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The formation, maintenance and
breakdown of romantic relationships
AQA A, Chapter 3…read more

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Reward/ need satisfaction model
Byrne and Clore
· Find relationships rewarding
­ Operant conditioning- direct reward
· Meet psychological/ biological needs
Argyle- individuals who are rewarding are liked the most
· Positive non- verbal signals provide positive reinforcement
· Alleviation of a bad feeling provides negative reinforcement
­ Classical conditioning- associations with pleasant
May and Hamilton- asked female students their opinion
of males in photographs. It was found that when
pleasant music was played in conjunction with being
shown the pictures the females liked the males better
· Life alone is unrewarding…read more

Slide 4

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Evaluation of the reward/ need
satisfaction model (Byrne and Clore)
· Giving and receiving reward
­ Hays- examining student friendships- as much value
placed on reward being given to another as being
rewarded themselves
· Limitations
­ Relationships in non western collectivist cultures
show little concern for receiving rewards
· Hill- kinship bonds are strong but require no reinforcement
· Gender differences
­ Lott- women are socialised to be more attentive of
others needs- rather than the needs of themselves
­ However meeting the needs of others may be
rewarding in its self…read more

Slide 5

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Matching Hypothesis
Walster et al.
· People tend to pair up with those who are similar in
terms of physical attractiveness
­ More socially desirable a person = more desirable partner
­ Couples who are matched = more likely to have enduring
· Realistic choices- Individuals are influenced by
desirability of a potential partner and by the
probability of the person saying yes
· Murstein- initial attraction depends on cues that
indicate social desirability
­ Accessible way to rate partner
· Initial attraction determined by comparison between
attractiveness of target and own level of attractiveness…read more

Slide 6

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Dance study- Walster
· American undergraduate students
­ Believed they were being matched with their date
­ In fact- they were randomly put into partners
· Success of pairings were assessed
· Questionnaires given at 2 intervals ­ during the dance and 6
months after
· Before the dance
­ More attractive students expected more attractive
· However- all students reacted more positively to attractive
dates ­ more likely to ask for future dates
­ Intelligence and personality had very little effect…read more

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