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Psychology A2 Unit 3
Relationships, Eating Behaviour and
Social Cognition…read more

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Formation, Maintenance and Breakdown

Slide 3

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Explaining the formation of relationships
· A01 points include:
· The Filter model
by Kerckhoff and Davies
· Reward/Need Theories proposed by
Clark and Mills (proposing that the
formation of a relationship is a movement
from an exchange relationship to a communal relationship in terms of giving and
receiving rewards)
Byrne and Clore (attraction to people who meet our needs whether they be financial or
emotional, rewards by feeling happy doing things with that person (operant conditioning)
or by associating happiness with a specific person (classical conditioning)
· Other theories
Contact ­ Shown by Bossard, Phillipino partners live near each other
Match hypothesis ­ Proposed by Murstein, similar levels of attractiveness in dating
Self Disclosure - Duck and Miell, the formation of relationships occurs over stages of
building trust and sharing information.…read more

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A02 points include:
· Filter Model
-Tested using their own longitudinal study
-Each individual factor has been tested individually such as Gruber-Baldini. Schaie and Willis
(longitudinal study of importance of similarities)
-Shows importance of meeting needs (Smith and Mackie)
-Demonstrates individuality in relationship choices supporting Moghadamm's original
· It does not show how dynamic relationships really are and assumes they all follow linearly
like this
· This assumes all relationships form for the same reason which removes obvious
· Reward/Need
-Cate et al found that meeting needs was the most important factor in relationship
satisfaction advocating their importance
-I.D.A. Too reductionist.
Other points
· Cultural Bias All studies performed in white western situations, does not explain
relationship formation in collectivist cultures
· Rosenbaums repulsion hypothesis…read more

Slide 5

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Explaining the maintenance of relationships
· A02 points include
· Social Exchange Theory (Howmans, he argued that in order to
stay in relationships people focused on the factors of profit
and loss and the comparison level)
· Development in terms of `Interdependence Theory' Thiabaut
and Kelley- comparison levels and comparison levels of
· Equity Theory (Walster, Ratio of inputs and outputs)
· Investment model (Rusbalt and van Lange, In addition to other
satisfaction markers and outputs the previous investment
placed in the relationship in terms of emotional or financial
investments leads people to stay in relationships)…read more

Slide 6

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· Social Exchange Theory
-Stafford and Canary conducted an experiment strongly linking equity and relationship
-Does not explain why some women stay in relationships which are abusive as this is not
equal in inputs and outputs
-Argyle argued that people do not monitor relationships till they become unsatisfactory
· Interdependence Theory
-People may not necessarily always compare their relationships with potential others be
-Views people as entirely self centred when there may be other factors causing people to
stay in relationships such as family ties (links to cultural bias)
· Investment Theory
-Able to explain why abusive relationships may still be considered a `profit scenario'
Rusbult and Martz, Rhahgan and Axom
Cultural Bias personal investment is more important in Western, Individualistic Cultures
Methodological Issues, most of the points made in the economic theory's are hard to
objectify and many represent abstract concepts such as `emotional investment'
-Clark and Mills argue that in communal relationships equity becomes less important…read more

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