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Chapter 1 Research Methods A Brief History of Relationship Science Two male individuals named NiAnkhKhnum and KhnumHotep Statue of Raherka and Meresankh Old Kingdom Egyptian Art The Turin Papyrus contains various pictures of sexual activity, perhaps focused on Ramses II and his many wives A Brief History of Relationship Science
A Brief History of Relationship Science Early Greek art was concerned with
battle and women were mostly Amazons. Plato said that there were
three types of people originally
created - one male, one female,
and one androgynous. A Brief History of Relationship Science In classical antiquity, writers such as Herodotus, Plato, and many others explored aspects of samesex love in ancient Greece. Aristotle
Aristotle “Man is by nature a Social Animal”
Friendships are based on
– Virtue Aristotle (384 – 322 BCE) A Brief History of Relationship Science
Etruscan Art Ancient Rome and Marriage Sexuality in Ancient Rome Roman Hedonism
From a Brothel in Pompeii A Brief History of Relationship Science
Kama Sutra Artistic depiction of a sex position. Kama Sutra did not have llustrative images, part 2 of the work describes different sex positions. A Brief History of Relationship Science Medieval Europe – an era of dichotomies A Brief History of Relationship Science
A Brief History of Relationship Science One word Frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love. – SOPHOCLES, Oedipus at Colonus
No wound is worse than counterfeited love.
– SOPHOCLES, Antigone
Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. – Aristotle
Love is a kind of warfare. Fortune and love favor the brave. If you want to be loved, be lovable. OVID, The Art of Love
There is no evil angel but Love.
– WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Love's Labour's Lost
Immature love says: "I love you because I need you." Mature love says: "I need you because I love you."
– ERICH FROMM, The Art of Loving
Love has a nasty habit of disappearing overnight.
– THE BEATLES, I'm Looking Through You
The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread. – Mother Teresa
Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life. – Leo Buscaglia, USC Love 101 Research Methods
Research Methods There’s a lot of personal opinion — rather than scientific fact — competing for your attention.
Relationship science can affect us personally in ways most other sciences do not. William F. Whyte (19142000), a Sociologist studying Social Relations – published Street Corner Society Leon Festinger (19191989)
Social pressures in informal groups; a study of human factors in housing. Donn Byrne
Importance of attitude similarity on attraction The scientific study of human relationships is a relatively The scientific study of human relationships is a relatively new endeavor, beginning in earnest only about 50 years ago. Examine various types of intimate relationships
…frequently in their natural settings
…often over long periods of time
…in diverse samples of people
…studying both the rewards and costs of intimacy
– Journal of Marriage and the Family
– Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
– Personal Relationships And visit:
the International Association for Relationship Research
at www.iarr.org Developing a Question
Developing a Question
The questions researchers ask emerge from various sources: Personal experience
Social problems – ex. teen pregnancy Previous research – always limitations, test current theory
Theories Some studies seek to describe events as they naturally occur…
And other studies strive to establish the causal connections between events that determine which causes have what consequences. Obtaining Participants
Whose relationships get studied?
Convenience Sample: anyone who is readily available
Representative Sample: a group of people who resemble the entire population of interest
A potential problem:
Volunteer Bias: Of those invited, people who agree to participate may differ from those who refuse. Choosing a Design
Choosing a Design
Several different research designs are used by relationship science: Correlational designs Experimental designs Developmental designs
– Crosssectional designs
– Longitudinal designs
– Retrospective designs Selecting a Setting
Selecting a Setting
Laboratories allow researchers control over events, but may elicit unnatural behavior.
Natural environments or Field studies, such as a couple’s home, may elicit more typical behavior but be full of distractions.
Immersive Virtual Environments (IVEs) – participants interact with threedimensional computer representation of other people. Selecting a Setting
Selecting a Setting
Structured situations involve specific directions and a limited choice of activities.
Unstructured situations allow participants to do whatever they want. The Nature of the Data
The Nature of the Data
What data are actually being collected? Selfreports Observations
Couples’ reports The Ethics of Such Endeavors
The Ethics of Such Endeavors
Should relationship science pry into people’s personal affairs?
Relationship scientists are very careful to protect the welfare of the participants in their research…
…but people may be asked about sensitive matters. Interpreting and Integrating Results
Interpreting and Integrating Results
The data obtained in relationship studies can present unique complexities: Paired, interdependent data – partners influence each other; their responses are not independent
Different levels of analysis – researchers can study partners as individuals or as a couple
Three sources of influence – each of the individual partners and their idiosyncratic partnership influence what happens Interpreting and Integrating Results
Interpreting and Integrating Results
Metaanalyses are studies that statistically combine the results from prior studies to identify the themes they contain. For Your Consideration
For Your Consideration Chris and Jill had to participate in research studies if they wanted to pass the Introductory Psychology course they were taking together, so they signed up for a study of “Relationship Processes.” They had been dating for two months and the study was seeking “premarital romantic couples,” and they liked the fact that they would be paid $5.00 if they both participated. So, they attended a session with a dozen other couples in which they were separated and seated on opposite sides of a large room. They read and signed a permission form that noted they could quit anytime they wanted, and then started to work on a long questionnaire.
Some of the questions were provocative. They were asked how many different people they had had sex with in the last year, and how many people they wanted to have sex with in the next five years. Then, they were asked to answer the same questions again, this time as they believed the other would. Chris had never pondered such questions before, and he realized, once he thought about it, that he actually knew very little about Jill’s sexual history and future intentions. That night, he was a little anxious, wondering and worrying about Jill’s answers to those questions.
In your opinion, was this research procedure ethical? Would you like to compete a similar questionnaire? Why? ...
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