PSYA3 Psychology AQA Formation of Relationships

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  • Created on: 16-03-13 21:37
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Forming a romantic relationship
Reward/need satisfaction theory ­ Byrne and Clore
Attracted to people that we find satisfying or gratifying to be with (e.g attentive, supportive,
loving or good fun) ­ pleasant experiences
Stimuli in our lives rewarding or punishing: motivated to seek rewarding stimuli and avoid
punishing stimuli
Reward ­ unmet needs (e.g feeling lonely ­ partner is reward)
Mutual attraction ­ both provide unmet needs (e.g one provides financial security, other
provides love)
Repeating behaviour due to operant conditioning ­ more likely to stay with partner that is
rewarding ­ repeating behaviour that has desirable outcome
Relationships forming may be associated to the reinforcement of rewarding stimuli ­ more
attractive to us
More likely to like someone when with them during a happy experience, and vice versa
Neutral person becomes liked due to elevated mood, even though never met before
Person valued due to positive association with mood or event ­ classical conditioning
Relationships with more positive association than negative more likely to succeed and
Similarity ­ Byrne, Clore and Smeaton
Similarity promoting liking
2 distinct stages ­ "sort" through partners that have dissimilarity, avoiding personality traits
that are unliked, then "sort" through partners and chose the one most similar to themselves
Peole more likely to be attracted to others who have similar personality traits than those
with dissimilar traits ­ Berscheid and Reis
Some people don't follow rule ­ people may be with someone completely dissimilar
Married couples with similar personalities tend to be happier than couples with less similar
personalities ­ Caspi and Herbener
Research suggests "attitude alignment" ­ conflicting views tend to be modified so that they
become more similar, so that relationship can develop

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Evidence for importance of reward
Theory proposes that we like people due to direct reinforcement
Support ­ Griffit and Guay ­ participants evaluated on creative task by an experimenter, if
experimenter evaluated positively, participants were more likely to rate the experimenter higher if the
evaluation was positive
Evidence for need satisfaction through facebook use
Sheldon ­ greater facebook use was positively correlated with both positive and negative indicators
of relationship satisfaction.…read more


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