Thursday, May 27, 2021

Psychological Dynamics

 From PsyPost:

While both men and women cultivate close relationships, the dynamics of these relationships appear to be quite different. A study published in Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology sheds light on the differences between men’s and women’s romantic relationships and best friendships.

Forming close bonds with others is an integral part of being human. From an evolutionary standpoint, people need secure and supportive relationships to survive and to reproduce. Be it a romantic relationship or a close friendship, there are certain attributes that characterize intimate relationships.

“Over a number of years studying friendships, we had become increasingly aware of very consistent sex differences in both social skills and sociality,” explained study author Robin I. M. Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary psychology at the University of Oxford.

“These human patterns paralleled sex differences that are widely present in Old World monkeys and apes (the group to which humans belong). People do not often study sex differences in social style (bizarrely, some disciplines even forbid the study of sex differences in anything), and it seemed to us there might be something important that we were missing.”

The researchers noted that one common feature of close relationships is similarity — people tend to create relationships with those who are like them.  Evidence also suggests that similarity matters more for certain traits than others, but it is unknown how these traits might differ across male and female relationships. Dunbar and his colleagues set out to pinpoint the traits that support intimacy within relationships and to unearth any sex differences that might be at play.

The researchers recruited 260 participants between the ages of 18 and 80 to complete an online questionnaire that asked them about their close relationships. The participants completed scales to assess the level of intimacy within their romantic partnerships and best friend relationships. They also scored themselves, their partners, and their best friends according to 13 attributes (e.g., intelligence, kindness, athleticism). (Read more.)


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