Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Psychology of Friendship

Today in class we discussed the importance of friendship and how it changes over time, in quality and in definition. By two years, even though toddlers may not always be totally verbal, they have been shown to have preferences for peers. Usually these peers are introduced to each other by parents, because of a friendship the parents have, or by some other connection. After we read this in the textbook, Cassie explained how she became best friends with someone because she was kind of pushed into the circumstance. Many years later they are still best friends even though they are completely different from each other. Now they ask themselves, "Would we have been friends if we weren't introduced to each other?" They both felt the answer was no. I feel as though for many friendships starting from early childhood, they are in the same situation where if they were to meet each other later in life, they never would have been friends.

 After this slight detour in the lecture we returned to the psychology of friendship. Two year olds can show the beginning of friendships by smiling when they see each other and trying to be next to each other physically more. Later in the child's life, when they are about six they can begin to define friendship verbally. Six year olds see friendship as people who are interested in participating in the same activities and who have the same interests. They may also share toys or other material objects. Then later when children are about twelve years old, they see friendship as being a relationship that should have reciprocation, equality and trust. There is a theory that the basis of friendships is always reciprocation of a positive relationship, and that the children just define it with more complexity as they get older because they have the capability to with a more extensive vocabulary. Then they start to reflect the "definition of friendships", in their own friendships. This is what we went over before lunch.

Studying in the Lounge
 She let us out early for lunch again which was nice, so now we had an hour and a half to eat lunch. I ate with Eugenia and Catherine, but since lunch was so long, I was also able to talk to Victoria and Jimmy for a bit. For the second half of class, some groups started doing their study since we had one participant available. Unfortunately for my group, the participant was a boy, and since we are focusing on girls in our study, we couldn't take advantage of this opportunity. Tomorrow, though, we will have one participant. She is five years old. The other participants will be able to come in on Sunday. This means that the class has the option of coming on Sunday if they want to get data. Because a lot of us are going to be coming in on Sunday, we might cancel class on Monday. That would be a nice break.

 Because we weren't doing any studies today, we just focused on our reading for that night until we were dismissed from class. After class, Dani and I went to the gym until 5:30. We met up with Oyin, Jimmy, and Victoria for dinner then. Afterwards we went to the lounges to work on homework.

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