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Wk. 7, Lect. 2 - Processing Information

Wk. 7, Lect. 2 - Processing Information - Psychology 137C...

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Unformatted text preview: Psychology 137C: Intimate Relationships Processing Information Week 7, Lecture 2: REMINDERS: The papers are due next Wednesday. They must be turned in as a printed out paper and presented here in class no attachments or dropoffs to mailboxes will be accepted. The Importance of Making Meaning If behaviors are ambiguous, then we are always making meaning, all of the time. Global vs. specific Interpreting means linking a specific experience to a particular global meaning. We often have some choice in how we do this. Example Another Example Implications for Us? Any given experience could take on varying meanings. These meanings matter, because our emotions and actions are often guided by the meanings we infer. The specific meaning we impose may depend on our motives in the moment. The Motive to Believe the Best We want to be confident in our relationships and not harbor doubts about them. The enhancement bias serves this function. We prefer information that supports and strengthens positive beliefs about a partner and a relationship. In fact, happy partners view ... Their partners more favorably than they do Their partners more favorably than their friends do Their relationships more favorably than others' relationships The Motive to Be Known We do not want to be surprised, and we do not want to disappoint. The verification bias. There are times when accurate information about the partner is highly desirable. Transition points in relationships prompt searches for such information. The diagnosticity bias More problems for depressed people. The Motive to Be Right We look out for ourselves in relationships, and we are motivated to protect our interests. The selfserving bias. This is especially true when the relationship is not going well. If there is conflict you cannot ignore, whose fault is it? The role of differing perspectives The need to be right favors the self over the relationship. Plan A: Keep negative information out of awareness. Mechanisms of Motivated Reasoning Selective Attention Empathic Accuracy Memory Bias Memory Bias. Karney & Frye, Plan B: Minimize negative information. Mechanisms of Motivated Reasoning Flexible standards Derogating alternatives Adaptive attributions 8/2/99 "Everyone has dysfunction in their families. You don't walk away if you love someone. You help the person." He is "a very, very good man." "We did have a very good stretch, years and years of nothing" following G. Flowers. "In Christian theology there are sins of weakness and sins of malice, and this was a sin The limits of ability So How do Relationships Ever Change? The negative experiences do not disappear Some things cannot or should not be explained away You cannot just think yourself a good relationship The limits of motivation Some people need to do this more than others The role of dependence Commitment calibration In unhappy relationships, what once helped now hurts Negative perceptions dominate... We attend more to the partner's negative actions. We recall more negative experiences. ... and we process them in less adaptive ways: Our perceptions become rigid. Other relationships look better than ours. Our alternatives look better. ...
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