with Linda K. Acitelli, Peter A. Andersen, Charles R. Berger, Marcia Dixson, Beverly Fehr, Julie Fitness, Garth J. O. Fletcher & James M. Honeycutt What special knowledge must a person have to participate in a relationship? What special language structures do persons typically use in entering or conducting relationships? Individuals in Relationships provides answers to these questions and offers an interdisciplinary look at the individual processes necessary to, and presumed in, relationships. It deals with the cognitive–the mental processes individuals bring to relationships, ranging from their thought patterns and attributional styles to the ways in which they recall relationship events and treat or manipulate shared knowledge. Further, it covers such topics as mutual understanding in relationships, cognitive schemata in personal relationships, and memory structures for the beginning and end of relationships. Using the theme of cognition as a starting point, this comprehensive volume lays the groundwork for further exploration of individuals in relationships, specifically, the broader social contextual factors of such relationships. A volume featuring the latest scholarship that examines cognitive relationship processes, Individuals in Relationships is particularly useful for a wide range of scholars and professionals interested in personal relationships, social psychology, communication studies, family studies, sociology, and gender studies. “The volume does a fine job of describing the mental representations and cognitive processes people bring to their close relationships. … Clearly, one of the strengths of this volume is its coherence. The emphasis on cognition is defined at the outset, and is successfully developed throughout. … Taken together, the chapters that compose this volume accomplish two important tasks. First, they provide an excellent review of the literature on social cognition in close relationships. This, by itself, is a good reason for those interested in personal relationships to have the book on their shelf. Second, the chapters supply a preliminary blueprint for future research on cognitive processes in relationships. By discussing controversial issues, describing methodological dilemmas, and positing interesting research questions and hypotheses, the authors point readers toward a number of gaps in the current literature. It is the author's ability to analyze past work and look toward future work that makes Individuals in Relationships a particularly stimulating volume.” –Journal of Marriage and the Family
Chapter 5: Knowledge Structures and Explanations in Intimate Relationships
Knowledge Structures and Explanations in Intimate Relationships
The study of people in social contexts possesses a fascinating and distinctive feature; that is, the phenomena of interest (human beings) are often engaged in the same pursuits as social scientists-namely, the development of theories to explain, predict, and control human social behavior and experience. Nowhere is this feature more apparent than in the study of personal or close relationships.
Personal relationships are primal in human society. We learn how to be human, social beings largely in the context of close relationships with our parents, relatives, and friends. And in adult life, for most people, our identities and lives are dominated by those nearest and dearest to us. The importance and nature ...