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Close Relationships

Definition

Why are we attracted to some people? How do people know they are in good relationships? Why do people fall in love? Does good communication really produce successful relationships? Are men really from Mars and women from Venus? These are just some of the intriguing questions that social psychologists attempt to answer. Indeed, the study of close relationships has become one of the most important domains in social psychology over the past several decades.

But what are close relationships? It turns out that answering this question is not as easy as it seems. One key concept, developed by Harold Kelley and John Thibaut in the 1960s and 1970s, describes close relationships in terms of interdependence. Close relationships differ from having acquaintances by the profound way in ...

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