A2 Psychology Relationships

Human Reproductive Behaviour: Evolutionary Bases of Physical Attraction & Partner Selection
Forming Relationships: The Filter Model, Reward/Need Theories & Comparisons.
Economic Maintenance Theories: Social Exchange Theory, Interdependence Theory, The Investment Model & Equity Theory.  
Factors Effecting Relationships: Childhood & Culture.
Ending Relationships: Duck's 4 Stage Model.  

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  • Created by: Maisie
  • Created on: 14-05-12 20:37

Factors to consider when starting relationships.

1. Contact: Face to Face contact is best. 
Regular physical contact and familiartiy. 
Bossard 1932:
Surveyed couples waiting to get married in Philidelphia, approx. 50% lived withing walking distance. 

2. Physical Appearance.
Architectual features (way they are built) and Dynamic features (NVC/tone of voice, things you can't find in a picture.)
Murstein 1972:
'Match Hypothesis' is the tendancy to match with someone with a similar attractiveness to you. Supported by Silverman ('71) who rated couples in bars, results suggested similar attractive levels to both in the relationship. 

3. Similarity of attitudes/social background.
Byrne's Law of Attraction: We find people most attractive who share the same attitudes as us and more physically attractive people are similarly as attractive as you.  

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Evolutionary basis of physical attraction.

Facial types: 
Cunningham ('86) female's: Systematically varied sized of female facial features. Men most attracted to women with 'child like' features; small chin/nose and big eyes. As well as mature features such as cheekbones alongside wide smiles. 
Waynforth (2005) male's: Square jaw, rigid eyebrows and small eyes; symmetrical faces are preferred, especially women seeking a short-term partner. 
Langlois et al (2000) meta analysis: 919 stuidies on physical attractiveness. Agreement within cultures of who was attractive and who wasn't. Preference for attractive faces shown in early childhood (around 26 months.)

Waist to Hip Ratio:
Singh (1993) female WHR: Female W:H=0.7 producing an houglass figure. Preference exist despite cultural differences for curvy/skinny girls. 
Gross (2001) male WHR: Male W:H=0.85-0.9 wide shoulders to narrowing waist. 

Leg Length:
Pawslowski (2008): 218 males and females to rank attractiveness of 7 men and 7 women with digitally altered leg length, 5% longer leg length than average is most attractive.  

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Partner Selection.

Long Term Preferences: 
Dunbar and Waynforth (1995): 900 personal ads from a North American paper. Younger partner was important to under 50% of men compared to 25% of women. Physical attractiveness important factor to 44% of men and 22%

Cross Cultural Preferences:
Buss (1989): Partner preferences in men and women in 33 countries and 5 continents. 16-28 years; men valued young partners and physical attractiveness more than women did. Women value financial capacity of a potential partner; associate with success. 

Personal Quality Preferences:
Sprecher (1998): 'Desirable' personality of partner, reciprocal liking and similar attitudes/interests. Same qualities valued in friends. 

Homosexual Preferences:
Kenrick et al (1995): Age preferences of heterosexuals and homosexuals and how they resembled each other. 783 singles adverts taken from New York magazines, found similar preferences in straight and gay men. Happy with a partner who was up to 5yrs younger/older when in their 20's. Older the groups were, their preferences moved gradually younger. 

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Kerckhoff and Davis '62, Filter Model for Forming

Field of available's= Everyone you could be with.
Field of desirable's= People you would consider having a relationship with.


1st filter = Demographic: Meeting people in a similar social class and proximity to you. The closer they are, the more likely you are to be with them. 

2nd filter = Attitudes/Values: Sharing ideas/beliefs about general things i.e. children. Difference view points may be the filter.

3rd filter = Needs: How well do you meet the needs of the other person?  

- Longitudinal study of student couples who'd been together 18 months. Questionnaires @ 7mths = personality traits and attitudes similarity. Up to 18 mths attitudes are most important, after is complimenting one another's needs. 
But! It's done by the original theorists therefore there's potential observation bias. 

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Reward/Need Theories (Forming)

Clark and Mills: Exchange relationships vs. Communal relationships. 
* Only give if you receive; exchange relationship.
* Over time, you shift by not expecting something back; give them something and meet their needs without the expectation of something in return.

'Self Disclosure' is giving information about yourself; build on attitudes and values, start with the good stuff and then begin to let out the bad stuff. Builds trust and deepens a relationship.  

Duck and Miell '86:
* Every pair relationship; every self-disclosure event is regulated by norms.
1. What you discuss
2. When information is revealed.  

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