Book Reviews
Ivantchev, Nikolay (2017). Convictions about the self and the mate. Saarbrücken, Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing. 100 pp. ISBN 978-620-2-01103-7.

Book Review: “Convictions About the Self and the Mate”

Stanislava Stoyanova*a

Psychological Thought, 2017, Vol. 10(2), doi:10.5964/psyct.v10i2.241

Published (VoR): 2017-10-20.

*Corresponding author at: South-West University “Neofit Rilski”, 66, Ivan Mihailov Street, 2700 Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. E-mail: avka@abv.bg

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

This monograph “Convictions about the self and the mate” by Nikolay Ivantchev is related to psychology of partnership and family relationships. Nikolay Ivantchev has a PhD degree in Educational and Developmental Psychology and his observations on youth age, his research experience on acceptance of other people, as well as his training in cognitive developmental therapy, both have contributed to the creation of this book focused on intimate partnership.

The book invites psychologists and a wider range of readership (every one interested in family and partner relationships), because the topic attracts whom is interested in a long-term relationship with an intimate partner, and the scientific concepts on social, developmental and counselling psychology in order core beliefs of qualities of self, of the ideal partner and of the real partner to be illustrated, whose correspondence reveals assortative mating, i.e. similarity between them. Mainly consultants and psychotherapists work with convictions and beliefs. The focus on convictions about the self, the real mate and the ideal mate makes this book useful for the practice of the family psychotherapists, as the viewpoints of the cognitive behavioural therapy, transaction analysis and the psychodynamic approach are presented. The viewpoints of the cognitive behavioural therapy and transaction analysis deal with the nature of convictions, whilst the psychodynamic approach compares the self and the real-ideal partners. Convictions in this book are considered as the core beliefs, not as the assumptions. The core beliefs of oneself, the real and ideal mates and intertwined, related to each other.

This book is intriguing and relevant to the present day, because it points out and studies the importance of social media (especially Facebook) for revealing the convictions about the self and the mate. It discusses the process of building the contemporary relationships with the intimate partner on the basis of the different purposes of use of social media.

The Introduction of this book reveals the significance of beliefs for human life and taken decisions. Then, some theoretical concepts regarding beliefs of oneself are presented, as well as the results from some previous studies of beliefs of self, of the current intimate partner, of the ideal short-term intimate partner, and of the ideal long-term intimate partner in the different societies and cultures. This monograph attempts to manifest the links between convictions about the self, the current partner and the long-term ideal partner for an engaging intimate relationship. The title of the book “Convictions about the self and the mate” clearly demonstrates connection between these convictions.

Nowadays, the role of social networks becomes more and more important in human life. A part of human relationships are maintained via social networks. One of the sections of this book is dedicated to the convictions about the self and the mate that are expressed in the social networks. The relation between the purposes of the use of Facebook and the convictions about the self and the mate is outlined by means of comparing the different Facebook users by their convictions about the self and the mate.

The next chapter describes the design of the study that has been conducted by the author of this book. It is focused on revealing the convictions about the self and the mate – real and ideal, and their relation to social categorization and the use of social media such as Facebook. The author’s thesis is to assume that people would have mainly positive convictions about themselves and their mate – real and ideal, and their convictions about the self, the real mate and the ideal mate for a long-term relationship would correlate, as well as they would be related to social categorization and to participation in social media such as Facebook. The reasons for stating such a thesis have been thoroughly explained by the author of this book and they are based on some psychological theories (for example of social identity, social comparison, and assortative mating), as well as on some previous research findings in different countries that have been properly quoted by the author of the book.

The used instruments (two questionnaires) have been introduced for the aims of the study (which are revealing the convictions about the self and the mate, differentiating them by social categories, and relating them to social media uses). The author of this book has validated his instruments on the basis of the theoretical concepts and the studies by a lot of other authors. The method corresponds to the aims of the study and a huge number of participants took part in the study. The instruments that are published in the appendix of the book could be used for further studies on this topic that could be regarded as an author’s contribution to the scientific knowledge.

Apart developing a research instrument, another author’s contribution to scientific knowledge consists of extending the findings regarding the convictions about the self, the real mate and the ideal mate with more actual data, comparing them in relation to assortative mating and pointing out their differentiation among the social categories and in relation to the purposes of using social media.

Convictions about the self, about the real intimate partner and about the ideal intimate partner for long-term relationship were differentiated among the social categories. For example, such socio-demographic factors as age, duration of the relationship with the current mate and having children differentiated the convictions of the ideal long-term partner. The use of Facebook for different goals (for example to organise and participate in events; to browse the profiles of unfamiliar people, etc.) differentiated the convictions about the self, the current and the ideal long-term mate. The author of the book describes in detail how the different purposes of the use of the social media differentiated each of the studied convictions. An attempt has been made to reflect the intensity of beliefs and readiness for their change.

The convictions of the self, the real mate and the ideal mate have been ranked in terms of their positivity, and it has been found that all three types of convictions were largely positive and they correlated between them. The author of the book has explained these findings based on psychological knowledge.

This research of self-convictions and convictions about the current and ideal mate can find practical application when consulting about problems in partnerships, because the revealed similarity in the core beliefs about own personality and the personality of the partner, including among people from different social groups and with varying behaviour on social media, can be grounds for change in expectations and attitudes in the direction of minimising perceived differences with the mate and emphasis on the similarities in the convictions and the way of life. This book will be useful for the psychologists and all who are interested in such problems and topic.

Funding [TOP]

The author has no funding to report.

Competing Interests [TOP]

The author of this book review, Stanislava Stoyanova, is the Editor of Psychological Thought. She is a colleague of the author whose book is reviewed - they both work at the same institution and have written several articles in co-authorship.

Acknowledgments [TOP]

The author has no support to report.

References [TOP]

  • Ivantchev, N. (2017). Convictions about the self and the mate. Saarbrücken, Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing.

  • Ivantchev, N. (2017). Ubezhdenia za sebe si I za intimnia partnior [Convictions about the self and the mate]. Sofia, Bulgaria: Simolini 94.

About the Author [TOP]

Prof. Stanislava Stoyanova, PhD is a lecturer in Psychological Measurements and Experimental Psychology at South-West University “Neofit Rilski”, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.