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The formation of romantic relationships

S- One theory for the formation of relationships is the reward/need satisfaction theory by Byrne and Clore
1970. This theory states that we find people attractive if they are satisfying and gratifying. In our lives we come
across a lot of different stimuli, we…

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L-This supports the theory as it states reward regions are associated with romantic love which explains why
relationships begin and develop.
S-The similarity theory by Byrne, Clore and Smeaton (1986), the essence of this view is that similarity promotes
E-People first sort potential partners for dissimilarity, then from…

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The maintenance of romantic relationships
Social exchange theory ­ Thibaut and Kelley

PROFIT & LOSS ­ according to this theory, individuals attempt to maximise their rewards and minimise their
costs. In our society, people exchange resources with the expectation that they will earn a `profit'. Rewards
include: being cared…

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Equity theory ­ Walster et al

INEQUITY & DISTRESS ­ People strive to achieve fairness in relationships and feel distressed if they perceive
unfairness. Inequitable relationships exist when a person perceives that they ; give a great deal in a relationship
and get little in return or receive a…

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The breakdown of relationships
Three main reasons for relationship breakdown ­ Duck

1. LACK OF SKILLS - Some people lack interpersonal skills to make relationships mutually satisfying. These
include being poor conversationalist and poor at indicating interests in others. Others then perceive you as
not being interested in maintaining…

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A model of the breakdown by Rollie and Duck


The first phase begins when one of the partners become distressed with the way the relationship is going.
Inequitable relationships are more likely to create dissatisfaction, this realisation could lead to the first step in
the eventual breakdown of the…

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Sexual selection

In most sexually reproducing species males are more brightly coloured than their female counterparts, like the
example of the peacock's tail. Darwin explained how they helped enhance reproductive success. He came up
with his theory of sexual selection, describing two processes through which it took place.


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The logic of sexual selection explains how although being choosy require time and energy, the costs of mate
choice can even impair survival in some cases. The rationale behind sexual selection is that random mating is
essentially stupid mating. It pays to be choosy, as the genetic quality…

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Parental investment


The most obvious sex difference in human parental investment is that human males can opt out of parental
investment in a way that females cannot. As females devote a large part of their reproductive effort on
courtship and mating, this means they invest more. This leads to…

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Research support:

Extra-marital affairs:

The expense of childrearing means that females want to ensure good quality offspring so they don't waste
their efforts. One way to marry a man who has good resources and is caring, but shop around for good genes
through extramarital affairs with "studs" (attractive men…


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