Formation of Relationships

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  • Created by: EClou
  • Created on: 22-02-16 12:40

AO1 - Formation of Relationships


  • Byrne and Clore (1970) - most stimuli in our env. are reinforcing/punishing
  • OP. CONDIT. attracted to ppl who are gratifiyng to be around - provide direct +ve reinf.  - eg security - tf we repeat beh. to get reward - relationship = pos reinf - person gets more attracive
  • reinforcing things about others fill unment need you dont have (e.g. financial) - mutual attraction = meet eachother's unmet needs
  • CLAS. COND. - attracted to ppl associated w/ +ve events ie if we meet them in a gd mood caused by e.g. compliment. - person = neutral stim.
  • blance betw. +ve and -ve feelings = V. imp. - to form relat. +ve must outweigh -ve


  • Murnstein (1972) - once ppl aware of eachother phys attract. plays part in attention
  • com. of architectural/phys/dynamic factors.
  • in early attraction v imp. ppl are similar level of attractivness
  • we still desire most phys. attractive ppl but look for those a similar level to us to avoid mate loss/rejection
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AO2 - Formation of Relationships

Reward/Need Theory:

  • + Griffit and Guay (1969) - ps evaluated on creative task by expmntr + then rated liking of expmntr  - higher rating = higher evaln - direct. reinf. = attraction - repeated w/ onlooker - onlooker also rated higher when ps evaluated higher - assoc. = indir. reinf.
  • - investigator effects
  • + Aron et al - ps tht measure high on self-rep quest. of romantic love showed strong act. in ventral tegmental area - assoc. w/ dopamine. ++ biolog. sup.
  • +Aron et al 2005 - also suggested ev. expl - brain reward system - evolved to speed up mating process 

Matching Hypothesis:

  • +Murstein- couples rated each others phys. attractiveness (PA) - engaged = ++ sim. ratings than random couples - equal market value for PA = ++ assoc. w/ intimate relat.
  • + not gender spec/aronson found same w/ gay couples/good ext. val
  • +Silverman 1971 - young obs. teams obsrvd coupls in nat. dating env. and rated opposite sex PA - high sim. betw PA of cple members - the ++ sim the ++ intimate +happy
  • +eco val/reduced DC  -halo effect/observer bias/poor hist. val
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AO3 - Formation of Relationships

IDAs - Reward/need Theory:

  • cultural bias  - only explained in western cultures where individuals choose own partner - doesn't account for collectivist cultures - relat form. guided/decided by parents + Lott - many cultures women = more focused on meeting others needs regardless of reinf.
  • mundane realism - much research = lab - doesn't reveal possible environmental factors/how principles apply to real life/ limited generalisability

IDAs - Matching Hypothesis:

  • Reductionism - only explains relat. form. in terms of PA - doesn't take into account "complex matching" - Hatfield and Spreecher's other reasons - e.g. hugh heffner + hoes - doesn't consider role of 3rd parties i.e reaction/opinion of friends and family
  • Cultural bias - western civ only - arranged marriages had diff value factors e.g. financial
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