The Investment Model of Relationships

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  • The Investment Model of Relationships
    • Investment size: A measure of resources attached to the relationship, which could be lost
      • E.g. PPL invest time + energy in a relationship, they share friends, take on shared possessions or give things of value to each other
    • Satisfaction level: degree to which the current partner gratifies a P's needs
      • E.g. Current partner fulfilling domestic, compassionate and sexual needs
    • Quality of alternatives: A P's assessment of whether their needs may be better fulfilled by someone else
      • E.g. A better alternative could lead to terminating the current relationship
    • The model emphasises the importance of satisfaction, investment size + quality of alternative
    • Commitment level: The likelihood that a P will continue in a relationship
      • E.g. high satisfaction, low quality of alternatives + high investment
    • Le + Agnew (2003)
      • The three factors were all highly correlated with commitment
      • 1970s to 1990s, 11,000 Ps from 5 countries (US, UK, Netherlands, Israel,Taiwan)
      • Satisfaction + commitment = .68
      • Meta-analysis of 52 studies which looked at the components of investment
      • Quality of alternatives + commitment = -.48
      • Investment + commitment = .46
    • Evaluation
      • Application: Has been supported in different cultures and populations (marriage, sexuality, friendships + abusive relationships)
      • Research: Le found that over 33 years the factors could be used to predict relationships
      • Future investment: future plans must be included e.g. marriage and children
      • Measuring variables: It is hard to measure commitment and other variables so a scale was devised which was reliable.
      • Abusive relationships: too many investments + a lack of alternatives.


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