Relationships 1

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  • Relationships
    • Partner preferances
      • Evolutionary theory suggests that all our behaviours are driven by unconscious psychological mechanisms
      • Some features are more desirable for survival purposes than others. Having these features increases the chance of reproduction
        • This increases the chances of these desirable characteristics to be passed down to their offspring.
        • Eventually, these characteristics become exaggerated over time.
      • Sperm is unlimited, men remain fertile for life and are not sure of the paternity so engage is short term multiple dating with promiscuous behaviour
        • To increase the chances of their genes being passed on. They engage in Intrasexual selection where males compete for a fertile woman
          • This leads to male-female dimorphism in which there are obvious differences between males and women. (Muscular, petite, small)
        • Men prefer young, attractive, fertile women
      • Females have limited eggs and are not fertile forever therefore they are choosy with who they date. They engage in long term relationships
        • They prefer strong, resourceful dominant men to ensure the survival of them and their child.
        • They engage in intersexual selection where they are choosy with who they date and pick men who are genetically fit.
    • Factors effecting attraction
      • Self disclosure
        • The idea that revealing and sharing ones personal information increases attractiveness and intimacy between two people
        • Social penetration theory suggests that the gradual process of self disclosing displays trust and intimacy but it must be reciprocated
          • The onion theory
        • Appropriate timing of disclosure, gender and content of it can affect how well self disclosure works
      • Physical attractivness
        • Physical attractiveness stems from the evolutionary theory.
        • Women with Neotenous features or baby face are deemed more attractive because their baby like face triggers a protective instinct in males
        • Physically attractive people are perceived to have good traits about them e.g kind, caring, hard working. This makes them more attractive to us (the halo effect)
        • Matching hypothesis is the idea that people won't go for those more attractive than them. They will often go for someone of similar attractiveness
      • Filter theory
        • How we select partners from a large pool of candidates. The first filter is social demography. (religion, ethnicity, education, geographical location)
        • Second is similarity in attitudes. Similar cultural and social attitudes. most common in early relationships. This promotes self disclosure
        • Third is complimentary, does your partner compliment your personality and characteristics. What you lack, your partner must have and  what you have your partner must lack.
    • Maintaining relationships
      • Social exchange teheory
        • The theory suggests that we are likely to maintain a relationship if our rewards and profits outweigh the costs. costs could be time, money, effort and rewards could be fun, attention, esteem.
        • Satisfaction is gained if our profit outweighs the costs. We are essentially selfish and want to minimise costs and maximise rewards. If we are dissatisfied we break down the relationship.
        • There are two ways we compare our relationship. Comparison level in which we compare our rewards to our last relationship
          • Self esteem affects how much profit we expect too get. If we have high esteem we expect more profit, if we have low we are content with a small profit
          • Comparison levels of alternatives, we compare the rewards in our current relationship with the rewards we could potentially get in a new relationship
      • Equity theory
        • The equity theory is based on fairness, SET acts on equality. A relationship will be maintained if there is equity
        • Each person should feel like they are getting out the same as they have put in. If there is inequity then there is dissatisfaction
          • The person who receives more rewards will feel guilty and the person who doesn't will feel dissatisfied.
        • Unlike the SET which argues that if there is dissatisfaction, the relationship is broken down immediately but ET argues that couples will try and regain balance.
        • Negotiations are common to achieve fairness. E.g husband cooks, wife cleans instead. The greater the degree of unfairness, the greater the degree of dissatisfaction
          • If restoring equity is not possible, the relationship will break down but if it restored it will be maintained
      • Rusbults investment theory
        • A relationship will be maintained if there are high levels of commitment and commitment is dependent on the investment side, satisfaction and alternatives
        • Satisfaction is reached if an individual has their emotional and sexual needs  met
          • Alternatives refers to if the individual can get greater satisfaction in another relationship. If not, commitment is increased
          • Investment size. Things you have put into the relationship, ending it would be costlier to lose what you have invested.
            • It could be a direct investment (time, money, effort) or indirect (house, shared friends, children) the greater the investment size, the costlier it is to end it


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