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Making sense of ourselves
Making sense of ourselves

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2 Why would I hang around with you?

This second section introduces you to a popular area in psychology – that of personal relationships and the consideration of the everyday question: ‘Why would I hang around with you?’ In looking at personal relationships the focus will be on those that are both voluntary and reciprocal; in other words, relationships that we choose to engage in and are based on mutual attraction. Both love and friendship fall into these categories of personal relationship. Psychologists are very interested in these types of relationships because they have the capacity to satisfy many of the social and psychological needs of the parties involved. These types of personal relationships have a life cycle and research has been undertaken that follows this life cycle from beginning to end and considers some of the key characteristics such as attraction, communication and self-disclosure, friendship, love, conflict and violence, relationship dissolution, and loneliness.