Relationship essay plans

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The Formation of Relationships
AO1 Intro:
A relationship is an encounter with another person or with other people that
endure through time.
Two different theories; reward/need satisfaction theory and the similarity
AO1 Reward/Need Satisfactory Theory:
Byrne and Clore et al 1970
Proposes that we seek positive stimuli and avoid punishing stimuli for
example positive stimuli such as need for company, financial security and
attractive partner.
Rewarding stimuli produce positive feelings ­ make us happy, negative
stimuli produce negative feelings ­ make us unhappy.
Operant conditioning ­ likely to repeat any behavior that leads to a
desirable outcome - the person who creates that feeling in us, we are likely
to see them attractive.
Classical conditioning ­ associate happy feelings with people. For example if
you're in a happy mood and you meet someone, you associate that happy
mood with the person and vice versa.
AO2 Studies and Evaluation:
Griffit and Guay (1969) creative task, support for rewards. Found that
participants rated the experimenter higher when they were positively
Variation Griffit and Guay (1969) support for association. Found that
participants rated a bystander higher if positively evaluated.
Demand characteristics.
Laboratory study ­ lack mundane realism.
Aron et al. (2005) physiological support. Found activity in reward regions
of the brain were high in those who scored high on romantic love
Self-report techniques.
Aron et al. (2005) evolutionary explanation. Love at first sight used to
speed up mating process.
The theory only explores receiving rewards. Hays (1985) found we also
gain satisfaction from giving.
AO1 Similarity:
Byrne, Clore and Smeaton 1986
Proposes the idea that you are attracted to someone with similar traits.
Casper and Herbener (1990) found married couples who have similar
personalities are happier than couples with less similar personalities.
High mundane realism ­ conducted with real life couples.
AO2 Studies and Evaluation:
Lehr and Geher (2006) found participants were more attracted to similar
strangers. Even more if they thought the stranger like them.
Yoshida (1972) other factors are important, e.g. economic/self-concept

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Speakman et al. (2007) found that people choose partners with similar
levels of body fat.
Reductionist ­ doesn't take into account reward/need theory.
The Maintenance of Relationships
AO1 Intro:
A relationship is an encounter with another person or with other people that
endures through time.
Two different theories; social exchange theory and equity theory.
AO1 Social exchange Theory:
Thibaut and Kelley 1959
Assumes that everyone tries to maximize their reward and minimize costs ­
e.g.…read more

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Culture bias ­ can't be generalised to non-western cultures.
Steil and Weltman (1991) found men and woman judge equity differently.
Deterministic. If the relationship isn't perceived as equate
The Breakdown of Relationships
A relationship is an encounter with another person or with other people that
endure through time.
Duck in 2001 said there are three main factors that can breakdown a
AO1 Reasons for breakdown:
Duck 1999
Lack of skills such as poor conversation makes someone unrewarding.
Lack of stimulation is also unrewarding.…read more

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Grave-dressing process ­ partners organize past relationship life.
Publicise their own account of breakup and what if any nature of
relationship with ex partner.
5. Resurrection process ­ preparation for the future.
AO2 Studies and Evaluation:
Tashiro and Frazier (2003) support for resurrection process. Found that
undergraduates reported personal growth as well as emotional distress.
Self report techniques.
Age bias - students used as participants.
Ethical issues in breakdown research ­ privacy and confidentiality. E.g.…read more

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Buss (1989) support for differences in long-term mating preferences.
Found that women find resources attractive. Men are more interested in the
physical appearance of women. Men prefer younger women.
Lacks validity ­ gives indication of preferences rather than being real life.
Penton-Voak et al. (1999) found that women choose a man with a
womanised face (kindness) for long-term relationships. For a short-term
relationship and during the high conception rate of the menstrual cycle
women choose a man with a masculine face (high testosterone).…read more

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Anderson (1999) found that men did not discriminate between children
who were biologically theirs and those who were not.
Rowe (2002) suggested evolutionary approaches are reductionist. Males
paternal investment depends on social and personal factors.
The Influence of Childhood on Adult Relationships
A relationship is an encounter with another person or with other people that
endure through time.
What we experiences as children has been said to have an impact on our
future relationships.…read more

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Longitudinal study ­ can see changes in development
Fraley (1998) from a meta-analysis found a link between early attachment
type and later relationships.
However... it could be that the current relationship determines the
attachment type.
Reductionist ­ doesn't take into account evolutionary theory ­ survival and
AO1 Interactions with Peers ­ Childhood relationships:
Children learn from experiences with other children and their interactions.
It determines their own set of values and how they approach adult
Children's friendships are training grounds for adult relationships.…read more

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Epstein (2002) found low divorce rates for non-voluntary marriages and
partners claim to have fallen in love.
Myers et al. (2005) found no difference in happiness between arranged
marriages in India and non-arranged marriages in the US
In China noticeable increase in love matches and the process of families
choosing partner has declined from 70% to 10%.
Xiaohe and Whyte (1990) found Chinese women who married for love felt
better about themselves.…read more


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