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Revision Notes ­ Relationships
Attraction and formation of relationships
Love and breakdown of relationships
Cultural and subcultural differences in relationships

1. Attraction and formation of relationships
1 a) Explanations and research studies relating to interpersonal attraction

Evolutionary Theory
Wilson (1975) ­ argues human sexual attraction and behaviour may be explained…

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Rozin, Millman & Nemeroff (1986) ­ Conducted lab exp. Where ppts were asked to
smell a laundered shirt worn by a disliked person and a liked person, unbeknown to them,
the same laundered shirt was used, showed the laundered shirt worn by the disliked person
was less desirable than the…

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Emphasises physical and geographical closeness which determines the interpersonal
Festinger et al (1950) ­ Married college students, randomly allocated across 17
university buildings.
Ppts asked to name their 3 closest friends ­ 65% of them lived in the same building, 41%
were actually next door neighbours
Those that…

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b) Theories relating to the formation/maintenance of relationships
S.E.T and equity = economic theories, both emphasise elements of giving and
Social Exchange Theory (S.E.T)
Individual in relationship strives for highest possible rewards at the lowest cost
(selfish view)
Rewards ­ companionship, being cared for,
Costs ­ emotions, financial costs…

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2. Love and the breakdown of relationships
a) Psychological explanations of love (e.g. triangular theory, love as attachment).
Beall & Stenberg (1995) ­ "It is difficult, if not impossible to answer the question `What
is love?' because any answer must reflect its time, period and place"
Rubin (1970) ­ Distinguished…

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b) Explanations (e.g. Lee, Duck) and research studies relating to the breakdown of
Holmes (2000) ­ Between + ½ of all marriages in Western societies = divorce.
According to Levinger (1976) ­ Argues chances of marriage surviving depends on 3
1. Attractions of the relationship ­ e.g. emotional…

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Cultural and subcultural differences in relationships.
a) Explanations and research studies relating to the nature of relationships in
different cultures (e.g. voluntary/involuntary, permanent/impermanent types of
Moghaddam et al (1993) ­ Relationships in Western societies tend to be
individualistic, voluntary + temporary. Those in the (Eastern) collectivist societies tend to…

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Hofstede (19801994) ­ Analysed data on work experience from over 100,000
employees, in 50 different countries. Contended over half of the variance was accounted for
by four dimensions:
1. Individualism/Collectivism ­
Individualist societies ­ strive for autonomy, independence, to be able to fend for
themselves, rather than family. `I' comes…

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b) `Understudied' relationships such as gay and lesbian and mediated relationships
Gay and Lesbian relationships
Was considered a disease which could be cured.
Featured on DSM as sexual deviation and became pathologised. (Sexologists and
psychiatrists were imposing their own cultural values).
Was illegal until 1960, in 1995 was decriminalised.

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Elridge & Gilbert (1990) lesbians look for a high degree of emotional intimacy and an
equitable balance of power
Jones & Bates (1978) ­ Gays want minimal conflict and want a high appreciation of each

Difficulties faced by same sex partners
Concealing a homosexual identity is known as `closeted'…


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