maintainence of relationships

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  • Maintenance  of relationships
    • social exchange theory
      • Thibaut and Kelley
      • profit and loss
        • individuals aim to maximise their rewards and minimise their costs
        • people exchange resources with the expectations that they will earn a greater reward than their loss
        • rewards eg being cared for, companionship and sex
        • costs include; effort, financial investment, infidelity
        • maintenance relies on rewards being greater than the costs
        • martz believes this explains why some females stay in an abusive relationship
          • investments are high eg children, financial security and alternatives are low eg no money or home
            • leading to an overall profit
      • comparison level
        • a standard of judging whether someone offers more or less than our expectations of a partner
        • subject to our own preferences
          • takes into account individual differences
        • if a partner has less profits than out comparison level then the relationship won't be maintained
        • comparison level of alternatives
          • the weighing up of profits of an alternative partner against current partner
          • new relationship will take place if profits are greater
          • doesn't explain why people leave a relationship when their is no alternative
          • people reduce the value of profits of potential alternatives to save the relationship
            • Simpson et al
              • asked participants to rate people on level of attractiveness
                • those in a relationship gave lower ratings
      • assumes that people take a considerable amount of time monitoring their relationship
        • argle says that people only weigh up costs when they become dissatisfies
        • Duck says that people only consider alternatives when they become dissatisfied
      • Argle argues that rewards increase as relationship develops eg closeness
      • vies people as self-centred and doesn't take into consideration an emotional bond to their partner
    • Equity theory
      • people have the expectation  that a relationship  should be fair
      • people who give greater than the receive would be dissatisfied
        • clark and mills argue that we're more concerned about out partners needs
      • if they feel rewards and costs are equal then they will feel satisfied with the relationship
      • couples who have been together a long time have invested a considerable amount into the relationship
        • they may restore the relationship  by putting less in or encouraging  the other partner  to put more in
      • Stafford and Canary
        • 200 married couples completed questionnaire on equity and relationship satisfaction
        • satisfaction was perceived highest when relationship was regarded as equitable
        • cause and effect not established
        • only heterosexual relationships
        • social desirability
      • ratio inputs and outputs
        • individual differences
          • inputs and outputs subject to opinion of the partner
        • if relationship is perceived as in equitable then we increase inputs what we put into a relationship or decrease what we expect
          • way of restoring relationship
        • compare against our comparison level
      • De maris
        • out of 1500 couples divorce was most likely be caused by inequality
          • Dwyer found a considerable importance of equality in lesbian relationships
      • culture biased
        • less important in collectivist cultures


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