Briefing Paper

Briefing Paper

  • Submitted By: snorla
  • Date Submitted: 03/29/2010 3:39 PM
  • Category: Psychology
  • Words: 2811
  • Page: 12
  • Views: 571

Write a briefing paper summarising the social psychological approaches that should inform self-help material on interpersonal relationships.


Most people enter into relationships with the best of intentions. They assume that they will remain in a permanent and happy union. Unfortunately, it is not always the case. Relationships do not always work out as planned. Many interpersonal relationships break down over time and end up in a conflicted condition. People find that it is not easy to keep a relationship alive and well. It takes effort and mental flexibility that not everyone is willing or able to offer. With the aid of this briefing paper, I would hope to provide your organisation with the information needed to create your self-help material. I will summarise the social psychological approaches to interpersonal relationships and outline how they can be used to provide practical advice. I will include a list of recommended reading for your organisation to utilise in order to gain more understanding of the psychological approaches to interpersonal relationships.

Principles of attraction

The past few decades have seen rapid increases in the amount and sophistication of research designed to understand the processes that govern the initiation, development, maintenance and deterioration of relationships. Most relationships fail in predictable ways. Reasonably effective therapy strategies, based on the knowledge that has been learned, are now available for partners who recognise they are in trouble and want help. Several general principles of attraction have been discovered by social psychologists. For example, physical proximity tends to increase attraction, whereas long distances make relationships difficult to form and maintain. Another principle is familiarity, which also increases attraction. Spending a lot of time with someone increases their level of attractiveness. One of the most important factors in interpersonal...

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