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Psychology Unit 1


Strand A

Physical Attraction: Physical appearance is a major component into the formation of relationships
as they are often the first thing we see. This is an especially important factor in romantic or sexual
relationships, `mate selection'. Although this is an important influence, there are many…

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Their hypothesis was not support, the better looking the partner had been assessed to be
the more the partner was liked. Furthermore, the matching hypothesis is not necessarily
correct. Physical attraction was the only important factor, when qualities were not included.

Theories of Formation


Natural selection operates to produce…

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Men and women bring different physiological mechanisms to a relationship and reproduction, so
each sex has evolved separately developing strategies for reproductive success.

Males produces many sperm, whilst females only produce one egg

Males do not need to contribute much to the process, while females go through a difficult

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Sergios and Cody (1985) ­ using Walster et al's blind date technique ­ found that gay men to be
just as interested in physical attraction, as heterosexual men and women, without singling them all for
reproductive success

Speculation: The genetic evidence for this theory have not been found (yet)?


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Evaluation of the Reinforcement/Affect Theory

Widely concerned with socialisation and learning rather than evolutionary, because unlike
the evolution theory this is based on scientific clear definitions of terms, and laying out clear
predictions which is also supported by much evidence

The theory largely focuses on the social/external/environmental influences than our…

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Limited application ­ only applies to those relationships which we choose ­ voluntary

Assumption of selfishness ­ we only like people because of the please which the generate
but what about the later stages of relationship development? When we start taking an


Sometimes called `propinquity', proximity means…

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There is convincing evidence suggesting that people who are similar to one another are more likely
to be attracted and form relationships. `Birds of a feather flock together' or `opposites attract'?

Students ­ socialise more, drink more (drinking patterns may be an important factor),
different life styles to `normal'…

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Selfdisclosure and Reciprocity

Selfdisclosure is the sharing of personal and intimate details with another person about ourselves.
Reciprocity is something, which is returned, for example, two individuals sharing intimate details
about themselves.


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This is paradoxical because social psychologists have concentrated on trying to discover
general laws and principles that are applicable to everyone and all relationships. This has
confined them to experimental studies that are good at simplifying and classifying the causally
connections between narrowly defined variables, but poor at grasping the…


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