or cyber-bullying, and occurs because trolls become divorced from the consequences of their interactions. Cyber-stalking also occurs, where victims are groomed online by the perpetrators misrepresenting themselves


Who, according to the evolutionary theory, is more critical of online affairs and why?

females should be more critical of conduct because they value emotional fidelity, and men less critical because they value sexual fidelity


What did Mishna find?

Young people thought of virtual relationships in the same way as physical relationships, suggesting young people support them


What is deindividuation?

The loss of self-awareness in groups


How many people did Cornwell and Lundgren find misrepresented themselves online?

28% misrepresented their physical appearance, 23% their age, and 18% their background


Why might virtual relationships be contributing to the decline of long-term relationships?

Social media provides a never-ending supply of people to form relationships with


Why is self-disclosure easier and more common in virtual relationships?

The anonymity of virtual relationships means that individuals can reveal embarrassing or personal information with less fear of being socially embarrassed by the information being leaked to people that know them


What does Rubin's "Strangers on a train" tell us about self-disclosure?

Individuals reveal more personal information to a stranger as they do not have access to the individual's social circle


What does the ease of self-disclosure result in for virtual relationships?

Closeness and intimacy are developed faster and they are based on more meaningful factors, such as shared interests and attitudes rather than superficial factors such as physical attractiveness. Also, the self-disclosures tend to be about the "true" self, instead of a self constructed for society, and real intimacies help build a stronger and more meaningful relationship, which means they are actually more likely to be more long-lasting than face-to-face relationships


How can the more recent "sexting" form of self-disclosure be explained?

People feel less inhibited in their behaviour on social media than in real life, although this disclosure can still be used against them by individuals who have misrepresented themselves for financial or sexual gain


What did Schouten et al. find and what practical applications does this have?

People with high social anxiety experienced greater disclosure due to the absence of non-verbal cues that they typically struggle with. This suggests that the subtle cues in verbal talk are missing and benefit some people, making it easier for them to communicate


What did Yim and Hara find that is a criticism of self-disclosure forming more meaningful and close relationships?

Cultural differences between American, Korean, and Japanese participants in how disclosure increased or decreased trust


What practical applications do virtual relationships have?

Using them as therapy for the socially inept to learn social skills that can be used in the real world. This could also be applied to people with social phobias overcoming their fears (as systematic desensitisation?)


What two things does research not consider?

- Research has not really discriminated between the intimacy of sexting and the intimacy of revealing one's thoughts and feelings, which are very different types of intimacy

- The internet and other social media may be pressuring individuals into self-disclosures they are not comfortable with, in particular females being pressured into sexting


What is gating?

Limiting factors on the formation of relationships that form barriers to the creation of physical relationships


Why do virtual relationships have an absence of gating?

Virtual relationships are not inhibited by the normal limiting factors that affect the formation of face-to-face relationships, such as physical attractiveness, a stutter, social inadequacy etc. which means less physically attractive and socially able people can form meaningful relationships easier


Why do less physically attractive and socially inept individuals regard their virtual relationships as more identity-important?

Such individuals often feel a stronger need to disclose in a more intimate and honest fashion, revealing their "true" self and building more meaningful relationships than they would face-to-face


What did Bargh et al. find?

Intimacy develops faster in VR because of an absence of gating


What did McKenna find?

Removing the gating features in VR allowed disadvantaged people to enter relationships


Why doesn't research into virtual relationships provide valid data?

Most research on virtual relationships uses self-reports, which may be prone to idealised and socially desirable answers