Filter Theory

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  • Filter Theory
    • Kerchkoff and Davies
      • Used 94  students in a relationship for less than 18 months with those in a relationship for over 18 months
      • Using self-report questionnaire, looking at shared values & attitudes, and the need complement
      • Seven months after, couples were asked about how close they felt to each other compared to at the start.
      • They found that attitude similarity was the most important up to 18 months
      • In long term couples complement of each others needs became the most important.
    • There are five filters that affect choice
      • Similarity- Most people will come into contact with people from the same social or cultural   background.   
      • Physical Attraction - How good looking someone is
      • Complement of Needs-       we are often attracted to people who can give us what we lack.
      • Proximity- people will form a relationship with people close to them. 
      • Competence- How intelligent and competent one appears.
    • There are also three other filters
      • Most of those we meet are of a similar social class, education level and ethnicity.  
      • The first filter is the fact that we only meet few people in our area (proximity)  
      • The third filter is based on psychological (internal) factors which include beliefs and values + personality
    • Evaluation
      • Perceived similarity - actual similarity is not as good as perceived in predicting relationships
      • Research support - Levinger repeated the study above with 330 couples and found no similarity
      • Complementarity of needs - C of N is not as important for women. More similarity than complementarity.
      • Real Value - Duck said that filtering allows people to make future predictions not invest in bad relationships
      • Values, needs and role preferences change over time. E.g. cohabitation and LGBT.
    • It is a theory that states we choose romantic partners by using filters to reduce the options


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