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What is Affection Exchange Theory?

A theory that explains how affection is a key component of relational connections. The theory addresses how affection is shared and what its impact is on partners.


How do people communicate affection (Affection Exchange Theory)?

1) Non-verbal expressions
2) Verbal Expressions
3) Expressions of support


What are the five postulates of Affection Exchange Theory?

1) Affection needs and capacity are innate
2) Feeling affection and expressing affection are related but not the same
3) Affectionate communication increases human survival and fertility
4) People vary in their tolerance for affection, so different relationships need to be judged in their specific context
5) People don't like affection behaviors that violate their tolerances


Why does affectionate communication contribute to survival and fertility?

1) It helps create connected relationships, improving access to material and emotional resources
2) Expressing affection increases reproductive opportunities by demonstrating one's suitability as a parent
3) Exchanging affection feels good and not receiving affection feels bad


What as Affection Deprivation (Affection Exchange Theory)?

The desire to have more tactile affectionate communication than one is currently getting.


What is relational dialectics theory?

A theory that builds on the work of Bakhtin. It explains how the natural tensions (dialectics) of relationships between people are managed through coordinated dialogue, and how communication is used to manage similarity and difference within relationships.


What is a discursive struggle (relational dialectics theory)?

A discursive struggle is the process one goes through to alleviate dialectical tensions within the self.


What does it mean that relationships are both dialogical and dialectical (relational dialectics theory)?

It means that relationships have natural tensions and that those tensions are managed through coordinated dialogue.


What is social penetration theory?

This theory examines the process of increasing disclosure and intimacy within a relationship. It explains that people are constantly managing the tension between openness/public persona and privacy, and that they must negotiate permeable and impermeable boundaries as a result.


What is social exchange?

Social exchange is the process of making decisions about human interaction that are balanced between the costs and the rewards. People generally disclose information when the rewards outweigh the costs.


What is a schema in the context of Family Patterns of Interaction?

A schema is a way of looking at something.
It is comprised of an organized set of memories, or a mental map based on past experience


What are the three levels of schema (Family Patterns of Interaction)?

1) What we know about relationships in general
2) What we know about family relationships as a type
3) What we know about our specific relationships with family members.


How do we create family schemas (Family Patterns of Interaction)?

We create mini-schemas for each relationship based on the three levels of schema, then we compile those schemas into larger family schemas


What are the four types of family schemas (Family Patterns of Interaction)?

1) Consensual (high conversation, high conformity)
2) Pluralistic (high conversation, low conformity)
3) Protective (low conversation, high conformity)
4) Laissez-Faire (low conversation, low conformity)


What are the characteristics of a consensual family schema?

People in consensual families tend to have traditionalist views of family relationships, including spousal roles and parental authority. There is a lot of communication, so people feel heard and appreciated.


What are the characteristics of a pluralistic family schema?

Partners in these families tend to have independent marriages with non-traditional divisions of labor. Family members operate more independently, however, high levels of conversation keep people communicating and this leads to familial satisfaction.


What are the characteristics of a protective family schema?

Protective families do not talk about things very much, yet they expect high levels of conformity. Spouses tend to exist in separate marriages where they stick to traditional roles because it is expected, not because it is agreed to. Low levels of communication cal lead people to feel stifled, which means these marriages tend to break up over time.


What are the characteristics of a laissez-faire family schema?

People in these families don't talk and they don't expect anyone to conform. These marriages are dysfunctional because they have neither conversation to connect partners nor traditional roles to fall back on. Because people don't have anything tying them together, these families fall apart.


What is the narrow ridge?

Martin Buber defines the narrow ridge as an I-Thou dialogue where participants are both clearly expressing their own ideas and listening carefully to others while honoring them and their ideas. This sort of dialogue is a genuine exchange among equals, and allows for the most productive exchange of ideas.


What is social penetration theory?

Social penetration theory studies how we increase disclosure and intimacy in conversations. It is related to social exchange theory, which believes that people make decisions based on costs and rewards. I


What is self-disclosure (social penetration theory)?

Information you reveal about yourself that people wouldn't know otherwise. Self-disclosure can lead to reciprocity, where there is a mutual exchange.


Why is social penetration theory considered a descriptive theory?

Because social penetration theory describes relationships but does not prescribe action.


What is a comparison level and/or a comparison level alternative (social penetration theory)?

A comparison level is a mental benchmark that you can use to compare the costs and rewards of your relationship to see what it should be. A comparison level alternative happens when you make a direct comparison of the costs and rewards of one specific relationship to that of another specific relationship


What is the difference between an I-It view of the other and an I-Thou view?

And I-It relationship occurs when we think of ourselves as important and we we think of others as things to be labeled, manipulated and steered for our benefit.

An I-Thou relationship happens when we see both ourselves and others as important whole persons who cannot be reduced to a simple characterization. There is an idea that we have to stand by what is important to us, acknowledge life experiences, as well as the ideas and feelings of others, and that we believe that people have an inherent dignity that should be honored.


What does Buber mean by dialogue?

Buber thinks of dialogue as a manifestation of the I-Thou relationship where participants walk the narrow ridge. True dialogue can only take place in the I-Thou relationship


What are the three types of interaction within the I-It relationship?

1) Monologue - where one person dominates/monopolizes the conversation to the exclusion of the other
2) Technical dialogue - a conversation that centers around information rather than participants' experiences
3) Disguised Monologue - a conversation where participants talk around the issues without honestly and directly engaging with either the self or the other in their complexity


What is a dialectic?

A push-pull tension between opposing forces.


What are the three common dialectics people express within relationships?

1) Integration (connection) vs Separation (autonomy)
2) Expression (open-book) vs Nonexpression (closed book)
3) Stability (predictability) vs. Change (novelty)

Everyone expresses a different level of each of these, and balancing these factors in relationship is normal.


What is a Self-Other Face Dialectic (Identity Management Theory)?

This dialectic is the push-pull tension that happens when we both want to support the other person's identity and assert our own identity. This is most apparent in intercultural relationships where identities are clearly disparate and those disparities must be managed.


What is Identity Management Theory?

A theory explaining how identities are established, maintained, and changed within relationships as a result of constant renegotiation between participants. As a result we are always asking questions like 'who are we' and 'what is the nature of our relationship'?