Social Psychology

Student Learning Program

Chapter 11: Liking and loving (pp. 393436)

What's it about?

This chapter is about the development from initial attraction to a close relationship, and to breaking up.

It discusses factors that influence initial attraction (physical attraction, interaction, similarity, and liking). Relationships then become more intimate when processes of exchanging rewards and self-disclosure continue smoothly. When transforming to a close relationship, the nature of exchange rewards and the type of rewards change, and people become cognitively, behaviorally, and affectively interdependent. People can also feel passionate love; they experience sexual feelings and intense longing for the partner, and want to be close to the person for whom they feel passionate love. Satisfaction with sex, just like other mutual activities, affects satisfaction in a relationship.

However, when being interdependent in a close relationship, conflicts are inevitable. Factors are discussed that influence the ways people deal with conflicts (idealization, commitment level, and attachment styles). Two constructive approaches to reducing conflicts are: avoiding generalization and communicating about feelings. When in conflict, levels of intimacy, satisfaction, and commitment decrease, and these are the most important factors in maintaining relationships. Finally, the most effective response to cope with loneliness after breaking up is trying to meet new people, and making something valuable.

In this chapter

  1. Chapter 11 introduction
  2. Initial Attraction
  3. From Acquaintance to Friend: Relationship Development
  4. Close Relationships
  5. Romantic Love and Sexuality
  6. When Relationships Go Wrong
  7. Chapter overview (PDF)
  8. Fill-in-the-blanks
  9. Multiple-choice questions