What Have I Learned?

By taking Psychology 3330 A- Social Cognition, I have learned what social cognition is, or at least a lot of things that can be considered to have an aspect of social cognition. I have learned a lot from the specific topic of social cognition but also from the teaching style used by the Professor. I have learned about many things I can apply in my own life and many explanations for things that people do, known as social phenomenons. I have learned better time management and improved my skills in finding and reading resources as well as my writing and discussion of studies. I have learned that there are many contradicting perspectives supported equally by different studies findings. I have learned that not all professors only teach you what you need to know in order to do well on their test. Not all classes only require you to learn the bare minimum and don’t require you to actually retain the information. I can choose to take classes in which the professor will actually answer my question rather than just saying “you don’t need to know that, it won’t be on the test.” There are certain classes in which people will not be surprised if a student asks for an extra resource even if they are not required to have read it. Thank you to everyone involved in the course this semester for reading, listening and teaching.


Analyzing and Concluding The Triangular Theory of Love

While Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love may not explain or account for all relationships, the assumptions made regarding the levels of intimacy, passion and commitment throughout a relationship have been tested and supported. Sternberg predicted that throughout the course of a long term relationship the levels of intimacy and passion would decrease and commitment levels would increase. Lemieux and Hale (2000), tested 446 individuals who were in relationships. Roughly half were married and the other half were college undergraduates. The length as well as the stage of the relationship were noted. They found that the participants involved in new or not particularly serious relationships had high levels of intimacy and passion and low levels of commitment. Engaged participants had that highest levels of passion and married individuals had the highest commitment and lowest intimacy and passion. A limitation of the study is that age and generation could have had an affect on the participant’s disposition in regards to their perspective on what relationships should consist of and so what kinds of relationships they were in. The Triangular Theory of Love is a very general explanation of the basis of relationships. There are many exceptions, especially in our modern society. Some examples of things not explained by this theory are “friends with benefits” and “one night stands,” both of these these things involve components of the theory but they do not fit very well with any of the types of love.


Sternberg, R. J. (1986). A triangular theory of love. Psychological Review, 93(2), 119-135. doi:10.1037//0033-295x.93.2.119

Lemieux, R. (2002). Cross-Sectional Analysis Of Intimacy, Passion, And Commitment: Testing The Assumptions Of The Triangular Theory Of Love. Psychological Reports, 90(3), 1009. doi:10.2466/pr0.90.3.1009-1014

The Triangular Theory of Love Part 3

When it comes to love and relationships everybody has different needs and wants. The ideal relationship for a person may not be exactly the type of relationship they seek with another person. For example, someone may require a secure and committed relationship at the point they are at in their life, but when it comes to another specific person, they may only feel sexual desire and passion towards them.
It is apparent that there are high levels of satisfaction in relationships where both couples are achieving what they seek and what is best for them (Sternberg, 1986).
The point of view of the different people involved in a relationship is different and can change their perception of how the other person feels (Sternberg, 1986). One person may feel very intimate and passionate towards the other, but the second person may not be perceiving that is how the first person feels.
Another important factor in the satisfaction of a relationship is how an ideal other feels about the self vs how the real other feels about the self (Sternberg, 1986). So if somebody is perceiving that the other person does not feel the way they want them to about themself, they may feel lower self esteem and less satisfaction in the relationship.
It is also evident that relationships seem to work out the best when intimacy is the first component involved and the basis of the relationship.


Sternberg, R. J. (1986). A triangular theory of love. Psychological Review, 93(2), 119-135. doi:10.1037//0033-295x.93.2.119

Fletcher, G. J., Simpson, J. A., & Thomas, G. (2000). The Measurement of Perceived Relationship Quality Components: A Confirmatory Factor Analytic Approach. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26(3), 340-354. doi:10.1177/0146167200265007

The Triangular Theory of Love Part 2

Last week I explained the three components that made up Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love: intimacy, passion, and commitment/decision, now I’m going to discuss each of the types of love. The first is non-love, which does not involve any of the three components (Sternberg, 1986). An example of non-love would be the relationships people have with their coworkers or other peers. The second type is liking, which only involves intimacy, an example of liking is friendship, today many people may consider this kind of love to be the “friendzone” (Sternberg, 1986). The third type of love is infatuated love, which only involves passion, an example of infatuated love is love at first site or to have a crush on someone who you do not really know (Sternberg, 1986). The fourth type is called empty love, only the commitment/decision component is involved, an example of empty love is when a married couple chooses to stay together even if they no longer feel intimacy or passion, another example would be at the beginning of an arranged marriage (Sternberg, 1986). Romantic love is the fifth type and it includes both intimacy and passion, an example of a romantic relationship would be many budding relationships in adolescents and young adults (Sternberg, 1986). The sixth type is companionate love, which involves both intimacy and decision/commitment, this type seems to often occur in marriages after the initial passion and excitement has died down (Sternberg, 1986). Fatuous love is the seventh type and it involves both passion and decision/commitment, an example of this would be if two people had relationships with other people and they were ready to commit but their partners were not and then the two people met each other and decided to get married on a whim (Sternberg, 1986). Consummate love is the final type of love and is considered to be the most ideal love for many people, it involves all three components (Sternberg, 1986). It seems to be important for balance to be maintained and for people in relationships to be seeking the same type of love. It is apparent that people desire different types of love at different times in their lives and with different people. The level each of the components is displayed in a relationship does seem to change throughout time.


Sternberg, R. J. (1986). A triangular theory of love. Psychological Review,93(2), 119-135. doi:10.1037//0033-295x.93.2.119

The Triangular Theory of Love

There are three components to Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love: intimacy, passion, and decision/commitment. These components make up the different types of love, some of these types aren’t considered to be love to many people (Sternberg, 1986). Some people may argue that all the components are required and cannot be differentiated from each other but Lisa Diamond presents the perspective that they can be differentiated in her paper Emerging Perspectives on Distinctions Between Romantic Love and Sexual Desire. There has been accumulating evidence that romantic love and sexual desire are separate neurobiological concepts (Diamond, 2004). There are ways to measure sexual desire and although “true love” cannot be definitively measured there have been behaviours and cognitions that are displayed separately between the two (Diamond, 2004). These three components have been analyzed and found to align with the neoclassical model of the human psyche. Intimacy aligns with affect, passion aligns with conation, and decision/commitment aligns with cognition (Diessner, 2004). Intimacy refers to bonding between people and affect can be defined as making as difference. Passion refers to things that drive physical attraction, and sexual consummation but is not limited to sex, conation can be defined as a natural impulse or desire. Decision/commitment refers to the decision to love someone and to maintain commitment to them and cognition can be defined as gaining knowledge and understanding through experience. All these things work together to explain the emotion called love and to display the processes behind it.


Sternberg, R. J. (1986). A triangular theory of love. Psychological Review, 93(2), 119-135. doi:10.1037//0033-295x.93.2.119

Diamond, L. M. (2004). Emerging Perspectives on Distinctions Between Romantic Love and Sexual Desire. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13(3), 116-119. doi:10.1111/j.0963-7214.2004.00287.x

Diessner, R., Frost, N., & Smith, T. (2004). Describing The Neoclassical Psyche Embedded In Sternberg’s Triangular Theory Of Love. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 32(7), 683-690. doi:10.2224/sbp.2004.32.7.683


Sleep is extremely important when it comes to learning and intellectual performance. Multiple studies have been done with participants of all ages and varying learning disabilities and sleep disorders. It has consistently been found that disrupted or lack of sleep affects a person’s cognitive and intellectual abilities negatively.
One study involving infants and language recognition, showed that when the infants were presented with an artificial language and took a nap shortly after they showed signs of recognizing the language 24 hours later.
Another study done on pharmaceutical students showed that when the students lacked sufficient sleep the night before an examination they did worse then those who had a sufficient amount of sleep.
Lack of sleep has also been found to affect physical processes such as metabolism and the immune system.
Some findings have led researchers to conclude that recent memories are “replayed” during sleep. It has also been found that the synaptic strength in the cortex decreases during sleep which indirectly benefits memory and learning by increasing space and conserving energy.
During non REM sleep synopsis are formed and strengthened by thalamo-cortical loops which enhances memory.

Roughly one third of a person’s life is spent sleeping and some may think that is a waste or unproductive. But sufficient sleep is very beneficial and definitely not a waste of time.










How to make people think you’re smarter

Having people perceive you as being more intelligent may be useful in certain social situations such as a job interview or if you are going to an event where you will feel intellectually inferior. There have been multiple studies looking at different factors that could influence people’s perception of you and specifically how intelligent they think you are. As a child, having to wear glasses may have led to being bullied and called “four eyes” or a nerd, but as an adult wearing glasses can be a good thing in relation to people’s perception of you. One of the studies I looked at concluded that people with thick rimmed glasses were perceived to be more intelligent than people with no glasses or rimless glasses, this is known as the glasses stereotype. Another concluded that drinking alcohol or being associated with alcohol related cues can cause people to perceive you as being less intelligent, this is known as the imbibing idiot bias. A third study indicated that using a middle initial or even better, multiple middle initials can change the way people perceive your intellectual performance, this is called the middle initial effect. A fourth small study concluded that women found men more attractive and perceived them to be smarter if they displayed a sense of humour.

So if you want people to think you’re smart, wear thick-rimmed glasses, use a middle initial, don’t drink or associate yourself with alcohol and crack a few jokes.







Developing Children’s Influence on Each Other

Much research has been done into the influence of genes and environment on human development. A lot of the research done on environmental influences has been done on the relationship between parents and children but not as much has been done on the influence of developing children on each other. I found a longitudinal study that compared preschool children’s personality traits before and after having gone to school together for a while. It was found that the children that displayed negative emotionality were less likely to be social than children that displayed positive emotionality. The relationships formed between the children were influenced by their personality traits. By the end of the school year the children who had developed relationships with other children displaying positive traits became more similar to them, but children who had developed relationships with other children displaying negative traits were not as influenced by them.

This shows that developing children have more influence on each other than has been previously discussed. Parents may not need to worry as much about their own influence on their children but rather take into consideration the influence of their children’s peers.  It would be interesting to see any patterns in relation to the children with positive and negative emotionality and how their personalities differ as they develop further based on the relationships they form with their peers.



Anxiety and Dangerous Driving

Car accidents are the worst outcome of dangerous driving and they can lead to fatalities. Driving laws are put into place to prevent car accidents. It has been found that car accidents cause anxiety in drivers but little research has been done on the driving performance of people with anxiety. In the paper Examining Relationships Between Anxiety and Dangerous Driving the effects of anxiety on driving are tested. It was hypothesized that higher levels of anxiety would positively correlate with higher reportings of dangerous driving. Several tests were used, one presented the participants with hypothetical driving situations, an example is “how would you respond to someone cutting you off?” The answers vary from “sigh and continue” to “follow them and threaten them.” Another allowed the participants to grade their driving techniques using a likert scale based on things like aggression, riskiness, negative emotions and anxiety. A demographic questionnaire was also used to determine age, gender, ethnicity, crash history and driving behaviour. Participants had the option not to answer certain questions. The study found that high anxiety levels are associated with increased levels of dangerous driving. People that are more anxious were found to be more likely to have had a DUI. The next step would be to do more research on this and possibly take actions to intervene anxious drivers. Many people experience road rage and encounter dangerous driving everyday whether it is their own or others.



Social conformity

Underage drinking is illegal in many populations and can have a detrimental impact on one’s life but it is still quite common. Adolescents don’t usually have much experience consuming alcohol and therefore do not do so for the same reasons as adults. Adolescents tend to take part in binge drinking rather than casual drinking. In the paper Adolescents’ Conformity to Their Peers’ Pro-Alcohol and Anti-Alcohol Norms: The Power of Popularity by Hanneke A. Teunissen, Renske Spijkerman, Mitchell J. Prinstein, Geoffrey L. Cohen, Rutger C. M. E. Engels and Ron H. J. Scholte the influence of peers on adolescents’ willingness to consume alcohol is tested. The popularity of the peers is also taken into account. It was hypothesized that the more popular peers will be more influential with both pro-alcohol and anti-alcohol. In this particular study they focused on males because they have been reported to face more social pressure to consume alcohol. Using an in-class questionnaire and a chat room experiment the most popular and least popular peers were determined. The adolescents of average popularity were chosen for the experiment and made to believe they were being influenced by some of the most and least popular peers in the chat room. Overall it was found that the participants were influenced more by the popular peers. But, it was found that adolescents showed more willingness to drink when faced with less popular people who were pro-alcohol. This may be because consuming alcohol is seen as superior and the adolescents did not want to seem inferior to the less popular people. Adolescents often experience peer pressure in social situations. I have personally experienced this social phenomenon.