Relationships Unit 3 - PSYA3

Psychology AQA A2 Unit 3 Relationships - PSYA3

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PSYA3 ­ AQA Psychology Unit 3 Revision -Relationships
Reward/Need Satisfaction Theory:
Byrne and Clore asked people why they were attracted to their partners and they all said
things like their partner being attentive, supportive etc
Shows we are attracted to people who find it satisfying or gratifying to be with
Most stimuli can be seen to be rewarding or punishing and we seek rewarding ones while
avoiding punishing ones
Mutual attraction occurs when each partner meets the others needs whatever they may be
Due to operant conditioning we are most likely to repeat behaviour that leads to desirable
outcome etc
Bryne and Cole's theory suggests that we enter relationships on this basis which makes
them attractive to us
Attraction through association means that we like people who we share pleasant
experiences with
This can be where we met them or our mood when we met them etc which make a
previously neutral stimulus become positively valued
Relationships where the negative feelings outweighed positive were more likely to fail
This is supported from experiments by Griffith and Guay where participants were
evaluated with a creative task and asked by experimenter to rate how much they liked
The rating was higher when experimenter had positively evaluated the participants
Second claim of the theory was that we like people associated with the pleasant event
Griffith and Guay also asked the participant to rate an onlooker who was also rated higher
when the performance of participant had been positively evaluated by experimenter
Physiological support shown by Aron et al who found that participants who measured high
on self report questionnaire of romantic love showed strong activity in particular parts of
Early-stage intense romantic love associated with elevated levels of active subcortical
reward regions of brain rich in dopamine
Cultural differences ­ Lott suggests that many cultures women are more focussed on needs
of others rather than receiving reinforcement
Evolutionary explanation shown by Aron suggests the brain reward system associated with
romance probably evolved to drive our ancestors to focus on courtship energy in order to
speed up the mating process
Mundane realism ­ most studies are lab studies and therefore its real life application is weak
However some research was on real life couples and they support these claims

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PSYA3 ­ AQA Psychology Unit 3 Revision -Relationships
Byrne, Clore and Smeaton suggest that people select partners by sorting potentials for
dissimilarity and avoid those who are too different leaving those similar
Byrne's model emphasises similarity of personality and attitudes
Personality ­ this is not always the case as there are couples who thrive on being opposites
but research suggests that similarity is often the case in long term relationships
This is shown by Caspi and Herbener who found married couples will similar personalities…read more

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PSYA3 ­ AQA Psychology Unit 3 Revision -Relationships
Exchange has been used to explain why people leave/stay in an abusive relationship
Rusbult and Martz argue that when investments are high (children, financial security) and
alternatives low this would be viewed as a profitable situation
Comparison level is supported by looking at how people deal with potential alternatives
One way being to reduce potential threats as a way of protecting relationship
Simpson asked people to rate members of opposite gender and those in a relationship…read more

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PSYA3 ­ AQA Psychology Unit 3 Revision -Relationships
Still concerns with equity but partners tend to believe it will balance out in the long run
How does the role of relationship equity come into marital disruptions
Demaris looked to see if they were associated with each other and found using a survey that
a woman's sense of being under-benefited would often lead to divorce
Equity theory has been rejected as a determinant of relationship satisfaction on the grounds
of it rendering the way married people…read more

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PSYA3 ­ AQA Psychology Unit 3 Revision -Relationships
Holt and stone found that there is little decrease in relationship satisfaction as long as
lovers reunite regularly
Gender differences such as women being more likely to stress unhappiness and
incompatibility as reasons whereas men are usually upset by sexual withholding
Women are happy to remain friends whereas men want to cut loose ends and move on
Duck's model of breakdown
Rollie and Duck split breakdown into two parts the first being the personal phases such…read more

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PSYA3 ­ AQA Psychology Unit 3 Revision -Relationships
Parental investment theory suggests that men evolve a desire for casual sex but females
aren't subjected to the same evolutionary pressure
Basically in a year a male will be able to impregnate many females and therefore passed on
more copies of his gene
However, in that same year a women will only be able to endure one pregnancy which limits
the amount of children she can have
Buss suggests that the less time a man permits before…read more

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PSYA3 ­ AQA Psychology Unit 3 Revision -Relationships
BUT for example Buss confirmed that men do choose younger women and when men
divorce they will go for an increasingly younger women
Parental investment theory
Sex differences:
Males have the ability to opt out of parental investment whereas females cannot
Females invest more ­ skull sizes adapted and therefore enlarged causing humans to give
birth before the infant is fully developed
Therefore babies are immature at birth and females have to feed and care for their…read more

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PSYA3 ­ AQA Psychology Unit 3 Revision -Relationships
When offspring are young and helpless it is in the interest of the parents to invest in the
helpless on rather than the older one who are less helpless
When children are older parents can best maximise their reproductive fitness by directing
resources towards the more helpless
This conflict is often most intense at the stage where the transfer begins with older children
attempting to prolong the primary focus being them for as long as possible
Sibling…read more

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PSYA3 ­ AQA Psychology Unit 3 Revision -Relationships
Non-westerns focus on interdependence and group goals and interests are main concern
Continuity and discontinuity - Chinese regard for heritage and ancestry and suspicion of
change and American culture has an emphasis on progress with change being inevitable and
This is consistent with the type of relationship found in western and non-western cultures
With permanent relationships in the non-western societies and change and discontinuity in
the west favouring temporary relationships
Norms and rules - These guidelines…read more

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PSYA3 ­ AQA Psychology Unit 3 Revision -Relationships
Evidence for universality of romantic love comes from Bartels and Zeki who claimed to
discovered a part of the brain which lights up on the fMRI of those in love
Important to distinguish cultural differences due to lab studies where people bring in cultural
baggage which has to be taken into consideration as could become an extraneous variable…read more


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