RELATIONSHIPS - Rusbult's Investment model of commitment

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  • Rusbult's Investment model of commitment
    • 1. Satisfaction Level
      • positive VS negative effect felt in a rel.
      • related to the extent to which an individual's needs are met
      • how a partner meets one's emotional needs
    • 2. Comparison with alternatives
      • refers to the percieved desirability of alternatives to current rel
      • based upon how an individ's needs will be met in another rel compared to current one
      • if needs are better in an alternative rel, quality of alternatives = high
      • if needs will not be met in an alternative situation, commitment = higher
    • 3. Investment size
      • refers to amount and importance of resources involved in the rel
      • if resources would decline or be lost at the end of a rel, commitment will be higher
      • resoures could include: children, shared friends etc
    • Variables linked to commitment:
      • EQUITY: degree of 'fairness' in a rel. Inequity = dissatisfaction and less commitment and vice versa
      • SOCIAL SUPPORT: degree of care and assistance provided by others (family & friends). If others approve of rel, commitment = higher
    • Research
      • RUSBULT - although inconsistent, females often reported higher sat levels, poorer scores for qual of alt, greater invests and stronger commitment. Suggests there may be gender diffs - females show more commitment and dependence than males
      • RUSBULT - commitment in rels = positively correlated with sat level and invest size, but negatively corr with quality of alt . Supporting all 3 factors
      • RUSBULT - support for all factors of model in homosexual rels and marital rels - model explains commitment in variety of rels
      • VAN LANGE - support for all factors in Taiwanese PPs, RUSBULT with Dutch PPs. Cross cultural validity
    • Evaluation (A03)
      • model's focus on commitment was better indicator of long-term maintenance in rels than equity theory
      • can explain why people remain in abusive rels - cost of losing = too great with no possible alts
      • can explain infidelity - low sat level in current rel, but higher sat level for alt rel. Commitment then erodes
      • research supports model -> is highly reliant on self-report -> social desirability bias, researcher bias -> dounbt of validity of results


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