Interpersonal Theory Final

  1. What is a theory?
    • accumulated knowledge
    • based on evidence
    • organized set of concepts and explanations about a phenomenon
  2. What are the functions of a theory?
    • Explanation (scope, validity, parsimony)
    • prediction
    • control
    • heuristic
    • communicative
    • inspiration
  3. What are the elements of a theory?
    • scope
    • concepts (elements)
    • connections (explanations)
    • assumptions (accept as true)
    • generalizations (conclusions based on theory)
  4. Empiricism vs. Interpretivism
    • Empiricism (positivism): absolute truths (post-positivist allows for a bit of interpretivism). Rationalism. Traditional social science. Hypothetico-deductive approach. Variable-analytic tradition
    • Interpretivism (naturalism): subjectivism, humanism, constructivism. Assumes action is voluntary, knowledge is created socially, theories are contextually bound/value laden/based on engaging with the world, theories affect reality.
  5. What makes a good theory? (necessary components)
    • explanatory power
    • formalization/coherence
    • integration/comprehensiveness (no contradictions)
    • parsimony (simple)¬†
    • falsifiability (ability to be proven wrong)
    • accuracy (reflect reality)
    • fruitfulness (generates new knowledge)
  6. What makes an even better theory?
    • predictive power
    • specificity
    • breadth
    • novelty
    • control
    • aesthetics
  7. operationalization
    take something abstract and make it measurable
  8. Purpose (Affection Exchange Theory)
    • explain why humans communicate affection
    • benefits of affection
    • benefits of providing affection
    • consequences of lack of affection
  9. Assumptions (Affection Exchange Theory)
    • post-positivist
    • main human goals are procreation and survival
    • we are not always aware of how comm serves these goals
    • we don't need to be aware for these to affect our behavior
  10. Features (Affection Exchange Theory)
    • Need and capacity for affection are inborn
    • expressions are usually consistent with actually feelings (covary)
    • Affection comm is adaptive
    • We vary in optimal tolerances for affection and affectionate behaviors
    • Affectionate behaviors that violate the range of optimal tolerance are physiologically aversive
  11. Role of Communication (Affection Exchange Theory)
    • Affection is displayed through comm (verbal, direct nonverbal, indirect nonverbal)
    • These are usually interpreted accurately
  12. Uses (Affection Exchange Theory)
    • Explains why some relationships are more affectionate
    • Explains how affection affects health
    • Explains why humans are affectionate
    • Provides means for non-pharmacological health interventions
  13. Discussion points (Affection Exchange Theory)
    • Problematic "no touch" children policies
    • Does it matter who is touching you to heal you?
    • Stress moderating properties
    • Skin to skin contact at birth is important
    • haptic=touch
  14. Purpose (Attachment Theory)
    • Understand how parent-child interaction affects personality development
    • How relational experiences affect communication within relationships/relational quality
  15. Assumptions (Attachment Theory)
    • Innate need to form attachments (product of biological forces and social interaction)
    • Attachment system is activated when humans need protection from experience/stress
  16. Features (Attachment Theory)
    • Attachment security spectrum from secure to insecure
    • Need secure base (protect us from harm, provide us with protection/intimacy)
    • IWMS/IWMO cross to get 4 types (preoccupied, secure, fearful, dismissive)
    • Attachment is relatively stable (can change with time/relationship)
    • Goodness of fit (secure, dismissive, anxious ambivalent)
  17. Role of Communication (Attachment Theory)
    • Comm leads to attachment
    • Attachment influences comm creating relationship quality
    • attachment influences comm influences partner response reinforces/alters attachment
  18. Uses (Attachment Theory)
    • Parenting
    • Relational maintenance
    • Conflict
    • Intimacy
    • Pain tolerance
    • Social Skills
  19. Strengths (Attachment Theory)
    • balances models of self and others
    • relatable to everyone
    • considers thought processes of others
    • huge population for study
  20. Limitations (Attachment Theory)
    • 4 sections? Or on a spectrum?
    • Scope can be too big
  21. Discussion (Attachment Theory)
    • Family of Origin vs. Family of Procreation
    • Intergenerational transmission of conflict
    • Juxtaposition of continuum of attachments vs. discrete attachment types
    • We may love differently than our partner, not more or less
  22. Purpose (Uncertainty Reduction Theory)
    • Explain how/why strangers communicate
    • Expanded to cover other relationships
    • First 15 minutes of interaction with a stranger
  23. Assumptions (Uncertainty Reduction Theory)
    • Uncertainty ALWAYS leads to anxiety
    • post-positivist
    • uncertainty is uncomfortable BECAUSE it produces anxiety
    • comm can be both a cause and an effect of uncertainty
    • we seek to reduce uncertainty if expectations are violated/we anticipate future interactions/the individual is associated with costs and rewards
  24. Features (Uncertainty Reduction Theory)
    • Defining uncertainty (levels: high/low, types: cognitive/behavioral, interpersonal relationships: self/partner/relationship)
    • Axioms: + information seeking behaviors/reciprocity rate, all else is -
    • Predictions: 3 strategies to reduce uncertainty- Seeking info (active, passive, interactive), planning, hedging
  25. Role of Communication (Uncertainty Reduction Theory)
    Comm can be both a cause and an effect of uncertainty
  26. Uses (Uncertainty Reduction Theory)
    Romantic relationships (competing relationship, unexplained behavior, sudden change in contact/closeness, massive change in personality or values, deception, reactions)
  27. Strengths (Uncertainty Reduction Theory)
    • Been around for a long time
    • predictive power
    • lots of research
    • comm is central to the theory
    • fruitful
    • parsimonious
    • scope
    • breadth
  28. Limitations (Uncertainty Reduction Theory)
    • Assumes uncertainty is always unwanted/leads to anxiety
    • has been applied to so many different scenarios so that it doesn't always apply
  29. Discussion (Uncertainty Reduction Theory)
    • Predictability/novelty
    • control?
    • ecological validity
    • health and family comm
    • topic avoidance
    • advanced care directives
    • role of relationships
  30. Purpose (Uncertainty Management Theory)
    Predict people's comm decisions (health comm)
  31. Assumptions (Uncertainty Management Theory)
    • Uncertainty leads to a VARIETY of emotions
    • People will ALWAYS manage uncertainty, not necessarily reduce it
    • Post-positivist
    • Sometimes people desire uncertainty
    • Difference between information and uncertainty
  32. Features (Uncertainty Management Theory)
    • Management
    • 1. seek information
    • 2. avoid information
    • 3. adapt to uncertainty
  33. Uses (Uncertainty Management Theory)
    health field
  34. Strengths (Uncertainty Management Theory)
    • Gives us better understanding in making predictions
    • explanatory power
  35. Limitations (Uncertainty Management Theory)
    • Less precise because more latitude in making decisions
    • lack of predictive power
  36. Discussion (Uncertainty Management Theory)
    • Predictability/novelty
    • Control?
    • Ecological Validity
    • Topic avoidance
    • family and health comm
  37. Assumptions (Theory of Motivated Information Management)
    • Uncertainty MAY cause anxiety
    • post-positivist
    • interpersonal relationships (doctor/patient)
    • only applies when people are motivated to reduce uncertainty
    • blend of the last two theories
  38. Features (Theory of Motivated Information Management)
    • Phases
    • 1. Interpretation (is there a discrepancy?)
    • 2. Evaluation (outcome and efficacy [comm/target/coping])
    • 3. Decision (how to manage)
  39. Uses (Theory of Motivated Information Management)
    • Doctor-patient interaction
    • sexual health seeking behaviors
    • organ donation (article)
  40. Strengths (Theory of Motivated Information Management)
    • Predictive power
    • focuses on the other person
  41. Limitations (Theory of Motivated Information Management)
    • Assumes rational thought
    • emits role of other emotions
  42. Discussion points (Theory of Motivated Information Management)
    • Predictability/novelty
    • control
    • ecological validity
    • health and family comm
    • topic avoidance
  43. Purpose (Attribution Theory)
    • Answers "why" to bad situations/unexpected behaviors
    • internal and external process of interpreting and understanding what is behind our own and other's behaviors
  44. Assumptions (Attribution Theory)
    If we don't have all the information, we will draw our own conclusions
  45. Features (Attribution Theory)
    • Dimensions (globality, stability, locus, intent, selfishness, blameworthiness)
    • correspondence vs. covariation
    • responsibility
    • bias (actor-observer, self-serving, negativity, relationship enhancing, activity)
  46. Role of Communication (Attribution Theory)
    • attributions are explanations for comm acts
    • ...are meanings
    • ...are what we communicate about
    • ...determine comm acts
  47. Uses (Attribution Theory)
    • relational satisfaction
    • conflict
    • nonverbal comm
    • aggression/violence
  48. Strengths (Attribution Theory)
    • explanatory/predictive power
    • evidence
    • reasonable scope
    • aesthetically pleasing
    • makes sense
  49. Limitations (Attribution Theory)
    • Not consistently explained variables
    • contextually/culturally bound
    • not applied same way across cultures (limits usefulness)
  50. Discussion (Attribution Theory)
    • activity bias
    • fatalism vs. agency
  51. Purpose (Face Theory)
    • Understand why and how people construct public images
    • strategies to maintain/restore own or others' images
    • competence: appropriateness and effectiveness
  52. Assumptions (Face Theory)
    • Interpretivist
    • self is symbolic construction
    • all people have face (public image)
    • motivated to preserve face
    • interactions are symbolic enactments of cultural rituals
    • all meaning everywhere is socially constructed
  53. Features (Face Theory)
    • All the world is a stage (dramaturgy)
    • life is a performance (actor/part)
    • other people must play with us
    • front/back stage
    • face can be lost (in wrong face, out of face, shamefaced) and restored through facework
  54. Role of Communication (Face Theory)
    when rules are broken, we use comm to restore order
  55. Uses (Face Theory)
    • why people get embarrassed
    • intimate partner violence
    • social predicaments
    • teasing at wedding/baby shower
    • intercultural comm
  56. Strengths (Face Theory)
    • broad scope
    • explanatory/predictive/heuristic power
    • aesthetics
    • coherences
  57. Limitations (Face Theory)
    non-parsimonious (simple)
  58. Purpose (Politeness Theory)
    Why people don't always directly say what they mean
  59. Assumptions (Politeness Theory)
    • post-positivist
    • interpretivist
    • we are all motivated to maintain face and cooperate in interactions
  60. Features (Politeness Theory)
    • Face is public/social/claimed/something we want/on the line in every interaction
    • Negative vs positive face
    • impolite = doesn't consider negative face
    • strategies (bald on record, positive face redress, negative face redress, off record, ignore/do nothing)
  61. Role of Communication (Politeness Theory)
    Face-threatening acts are negotiated through comm
  62. Uses (Politeness Theory)
    • Predict how polite someone will be
    • how behavior will be evaluated
    • understand social processes
  63. Strengths (Politeness Theory)
    • Multi-disciplinary
    • predictive/explanatory/heuristic power
    • broad scope
    • parsimonious
    • conceptual interrelatedness
  64. Limitations (Politeness Theory)
    • Does not always apply in other cultures
    • conceptualization of politeness
  65. Discussion (Politeness Theory)
    • Imaginative interactions (URT)
    • need to belong theory
    • organizational culture
    • social proof
    • looking-glass self (6 people) can lead to cognitive dissonance
  66. Purpose (Theories of Social Exchange)
    • predict and explain behavior
    • relational satisfaction/commitment
  67. Assumptions (Theories of Social Exchange)
    • post-positivist
    • rational thought
    • self-interest
    • interpersonal relationships involve interdependence
    • social behavior is a series of exchanges
    • decisions based on evaluations of costs/rewards
    • want to maximize rewards/minimize costs
    • receiving rewards = obligation
  68. Features (Theories of Social Exchange)
    • Costs and rewards (social, emotional, instrumental, opportunity)
    • outcomes = overall level of profit/deficit (rewards minus costs)
    • all about perception
  69. Role of Communication (Theories of Social Exchange)
    • means through which exchanges take place
    • actual resource being exchanged
  70. Interdependence Theory (Theories of Social Exchange)
    • accounts for expectations
    • CL to evaluate¬†
    • based on other, what we experience, and media
    • satisfaction = (rewards - costs) - CL
    • satisfied when outcome meets/exceeds CL
    • CLalt = perceive other options, high/low
    • See chart about satisfied/committed
  71. Equity Theory (Theories of Social Exchange)
    • perceived fairness
    • underbenefitted/overbenefitted
    • equity leads to maintenance behaviors
    • relieve stress by 1. restoring actual equity 2. restoring psychological equity 3. leaving relationship
  72. Strengths (Theories of Social Exchange)
    • parsimony
    • heuristic/predictive/explanatory power
    • validity
  73. Limitations (Theories of Social Exchange)
    • does not apply to all relationships
    • people are not always rational or self-serving
  74. Discussion (Theories of Social Exchange)
    • control mutuality
    • fitzpatrick couple types (traditional, independents, separates)
    • does everyone want equity?
    • denigration of alternatives
  75. Purpose (Narratives Theories)
    • understand ways humans make sense of their identities/relationships/lives
    • interrogate the ways in which stories construct/confirm/reject/negotiate our identities
  76. Assumptions (Narratives Theories)
    • interpretive and critical
    • cortical congruence
  77. Features (Narratives Theories)
    • Master narrative -> narrative as concept -> stories
    • importance of temporality
    • narrative as ontology/epistemology/individual construction/relationship process
  78. Uses (Narratives Theories)
    • restoring identity and lives
    • cope with loss/trauma
    • predict relational outcomes
    • predict psychological health
    • narrative therapy
    • expressive writing
  79. Strengths (Narratives Theories)
    • useful
    • fruitful
    • breadth (both, theory of everything)
  80. Limitations (Narratives Theories)
    • no single theory
    • breadth (theory of everything)
  81. Discussion (Narratives Theories)
    • drinking behaviors
    • theory of normative social behavior (descriptive vs. Social norms)
    • selective exposure
    • shared identity
    • affectives and impactiveness
    • counter-narratives
  82. Why do people stay in bad relationships?
    • social exchange
    • interdependence
    • learned helplessness
    • investment theory
    • intergenerational transmission
    • traumatic bonding theory
    • paradoxical punishment
    • attribution theory
    • impression management
    • co-dependence (afflicted/functional)
    • religiosity/tradition/culture
    • individual characteristics
    • conflict styles
Card Set
Interpersonal Theory Final
Interpersonal Theory Final