Filter theory mindmap

  • Created by: aryan26
  • Created on: 04-02-19 19:50
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  • Kerchoff and Davis studied student couples in short term relationships- fewer than 18 months
    • Filter theory
      • First level: sociodemographic filters
        • Such as proximity, level of education, class, religion
          • Important as we are more likely to build relationships with people who live close to be able to meet and find out more
          • Similarities in education and class important as it gives them assurance that the relationship will move forward
      • Second level: similarity of attitudes
        • More attractive if they share the same core beliefs- such as views on career and importance of family
        • Byrne: similarity of attitudes is important in the early stages of a relationship. Presence/absence is discovered through self disclosure
        • If there is very little in common then relationships rarely progress beyond the first few dates
      • Third level: complementarity
        • Refers to partners having traits that the other person lacks, helping to fulfill their needs
      • Research evidence
        • Winch: similarity of attitudes are important for the beginning of a relationship and complementarity was important in long term ones
        • newcomb: offered ppts free accommodation for a yr and were assigned a rotate. stable friendships developed if their background was  similar
      • Evaluation
        • Supported by research: Gruber-Baldini et al carried out a longitudinal study of couples aged 21 and found that similarity education level and age were more likely to stay together - demonstrates the importance of sociodemographic factors
        • Face validity- intuitive ‘this make sense’ to people. People understand and consider proximity often
          • However in modern society developments in technology mean long distance relationships are more likely . This makes it less valid.
        • Failed replications- Levenger claim due to difficulties correlating length of short term relationships
          • Kerchoff and Davis suggest that relationships longer than 18 months signify greater commitment
        • But the theory doesn’t apply to all heterosexual couples nor does it describe homosexual relationships
          • Doesn’t explain collectivist cultures- some take much longer than 18 months so establish similarity and complementarity while others skip the filters. Suggests other factors play a significant role
        • Argue similarity causes attraction. Anderson et al conducted a longitudinal study and emotional responses become more alike over time rather than ring there from the start
      • Issues and debates
        • Uses ppts from individualist western cultures who value free choice and describe the choice of partners in terms of individual preferences
          • On collectivist cultures relationships are often arranged so people cannot exercise their free choice. Thus it suffers from culture bias
        • Looking for causality whern there may only be a correlation
        • reductionist and limits the range of real life romantic experiences. E.g. it doesn’t explain why people stay in subside relationships. This suggests that a holistic approach may be better suited.
    • People use criteria that they called filters to sift through potential partners


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