Affiliation is a craving, a need, a desire to be in a society of people, an individual's need to create close, trusting, warm, emotionally colored relationships. This is a striving towards rapprochement with other individuals through friendship, communication, love. The nature of interaction with parents in childhood, in their youth with peers, forms the basis of the formation of this type of need. The tendency towards the formation of this need is violated when various provoking factors arise, such as anxiety, self-doubt. Intimacy and communication with other people helps to relieve anxiety situations.
The affiliation motive is a motive, mental activity, which is aimed at the establishment or termination of specific interpersonal relations. Such a motive consists of various powers of distancing or approaching individuals. For example, an individual may have good communication skills that help him to establish informal relationships quickly, but at the same time he may fear misunderstanding, failure, and rejection. In addition, such an individual may have a high need to establish not superficial (external) acquaintances, but deeper, close, reliable, trusting ones.
The motivational factor the need for communication (affiliation) with a certain amount of time becomes characteristic of the individual and “reborn” into personality traits.
Affiliation motifs become more relevant in the process of communication between people. Such motives are often manifested as the aspirations of the individual to establish positive, good relationships with other individuals. Internally, he acts as loyalty and a feeling of affection, and his external manifestation is communication, the desire to cooperate with other individuals, the desire to be constantly close to an affiliation partner.
Love for another person is the highest spiritual manifestation of such motives. The prevalence of affiliation motive in an individual determines the style of communication with other individuals, which is characterized by ease, confidence, courage and openness. Expressed motivational affiliation can be outwardly manifested in the subject's concern for establishing, maintaining friendly relations, or restoring previously distressed relationships with other subjects.
The affiliation motive interrelates with the individual to receive approval from others, with a thirst for self-affirmation. Subjects with a dominant affiliation motive are better attributed to other subjects and themselves enjoy increased sympathy and respect from others. Their relationships are built on the basis of mutual trust. Opposite to the motive of affiliation is the motive of rejection, which is manifested in the fear of being rejected, unreceived by significant people. The prevalence of such a motive leads to stiffness, uncertainty, tension, and embarrassment.
Affiliation motive is a complex motive consisting of structural elements that can be actualized in different periods of ontogenesis. The level of intensity of the structural element of affiliative communications (relationship needs, emotional and trusting character) depends on the individual characteristics of the subject, his characterological features, interaction style in the family, defense mechanisms, histories of his relationship with certain people, degree of satisfaction with the relationship.
The need for communication, emotionally confidential, and focus on affiliated behavior are two components of the affiliation motive. A “fear of rejection” (rejection) is a fairly independent variable. She herself can determine the specificity of communication and has a closer relationship with anxiety, uncertainty, level of psychological protection.
The motive of affiliation is directly related to the parental upbringing of the child and his style. For example, with a confidential parenting style, the child forms such affiliated types as: self-sufficient, balanced, sociable. And it manifests itself in adult states, such as activity, openness, social courage, lack of social vulnerability, anxiety and emotional instability.
In the process of the development of relations, the hierarchical structure of the main characteristics of affiliative mutual activities changes. At the beginning of acquaintance, the main importance is attached to the ease and emotional attractiveness of the partner. Further, in the process of further development of relations, an understanding is formed and trust develops. Over time, understanding and trust begin to occupy a dominant position. Along with this, joint activity and common interests have a great influence on the development of relations.
The central motivational moment of communication is the choice of a situational or permanent communication partner. The most common condition for choosing an unchanged partner in communication is external attractiveness and attractiveness for business and moral qualities.
Today, many different methods have been developed to identify affiliation motivations. So, for example, the method of motivation of affiliation developed by Mehrabian is the most popular now.
Measuring affiliation motivation is important for determining the level of formation and the degree of its development of such motives as "striving for people" and "fear of being unaccepted, rejected."
Need for affiliation
The formation and maintenance of relationships with other individuals pursue completely different goals. For example, the goal is to impress or dominate others, the goal is to give or get help. The term affiliation is commonly understood as a specific type of social interaction, which has a fundamental and at the same time everyday character. It consists in communications with other individuals (well-known or not so, or in general strangers) in such a manifestation that enriches all aspects of communication and brings satisfaction. The level that can be achieved depends not only on the individual seeking affiliation, but also on the communication partner.
An individual seeking to satisfy the need for affiliation must achieve very much. At first, such an individual should give an opportunity to understand his intention to make contact, while informing the intended contact about his attractiveness in the eyes of such an individual. He must make the future partner understand that he is treated as an equal and offered a relationship based on reciprocity. In other words, an individual does not simply strive for affiliation, but at the same time acts himself as such an affiliation partner for the respective needs of the individual with whom he comes in contact.
Differences in role sharing or the desire to turn an affiliation partner into a means to satisfy individual needs, such as the need for humiliation or superiority, depending or independence, weakness or strength, in obtaining or providing assistance, harms affiliation, thereby destroying it completely .
The individual, whose goal is affiliation, must achieve a specific harmony in consonance of his excitements and experiences with his partner's experiences, which would be a motivating factor for interaction from both sides, for feeling satisfaction and maintaining a sense of personal value.
The goal of affiliation of an individual aspiring to it is to search for love or acceptance of oneself, friendly support, sympathy from a partner. However, in such an endeavor only one manifestation is emphasized — receiving, and the other is neglected — return. Therefore, the goal of the affiliation motive should be mutual and trusting communication, in which each of the partners of such a relationship loves the other or treats him with affection, sympathy, friendly support.
There are many non-verbal and verbal behaviors, the purpose of which will be to achieve and maintain such relationships. The motivation to strive for affiliation is determined by the number and positive content of speech turns, by the duration of eye contact, by friendliness, by the number of nods in the head, by gestures and posture, etc.
Attractiveness can be both positive and negative. And depending on the ratio of these types of attractiveness, the motives of affiliation of individuals can be characterized as mainly associated with the hope of such affiliation (NA) or fear of rejection (SO).
The characteristic of an unsuccessful or successful result of an affiliation action is not only in the negative or positive attractiveness of a particular value. Any of the alternative outcomes of the action can also be expected in advance with some probability. Therefore, each individual proceeding from the past personal experience in the field of communication, has generalized hopes regarding whether he can establish an affiliation relationship with an unfamiliar individual or not, in other words, generalized hopes of affiliation or rejection.
The close relationship between hopes and actions distinguishes the motive of affiliation among other motives that are similar in achievement motives. When a possible stranger to an affiliation is a stranger, the following situation is obtained: the greater the expectation of luck, the stronger the positive attractiveness and, on the contrary, the greater the expectation of failure, the stronger the negative attractiveness. Such a manifestation is called feedback. In other words, the feedback chain can be represented as follows: any expectation influences the course of behavior, the course of behavior affects its outcome (result), repeated failures and successes form corresponding expectations, generating differences in the course of behavior (actions) that predetermine an unfavorable or favorable outcome affiliations. Based on this, the attractiveness of an unsuccessful or successful affiliation becomes ultimately a constant value, which sets the personal profile of negative and positive attractiveness, in other words, fear of rejection and expectation of affiliation. Thus, a linear relationship between attractiveness and expectation for a personal affiliation motive is formed (if the object of affiliation is an unfamiliar person) - the more the generalized hope of success prevails over the expectation of failure, the more positive attractiveness dominates over the negative, and vice versa. Such an attitude of attractiveness to expectation distinguishes the affiliation motive from the achievement motive, which is characterized by the opposite ratio of such parameters - the greater the possibility of success, the less attractive the success becomes, the greater the possibility of failure, the higher the appeal of luck.
It is necessary to distinguish generalized expectations from private ones related to a specific individual, which the subject entering into an affiliation already knows well. In such a case, attractiveness and expectation may vary independently of each other. Thus, the attractiveness of communicating with any well-known individual, which is adequate to the affiliation motive, is relatively small, however, this is accompanied by a significant expectation of a quick and easy establishment of this contact, and maybe vice versa. This can happen in such cases when the subject is familiar with the future partner in close relationships, but he has information that allows you to predict the ease or difficulty of entering into direct contact. For example, the future partner has a more significant social status than the subject seeking affiliation. The stability of the linear dependence of attractiveness on expectation in the case of motivational affiliation, which is aimed at an unfamiliar individual, has not been empirically verified.
The need for an emotionally trusting relationship is relevant throughout the life course of the individual. However, the focus on affiliation has a tendency to decrease with age, especially in males.