RELATIONSHIP Revison notes AQA- I missed out human reproductive behaviour

My Relationships Revison Notes For Jan 29th Exams

Two Theories On Formation and Maintenance (Reinforcement/Affect theory and Social Exchange Theory)

The Breakdown of Relationships Duck And Lee

The Influence Of Childhood Experiences and Adolescence on Adult Relationships

Nature Of Culture On Relationships

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Reinforcement/Affect theory was developed by Bryne and Clore and is based on the learning theory
(Classical and Operant conditioning)
Classical Conditioning- Learning by association
Operant Conditioning-Learning by reinforcement (Punishments and Rewards)
They are not entirely separate as they work together to a certain extent like, we might initially make
a pleasurable association to an event (Classical Conditioning) and because that event was pleasurable
(Rewarding) we engage in similar behaviours again to gain that rewarding feeling.
Formation- The reinforcement/affect theory suggests that we are attracted to people and wish to
form relationships with them, if their company is rewarding to us in some way and making us feel
good when their company is no longer rewarding the relationship may as well come to an end. A
relationship will develop if we are experiencing positive emotions with someone around us at the
time like if you meet a person that makes you laugh this results in you experiencing positive emotions
so you may wish to spend more time with them because you now associate them with good feelings
and you wish to continue to experience these positive feelings so you engage in courtship
behaviours, the R/A theory also suggests that a person does not have to be the direct cause of the
positive feeling environmental factors and physical factors (Attractiveness) influence.
E.g. if you meet someone at a party( under pleasant circumstances) then you are more likely to have
positive feelings towards them than if you met them at gun point (unpleasant)
For the relationship that was formed through reward of positive feelings to be MAINTAINED, the
relationship has to keep producing these feelings also as relationships mature those in them may
start to require different things than the rewarding feeling that put it together in the first place so
the FLEXIBILITY of how the relationship RESPONDS to these changes in needs determine the level of
Research into the reinforcement/affect theory suggests that having a positive or negative affect can
alter the degree to which we find someone attractive. If a happy or positive affective is generated a
person feels positively toward recipients of their affections, a negative mood does the opposite .
MAY & HAMILTON (1980) asked their female participants to rate photographs of unattractive and
attractive males under 3 experimental conditions: whilst listening to rock music (meant to produce a
positive effect), listening to avant- garde music (meant to produce a negative affect (or in silence.
They found that assessments of physical attractiveness were influenced by the music because
photographs in the rock music condition were evaluated as more attractive than photos viewed
whilst listening to avant- garde music.
Rozin Millman and Nemeroff (1986) conducted a LABORATORY experiment where participants were
asked to smell a shirt won by either a liked or a disliked person, they found that a shirt was

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Criticisms of reinforcement/affect theory
Research evidence to support reinforcement/affect theory may lack ecological validity because the
study was conducted in laboratory settings and variables were controlled.
The reinforcement/ affect theory is very simplistic because it deals with complex issues by reducing
the behaviours to a set of rewards and associations so therefore it could be argued that it is
reductionist.…read more

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EG when attention starts coming to a woman from her boyfriend and she finds that she's the one that has to
keep calling and texting for his attention and loving that he gave at the start she may start to wonder if the
relationship is worth keeping.
A strength of SET is that it has supporting evidence provided by Rusbult. College students in
heterosexual relationships were asked to complete questionnaires over a 7-month period.…read more

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Breakdown Of Relationships
According to Duck relationships go wrong because
1. Preexisting doomIncompatibility and failure are almost predestined( For example 17 year old
marrying a 50 year old)
2. Mechanical failure two suitable people who find they cannot live together
3. Sudden Death the discovery of infidelity or betrayal can lead to the immediate termination of a
romantic relationship.
Duck's (1988) model of the dissolution of relationships
· Intrapsychic phase ­ one of the partners or friends becomes increasingly dissatisfied with the
relationship.…read more

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Lee's (1984) stages in the breakdown of relationships
Lee found the following stages from a survey of 112 breakups of premarital romantic
relationships. He found that the relationships that had been the strongest took the longest
time to work through the five stages.…read more

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The Influence of Childhood and adolescent experiences on adult relationships.
Attachment theory represents a major way of trying to understand the influence of childhood and
adolescent experiences on adult relationships
Hazen and Shaver: Aim of their study was to explore the possibility that attachment theory offers a
valuable perspective on adult relationships.
Attachment Style Caregiver& Infant ADULT BEHAVIOUR
SECURE (TYPE B) Caregiver's responsive to Develop Mature, trusting and
infants needs, Infant trusts long lasting Adult
their caregiver and are not relationships.…read more

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The relationship between attachment style and later adult relationships has been demonstrated in a
number of studies. Fraley (1998) conducted a metaanalysis of studies, finding correlations from
0.10 to 0.50 between early attachment type and later relationships. However, one key question concerns the
stability of attachment types. It could be that an individual's attachment type is determined by the current
relationship, which is why happily married couples are secure.…read more

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Divorce is allowed in western societies because relationships are temporary and it is based on the
relationship, if the relationship the marriage is based on is destructing then it is fine to divorce.
Western cultures value CHANGE AND NEW THINGS.…read more


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