Relationships Essay Plans for A2 Psychology AQA A

Relationship Essay Plans

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  • Created by: Nida Dyer
  • Created on: 08-01-12 18:06
Preview of Relationships Essay Plans for A2 Psychology AQA A

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The Formation Of Relationships
A relationship is an encounter with another person or with other people
that endure through time.
This essay looks at how that relationship is formed ­ how it started.
Three different theories; reward/need satisfaction theory, the filter
model and the similarity model.
Paragraph 1 ­ Reward/Need Satisfactory Theory:
Theory is developed by 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.
May and Hamilton 1980 ­ asked female students to say how they liked
the look of male strangers whose photographs they were given. 3
groups, one saw picture of men with pleasant music, second saw with
unpleasant music and third with no music. Group that saw pictures with
pleasant music rated the men the highest.
Gender bias ­only looked at females
Individuals might have genuinely found males more attractive.
Demand Characteristics
Paragraph 2 ­ Filter model:
Theory proposed by Davis et al
Says that relationships develop through different filters ­ different
factors are important at different times.
People are narrowed down through the filter to those who you consider
potential partners.
First filter is social variables such as proximity, ethnicity, religion and
social class.
Second filter is attitudes and values such as ideas, beliefs interest and
Third filter is emotional needs, which includes how they fit together,
are emotional supportive etc.
Research conducted on students by Gruber et al found that students
who filtered through the first filter lasted longer in a relationship.
Population validity ­ difficult to generalize ­ only students

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Reductionist ­ doesn't take into account their attitudes.
Paragraph 3 ­ Similarity:
Devised by Clore et al
Proposes the idea that you would last longer with someone with similar
Reis conducted an experiment and found that people who marries
people with similar traits as them lasted longer than those who didn't.
Individual differences
Reductionist ­ doesn't take into account reward/need theory.…read more

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The Maintenance Of Relationships
A relationship is an encounter with another person or with other people
that endure through time.
This essay looks at how relationships last and why they do.
Three theories ­ social exchange theory, matching hypothesis and
equity theory.
Paragraph 1 ­ Social exchange Theory:
Thibaut and Kelley 1959 devised this theory that involves rewards and
costs satisfaction.
Assumes that everyone tries to maximize their reward and minimize
costs ­ e.g.…read more

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Stafford and Canary 2006 asked 200 couples to compete measures of
equity and relationship satisfaction. Satisfaction was highest for spouses
who perceived their relationship to be equitable.
Culture bias ­ USA is individualistic society with economic standards so
will be different
Men and woman can judge equity differently ­ individual differences.
Deterministic.…read more

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Relationships In Different Cultures
A relationship is an encounter with another person or with other people
that endure through time.
Psychologists have discovered important difference between the US and
western cultures such as India and China.
Paragraph 1:
Feature of western culture is that we live in urban setting with
geographical and social mobility ­ interact with many people on a daily
basis and therefore western cultures are characterized with a high
degree of choice and greater pool of potential relationships.…read more

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Reductionist ­ doesn't take into account other cultures.
Argyle et al did a comparison I relationships from different cultures and
found some similarities but no supports for the claim that gift exchange
is placed at a higher importance in Japan then in Britain.…read more

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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
1. Pre existing doom- incompatibility and failure are pre destined e.g.
17-year-old school girl marrying 50 year old teacher.
2. Mechanical failure ­ two suitable people of good will and nature but
cannot live together.
3. Sudden death ­ betrayal, infidelity, death etc.…read more

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Paragraph 3:
Differences between homosexual and heterosexual relationships.
Cohabitation (living together) is much less common for homosexuals
than heterosexuals ­ Peplau 1982 found less common in lesbians and
much less in gays.…read more

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The Influence Of Childhood And Adolescent Experiences On Adult
A relationship is an encounter with another person or with other people
that endure through time.
What we experiences as children and adolescents has said to have an
impact on our future relationships.
Paragraph 1:
The relationship a child has with his parent influences their
relationships later in life.…read more

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Popularity validity - Many studies take place in the US with a small
sample ­ difficult to generalize universally.
Deterministic ­ If infant relationship is not secure, adult relationship
cannot be either is what the research suggests.…read more



What kind of grades did you get with these essays? :)

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