Relationships Notes.

Notes i made for Aqa's Psychology unit 3 topic relationship. Few things missing such as parental investment and sexual selection. Enjoy and Good luck!

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Reasons for relationship breakdown
Lack of skills, People may lack interpersonal skills. May not be conversationalist and
stuggle to indicate their interest in other people. Duck `this lack of social skills may be
interpreted as not being interested so the relationships may breakdown before it gets
Lack of Stimulation, Social exchange theory says people look for rewards (one being
stimulation). Lack of stimulation could be a reason for breakdown. Baxter `lack of
stimulation (boredom/ feeling that the relationship is going nowhere) is often quoted
when breaking off a relationship. It is expected that a relationship will change and
develop, when this doesn't happen it is seen as sufficient justification to end the
relationship or begin another (have an affair)
Maintenance difficulties, in some situations relationships come under strain simply
because partners cannot see each other enough (e.g. going to University) this is often a
reason for breakdown. Shaver et al enduring romantic relationships can be strong
enough to survive distance however this isn't always the case.
Affairs are a major reason why relationships breakdown.
Research showed affairs might be a direct reaction to the perceived lack of skills and/or
stimulation in the current relationship. Undergraduates asked to rate various
sexual/emotional reasons for men/women to be unfaithful.
Men = sexual reasons (Boredom, excitement, variety)
Women= Emotional reasons (Lack of attension/commitment & emotional satisfaction)
Long Distance Romantic Relationships (LDRR)& Long Distance Friendships (LDF) are more
common than we think.
70% students experienced a LDRR, 90% had Experienced a LDF
Research found little decrease in the relationship satisfaction as long as the lovers were
able to see each other regularly.
Model of Breakdown (Rollie and Duck)

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Breakdown. One of the partners becomes distressed about the way the
relationship is conducted. `I can't take this anymore'
2. Intrapyschic Processes. A brooding focus on partners `faults' and their own
costs, Alternatives re-evaluated. Nothing is said to the partner, although
the dissatisfied partner may express their dissatisfaction in other ways e.g.
Personal diary entry
3. Dyadic Processes. Partner is confronted. Hostility, anxiety, complaints. Unhappiness
is discussed. Goals, possibilities and commitments are reassessed. Relationship
could be saved at this point.
4. Social Processes.…read more

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Matching hypothesis.
Forming relationships with someone equally as attractive `a good match'
Affects same sex friendships, couples, cohabitants etc.
Less attractive people may be trading other assets (humour, wealth, status)
Walster got people at a dance to rate each other on physical attractiveness. Then asked who
would they like to take home. Most people chose someone who was rated more attractive
than themselves, NOT as the MH predicts.…read more

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Social exchange theory.
Rewards and costs.
Rewards = Money, status, affection
Costs = Commitment, time, energy, Money, loss of other potential romances.
Relationships are formed by two individuals weighing up the potential costs and
rewards of being involved with the other.
REWARDS > COSTS = Profitable = formation
Individuals try to maximise rewards and minimise costs.
The four stages of SET
1. Sampling checking the rewards/costs across a range of potential relationships
2. Bargaining negotiating costs, exploring rewards
3.…read more

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Reward/need theory. (SET ALSO EXPLAINS
This theory states that we become attracted to people through
classical or operant conditioning:
Operant conditioning: Rewarding stimuli provoke positive feelings in us, so we are more
likely to be attracted to them. Punishing stimuli provoke negative feelings in us, so we are
more likely to avoid these people in the future.
Classical conditioning: We associate certain people with positive events e.g.…read more

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X Aron Et al; Suggests that whole reward/need process evolved to speed up the process of
finding a mate.
X Most studies are done in the lab = lack mundane realism
Individualistic cultures; emphasis on `I' more than `we'. Individual rights and
goals seen as more important than group goals. Dependence is not see as
Collectivist cultures; the group is valued more than the individual
responsibilities to the group are seen as more important than individual
desires. Interdependence is valued.…read more

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In Japan (collectivist) they found more evidence of rules which stressed
obedience to superiors and maintenance of group harmony.
Sub cultural relationships
1. Friendships; Friendship is more important to middle classes than working
classes, who rely more on family relationships.
+ Shucksmith; found evidence that young people from Middle
class backgrounds spend longer in mixed sex groups.
This may be due to the fact that they anticipate a longer period
before they `settle down' as middle class children are more likely
to go to uni.…read more

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1. Resources; Women seek men who offer resources it is innate, as in evolutionary
terms women need the men to provide
i. When a man was placed in a shop window and perceived not to be
wealthy he was rated less attractive as when he was place in the
window looking rich.
2. Physical appearance; men prefer low hip to waist ratio, it indicates fertility.
Additionally it's been found women like a taller man.
i.…read more

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Males can opt out of parental investment in a way females cannot.
Females invest more; human infants are born immature due to enlargement of the skull
and so are more dependent on others than animals. Additionally many human mothers
breastfeed their young and so are more burdened by the time of childcare resulting from
this immaturity. Females therefore make a greater contribution in postnatal care.…read more

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Internal Working Model;
Provides the child with a framework of how relationships work and informs beliefs
and understanding of themselves and others.
Experiences with adults help the child to realise whether or not they are lovable.
The child learns whether or not adults are trust-worthy = development of attachment style.
The continuity hypothesis;
The relationship the child has with their primary caregiver provides the basis for their later
adult relationships.
Hazan and Shaver, love quiz.…read more


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