PSYA3 Maintenance

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  • Maintenance of Relationships
    • Social Exchange Theory
      • A01
        • Based on principles of operant conditioning which suggests we form and maintain relationships because they're rewarding and focuses on how each partner monitors and regulates their relationship.
        • We form a relationship if it's rewarding as we attempt to minimise the costs and maximise the rewards. A successful relationship is one where the rewards outweigh the costs. (Rewards - Costs = Outcome)
        • To judge how one partner compares to another we use a comparison level which is a standard  where all relationships are compared.
          • The comparison level is based on memories of past experiences combined with expectations of what we want and expect in the future.
          • When we meet a new partner, they are compared with the comparison level and if the profits of the new relationship are thought to exceed the costs then we form a relationship.
        • CL Alt is where the potential rewards of the new partner are checked.
      • A02
        • Resbult + Martz
          • Used the profit and loss concept to explain abusive relationship. If the investments are high such as children and finance then it is still seen as a profitable situation. Thus, the women will stay with their abusive partners.
        • Social Exchange Theory doesn't explain why people leave relationships despite having no alternatives.
        • Arygle + Duck
          • Found that the theory assumes people spend considerable time monitoring their relationships. They found that people only consider alternatives once they're dissatisfied with their own.
        • Social Exchange Theory is reductionist as it breaks down complex relationships into a number of basic social interactions that are focused on the selfish rewards of a single individual.
    • Equity Theory (Walster)
      • A01
        • IIs an extension of the social exchange theory as it states that people strive to achieve fairness in their relationship and become distressed if they receive unfairness.
          • If you give a great deal but receive a little then this results in inequity thus, therefore, dissatisfaction.
        • Equity is balance + Stability.
          • If there is inequity, we are motivated to restore equity which can be done by changing how much input a person puts in or the amount demanded.
        • Using our CL, we may assess whether it is worth continuing the current relationship.
      • A02
        • Van Yperen + Buunk
          • Did a longitudinal study using 259 couples (86% married) and 65% said there were equity, 25% of men felt over-benefited and 25% of women felt under-benefited. 1 year later they were asked about satisfaction and group 1 were most satisfied and group 2 were least.
        • Clark + Mills
          • Suggested relationships are not based on economics, there is a difference between exchange relationships and communal.
            • Exchange relationships are between colleagues and communal relationships are with friends / lovers and are about responding to needs.
        • Moghaddam
          • Stated that economic theories only explain high mobility in western cultures, not low mobility such as collectivist cultures.
        • Most research into both theories have been done on university students so cannot be  generalised.


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