Postformal Thought in Multiperson Groups

Couples and Families
  • Jan D. Sinnott
Part of the The Springer Series in Adult Development and Aging book series (SSAD)


Just as individuals in the workplace must coordinate multiple realities postformally at least some of the time, if they are to succeed in working together, individuals in intimate couples and in families must also do so. We do not have as much success coordinating family realities as we do coordinating work realities. We find it more difficult to bridge cognitive realities that are so emotionally important to us. Intimate relationships by definition involve intense interactions with emotions weaving through each interaction and often contributing heat to any light that cognition may shed. Framing actions of family members in one cognitive context rather than another has implications for daily encounters and decisions, far more so than anything that might happen on the job (unless the work group is “family”). For a couple or a family that remains together for a relatively long time, the entire enterprise is colored by the history of past cognition, emotion, and action.


Intimate Relationship Multiple Reality Intimate Relation Marital Adjustment Relationship History 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan D. Sinnott
    • 1
  1. 1.Towson UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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