Formation of Romantic Relationships

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    • REWARD/NEED SATISFACTION THEORY (Byrne and Clore, 1970)
      • We are attracted to people who we find satisfying or gratifying to be with. Motivated to seek rewarding stimilu and avoid punishing stimuli.
      • REWARDS AND PUNISHMENTS - rewards = positive feelings. Punishments = negative. Operant behaviour - likely to repeat positive behaviour. Get rewards from relationship = attraction.
        • EVIDENCE - Griffit and Guay (1969): participants carried out creative task. If rewarded by experimenter, they were more likely to like them.
        • IMPORTANCE OF REWARD - Cate et al (1982): 337 individuals assessed current relationship based on reward/satisfaction. Reward level superior to other factors.
      • ATTRACTION THROUGH ASSOSCIATION- like people who are associated with positive events. meet when happy = likely to like them. unhappy = no relationship formed.
      • CULTURAL BIAS - in other cultures women are more focused on needs of others
    • SIMILARITY  (Byrne, Clore and Smeaton, 1986)
      • Promotes liking
      • Dissimilarity & Similarity
        • SIMILARITY OR DISSIMILARITY - Rosenbaum (1986): dissim. more important when determining future of relationship. Dissim. = repulsion
        • LIMITATIONS - Yoshida (1972): only peronality and attitude research. Represents narrow view of why people enter relationships.
      • PERSONALITY - more likely to be attracted to someone with similar traits to you although may not always be the case but is often the rule.
        • IMPORTANCE- people similar to us or less likely to reject us later on.
      • ATTITUDES - if people disagree on something important they will break up. 'Attitude alignment- partners modify attitudes to become more alike. '
    • LACK OF REALISM - most studies are laboratory studies. Error with application to real life.
    • EVOLUTIONARY EXPLANATION - love is a response to speed up mating process.


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