Reward/Need model

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  • R.F.(R/N Model)
    • Byrne + Clore: Direct reinforcement - Operant conditioning. Non-verbal signals e.g. smiling = positive reinforcement.
      • Negative reinforcement - relief of unpleasant emotional state provides negative reinforcement.
      • Both increase the likelihood of a relationship being formed.
        • Negative reinforcement - relief of unpleasant emotional state provides negative reinforcement.
    • Evaluation
      • Individuals are more concerned with fair distribution on costs and rewards not just maximising own rewards therefore doesn't support theory.
      • Hays: found that non-Western cultures found value in rewarding others and family bonds more important than reinforcement.
      • Gender diff: Women raised to meet the needs of others than themselves. However, there is a weakness to this as it has been found that some women do feel a sense of reward for helping others.
      • M + H's study was in an environment where the females may have been intoxicated therefore results may be distorted.
      • Ignores nature's influence on what we consider attractive e.g. male and female preference in order to be protected or carry on family line.
      • Reductionist: simplifies and breaks down relationship initiation into stimulus and response.
      • Deterministic: associations may be made outside of the individual's control e.g. third parties therefore influencing what they find attractive or like.
      • Lacks ecological validity as M + H's study can't be easily generalised to other cultures/countries. The study doesn't reflect real life conditions.
    • Relationship can also be formed through association(associating them with a pleasant feeling. May + Hamilton's study.
      • Classical conditioning. Supports idea that positive emotions makes us find people more attractive.
      • According to the attractiveness stereotype (Dion), we think attractive people have more attractive personalities therefore leading us to think we are rewarded for being with such a person.
        • This can be seen in teachers judging attractive students as more intelligent than unattractive students (Clifford and Walster)
      • As social beings, we need physical closeness so we're more likely to form relationships. The more we're with that person, the more we feel attracted to them. Humans like familiar things as they make us feel safe and happy which is rewarding


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