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Relationships are embedded in broader social networks, including the family and friends of both partners. Covering contributions from several disciplines, this chapter discusses the role of social networks in the maintenance of intimate relationships. We first describe findings from the communication field showing how people use their social networks (such as through doing activities with mutual friends) as one of several strategies to maintain their relationships. Then, we discuss social psychological literature regarding how social networks affect both dyad members’ motivation to engage in various maintenance mechanisms that follow from their decision to commit. Furthermore, the social network can be instrumental in influencing pair members’ ability to maintain their relationship, including by giving advice to help repair relationships, which is also discussed in this chapter. We then turn to more macro-level issues regarding the compositional or structural dimensions of social networks and the ways in which they play a role in the maintenance of couples’ relationships. Variation in the processes of network influence on the maintenance of relationships is also considered, including how networks differentially influence relationship maintenance across the life course and through technology (e.g., social media).
Is American democracy under threat? The question is more prominent in political debate now than at any time in recent memory. However, it is also too blunt; there is widespread recognition that democracy is multifaceted and that backsliding, when it occurs, tends to be piecemeal. To address these concerns, we provide original data from surveys of political science experts and the public measuring the perceived importance and performance of U.S. democracy on a number of dimensions during the first year-and-a-half of the Trump presidency. We draw on a theory of how politicians may transgress limits on their authority and the conditions under which constraints are self-enforcing. We connect this theory to our survey data in an effort to identify potential areas of agreement—bright lines—among experts and the public about the most important democratic principles and whether they have been violated. Public and expert perceptions often differ on the importance of specific democratic principles. In addition, though our experts perceive substantial democratic erosion, particularly in areas related to checks and balances, polarization between Trump supporters and opponents undermines any social consensus recognizing these violations.
Why do vote-suppression efforts sometimes fail? Why does police repression of demonstrators sometimes turn localized protests into massive, national movements? How do politicians and activists manipulate people's emotions to get them involved? The authors of Why Bother? offer a new theory of why people take part in collective action in politics, and test it in the contexts of voting and protesting. They develop the idea that just as there are costs of participation in politics, there are also costs of abstention - intrinsic and psychological but no less real. That abstention can be psychically costly helps explain real-world patterns that are anomalies for existing theories, such as that sometimes increases in costs of participation are followed by more participation, not less. The book draws on a wealth of survey data, interviews, and experimental results from a range of countries, including the United States, Britain, Brazil, Sweden, and Turkey.
Hearing loss is highly prevalent in older adults and can pose challenges for neuropsychologists, as assessment and intervention procedures often involve orally presented information which must be accurately heard. This project examined the hearing status of 20 clients (mean age = 71 years) in a hospital-based outpatient neuropsychology clinic, and explored whether information about hearing loss informed neuropsychologists’ clinical practice. A research assistant administered a brief hearing screening test to each participant. Four treating neuropsychologists were asked to comment on their client’s hearing status before and after being shown their client’s hearing screen test results. Screening revealed that the majority of participants had at least mild hearing loss, and that the neuropsychologists were relatively accurate (60%) at estimating their clients’ hearing status. Neuropsychologists used information about a client’s hearing status to make recommendations that clients pursue audiologic services, and to educate clients and family members about hearing loss and communication.
Are people under economic stress more or less likely to vote, and why? With large observational datasets and a survey experiment involving unemployed Americans, we show that unemployment depresses participation. But it does so more powerfully when the unemployment rate is low, less powerfully when it is high. Whereas earlier studies have explained lower turnout among the unemployed by stressing the especially high opportunity costs these would-be voters face, our evidence points to the psychological effects of unemployment and of campaign messages about it. When unemployment is high, challengers have an incentive to blame the incumbent, thus eliciting anger among the unemployed. Psychologists have shown anger to be an approach or mobilizing emotion. When joblessness is low, campaigns tend to ignore it. The jobless thus remain in states of depression and self-blame, which are demobilizing emotions.