Write a personal romantic relationship experience (or other’s romantic relationship experience), combined with the concept in powerpoint
3-5 pages
due at Sep 29, 2021, 6 p.m.
Two-Component Model of
Emotion As a Framework for
Romantic love
Dr. Beatty
1. All emotions are accompanied by physiological arousal
Increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, increased brain temperature
2. Physiological arousal is typically experienced as uncomfortable
3. People are motivated to explain physiological arousal
– Sometimes the “causes” seem obvious
For a person with fear of spiders, they will attribute arousal to the presence of a spider
A person with stage fright will attribute the physiological arousal to the speaking situation
– Sometimes the causes are ambiguous
Guessing that arousal might be due to too much coffee
4. Cues from the environment are used to
explain physiological arousal
5. Implications of the Model
A. The experience of a specific emotion requires the presence of physiological
arousal interpreted as the manifestation of a particular emotion.
B. Schachters and Singer’s classic experiment
1. People who were uncertain whether they were afraid of snakes were divided into four
a. Group 1 was given epinephrine and seated in a room with a snake on the table
b. Group 2 was given epinephrine seated in a room without a snake
c. Group 3 was not given any epinephrine but was seated in a room with a snake on the table
d. Group 4 was not given any epinephrine and was seated in a room without a snake
Study Results
Snake No snake
Epinephrine Fear Anxious but no fear
No Epinephrine No response in genetics No response
Implications for Romantic Love
A. Over the past fifty years, the two- component model has emerged as the
principal conceptualization of romantic love.
B. Research indicates the following
Positive Traits Negative Traits
Physiological arousal Romantic Love Negative Reaction
No arousal Potential friend Indifference
Continued next slide ->
C. Traits
1. Physical attractiveness
2. Composure
3. Successful
4. Aspirational
5. Intelligent
6. Competent Communicator
7. Character
D. Sources of Physiological Arousal
1. Social facilitation- presence of strangers
2. Novelty
3. Physical threat
4. Ego- threat (example: rejection)
5. Euphoric or excitement
6. Chemical induced states
Stage Model of Relational
Growth and Decay
(Knapp & Vangelisti)
Dr. Beatty
• First impressions
• Opening tactics to start interaction
• Small talk
• Initial reactions (sizing up other as potential partner)
• Move small talk, some probing
• Testing potential a bit more
• Audition for future relationship
• Make willingness to escalate the relationship clear
• Attempt to set up another meeting
– Move to another location, or move to immediate hookup – “want to get out of here”
• Achieve a sense of coupling / we can talk about anything
• Develop a sense of “we-ness”
• Start to think and act as a unit
Example: finish each other’s sentences
• Tell stories as a couple
• Begin to know what the other expects/enjoys/dislikes
• Need to check in with the other
• Assume you will see each other on the weekend
• Turn down offers from others- “I’m seeing someone”
• Staying over at night
• High level of sexual activity
• Makeup sex weakens minor conflicts
• Gifts and flowers work as apologies
Bonding – Final Stage of Growth
• Some form of public commitment (Traditionally, Marriage, but could simply
be moving in together)
• Usually involves a dramatic ritual or ceremony
• Engagement ring typically bridges intensifying and bonding together
• Individuals feel overwhelmed by loss of identity
• Psychological backlash due to bipolar forces
– Autonomy vs. Connection
– Novelty vs. familiarity
– Closedness vs. openness (Julia T. Wood)
– Spontaneity vs. predictability
– Control vs. submission
– Change vs. stability (Schultz)
Continued on next slide ->
• Increasing time with friends and family
• Start to see some minor disagreements
• Some of the other’s uniqueness begins to annoy
• In response to complaints, partner says, “You knew I did this when you
married” to which other partner says, “I thought you would grow up.”
• The arousal is dwindling
• Sexual activity dwindles – after 2 years of marriage, frequency decreases to
once every 15-20 days on average (less often with children)
• Gifts and flowers no longer work
• Communication becomes restricted
Example: Some topics are off limits
• One partner cuts off the other
• Men typically withdraw, becoming unresponsive, focusing on television or
online or use anger to create distance
• When asked what’s wrong, women say “nothing”
• Talking to others about relationship problem rather than with our partner
• Collect evidence to assign blame
• Talk to each other through children
• Conflict becomes passive aggressive if not overly aggressive
• Relationship seems to be in limbo
• Talking about it becomes “taboo” because we’re tired on the same old
• We think we know exactly how the conversation will go
• Dinners are boring, nothing to say
• Apprehension about initiating intimacy, afraid of rejection, seems awkward
• Go out of our way to avoid each other
Example: sleep in separate bedrooms, work late, etc.
• Must do things with couples to fill in dead air space
• Schedules keep partners apart
• Makes it clear, it’s over
– Sudden death vs. passing away
Dr. Beatty
General Concept of Communication Concept
• Saying the right thing at the right time – Spitzberg
• Not saying the wrong thing
• Nonverbal awareness
Example: reading partner’s behavior, emitting appropriate cues
Spitzberg summarized communication competence as being effective and
Dimensions of Communication Competence
(Individual Differences)
• Effectiveness suggests “goals” (make eye contact, make a favorable impression, secure
future contact)
• Social Knowledge (accurate model of human behavior, awareness of social norms,
• Perspective- Taking (natural ability or acquired)
• Well developed knowledge structures (Beatty et al. study of Computational Theory of
Mind versus Dynamic Memory Theory)
• Composure versus Nervous
• Internal focus of control versus external focus
• Tolerance for Ambiguity versus Need for Closure or Certainty
• Adaptability (spontaneity)
• Effective Conversational Management (topic interest, talk-listening ratio, etc.)
Etiology (causes) of Individual Differences in
Communication Competence
• Genetic Inheritance (Beatty et al., 2001; Beatty et al., 2002)
– Social anxiety about 80%
– Verbal Aggressiveness about 60%
– Interpersonal Affiliation about 70%
– Communicative Adaptability about 70%
Attachment Type (Bowlby)
Based on infant-mother relationship, secure vs. insecure types
• Secure type
– In conversation, more open, more eye contact, more attentive, more composed, offer
and are more receptive to affection, displays more social knowledge, more
perspective taking and tolerance for ambiguity.
– In relationships, more satisfied, more committed, more trusting better able to recall
positive experiences, maintains objective view of partner even after breakups.
Continued on next slide->
• Avoidant Type
– Less helpful, less likely to seek help, less responsive to partners, less sensitive to
partner’s subtle cues, less cooperative, more controlling, less eye contact, lower levels
of social knowledge, sensitive to rejection.
• Anxious- Avoidant
– Idealize partners when things are going well, view partners more negatively after
conflict or relationship disappointment, more self-focused, less trusting, more
dependent on partners, more sensitive to rejection, less composed, likely to push
relationship timeline, low tolerance for ambiguity, more jealous
• Rejection sensitivity is common to both avoidant and anxious-
ambivalent types. Rejection sensitivity is associated with
depression after breakups, hostile and unsupportive of partner
when rejected, tend to infer rejection from ambiguous comments,
infer harmful intent to sensitive behavior, interpret partner’s lack
of enthusiasm or ambiguous messages as partner’s plan to leave
the relationship, more jealous and controlling (especially men),
relationships end sooner.
Birth Order
• First-borns – focus on achievement, adaptive, social knowledge, highly
intelligent, experimental, independent, disciplined.
Central issue: What’s expected of me?
• Middle-borns – focus on identity, social, reactive interests, social knowledge,
more friends.
Central issue: How can I be unique?
• Last born (babies) – Focus on attention, undisciplined, creative, less likely to
follow social norms, more impulsive, in trouble most often.
Central issue: How can I get attention?
Continued on next slide ->
The impact of birth order depends on number of siblings, spacing
and gender. Furthermore, birth order has effects on relationship
quality – more about that later

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