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Flashcards in Week 3: Relationship Cognition Deck (14)
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Historical background

- behaviorist views of relationships as marriage
- implications for marital therapy; identifying problem behaviors, draw up behavioral contract
- neglects the motivations and cognitions that are driving the behaviors

1

Relationship schemas

- about other people and ideal mates, events, self, self-in-relationships
- prototypical features; the most salient characteristics of the relationship types
- schemas about the rights and wrongs of relationships - rules - general (all relationships) and local (my relationship)

2

Relationship rules

- Argyle and Henderson (1980s)
- explored the 'rules of marriage' and found many maintenance rules such as; being faithful; respecting each others privacy; keeping secrets; and informing partners about your schedule
- other potential rules; giving compliments, being affectionate; having an enjoyable sex life

3

Rule violations

The rules operate in distal context, influence proximal judgements

4

Destiny (soulmate) vs growth (work-it-out) theories (Knee, 1998)

- People with strong destiny beliefs are more likely to end troubled relationships than people with strong growth beliefs

5

Dysfunctional beliefs (Eidelson & Epstein, 1982)

- disagreement is destructive
- mind reading is expected
- partners cannot change
- the sexes are different
- sexual perfectionism

6

Rejection sensitivity (Murray et al., 2003)

- beliefs about how likely it is that one will be rejected by others
- rejection-prone partners were more vigilant for criticism and potential rejection, and felt more hurt, on the days following a conflict than partners who were less rejection-sensitive
- rejection-prone partners also behaved more coldly and critically on days following conflict - setting up the conditions for more rejection and hurt

7

Hurt proneness

- Mark Leary and colleagues
- hurt-prone individuals interpret others behaviors as rejecting and dismissive
- experience the work as a hurtful place and don't perceive their own role in generating hurt and suffering
- "depressigenic" cog style

8

Attribution theory

Refer to the explanations people make about the cause of events such as partner behavior in close relationships; can be positive or negative

9

Causal attributions - 6 dimensions

1) locus: self, other or external
2) global (personality) vs situationally specific (a 'one off')
3) stable vs transient (unstable)
4) controllable vs uncontrollable
5) intentional vs unintentional
6) responsible vs not responsible (blame/credit)

10

Role of expectations

- mediate b/w relationship theories (schemas) and ongoing relationship attributions
- violated (theory-derived) expectations call for an explanation
- the type of explanation (attribution) derives from relationship theories (e.g. Destiny vs growth)!

11

Relationship satisfaction is a function of...(3)

- what people expect and perceive from their partners and their relationships
- how they interpret and explain relationship behaviors
- how congruent their perceptions are with their schemas about themselves, their partners, and what makes for a 'good' relationship

12

Attribution styles and how +ve and -be explain partner behaviors

- Partners with positive relationship schemas tend to explain partner behaviors in a 'relationship enhancing' fashion
- partners with negative relationship schemas tend to explain partner behaviors in a 'distress maintaining' fashion

13

Implications of relationship cognitions for marital therapists

- Behavior is important, but even more important is exploring partners' schemas (including self-esteem, attachment) and relationship-related beliefs
- can work on challenging beliefs and expectations, and encourages changes in attribution all styles - which will in turn modify schemas