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A relationship is defined as `an encounter with
another person that endures through time'
Our relationships can have a massive impact on
our lives which is why psychologists study them
There are three stages to a relationship;
Breakdown (at times)…read more

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The two main theories put forward to explain the
formation of relationships are;
Matching Hypothesis (Murstein)
Reward/Need Satisfaction Model (Bryne and
Clore)…read more

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Matching Hypothesis
Main Thinker - Murstein
People that are in committed relationships tend to be
similar in terms of their social desiriability
It is based on two main hypotheses;
1. If a person is more socially desirable then they will have
higher expectations with who they will be matched
with ­ another socially desirable person
2. Couples who are matched on social desirability are
more likely to be happier than those who are
In regards to formation people will try to form a
relationship with someone who is less likely to reject them
but who they still find attractive…read more

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Dance Study - Walster
Walster told 752 university students that they had been matched with a date at
a dance when in fact they had randomly been paired up
Findings showed that people reacted more positively to those that were more
attractive and this was the main reason for their being any follow up dates; not
traits such as intelligence and humour
· By matching people up in a night club, which is a very loud
environment, it is inevitable that they are going to judge
their dates on physically attractiveness as it would be
difficult to have a conversation
· Only done on students who may be more immature in the
way they approach relationships
· Lacks ecological validity as the partners were not matched in
the same way they would in reality…read more

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Murstein's Correlations
Rated the physical attractiveness of each partner in
Each person was rated by a number of different judges in
order to rule out bias
They found that partners were similar in terms of their
social desirability
Cavior and Boblett ­ found a stronger matching in
physical attractiveness in those that were in committed
relationships than those in casual relationship…read more

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