Formation of relationships

Look at reward/satisfication model and matching hypothesis

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Reward/need satisfication model (AO1)

This model suggests that in order for relationships to be formed we must be motivated. We are motivated if the relationship gives us something we want/need, so that we continue to develop the relationship. Operant conditioning suggests that we repeat behaviours with positive outcomes and avoid those with negative outcomes. Therefore, Byrne and Clore suggest we enter relationships because we feel rewarded and have positive feelings. We may also associate a person with positive feelings due to  a event they met at. The positive event and person are therefore linked together. 

So the model is quite simple. 

1) We approach those who reward us.

2) Those who are with us at a pleasant event, who are then associated with a positive feeling. 

3) We avoid those who provide negative feelings.

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Reward/need satisfication model (AO2)

Griffitt and Guay (1969) Participants (ptps) completed a creative task, which was then evaluated by a experimenter. Then the ptps were asked to rate how much they liked the experimenter. The higher rating the experimenter gave, the more positive result they gained from the ptps.

Vietch and Griffith (1976) had ptps in a waiting room and listened to a radio broadcast that either reported good news (e.g. food prices going down) or bad news (e.g. food prices going up). They were then required to rate how much they person next to them (a stranger). Those who heard good news gave higher ratings.

Rozin et al (1986) found a shirt worn by a disliked person was less desirable compared to a shirt worn by a liked person. 

 Cunningham (1988) found men interacted more positively with a female confederate after watching a happy film, compared to those who watched a sad film. 

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Reward/need satisfication model (AO2/AO3)

The theory provides clear definitions and has clear empirical evidence supporting it. 

However, Duck (1992) argues that the studies lack ecological validity, as they were done under lab experiments and that they only look at a fraction of the relationship development. 

They also only look at reinforcement/association, but this is seen to be too simplistic/reductionist, there must be other factors or there would be too many relationships. A man may visit a prostitute and have a positive association, but will not go on to form a relationship. 

Hayes (1985) also argues that people like to give, as well as receive. 

This theory also ignores gender and cultural differences. Lott (1994) In some cultures the females will put the family before themselves and therefore go into a relationship that benefits the family, not them. 

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Matching hypothesis (AO1)

This theory suggests we seek and develop relationships with people of similar attractiveness, not the most attractive person. This will reduce the fear/chances of rejection. 

Walster et al (1966) (AKA computer dance study) had 752 ptps, who were measured by 4 independent judges on how attractive they were. The ptps were then required to fill in a questionnaire, they were told it was so that a computer could find them a partner. The real purpose of the questionnaire was so that they could rate them on similarity. Ptps were then randomly paired with a partner (men with women shorter than them) and during the dance ptps were asked to rate their date. The most attractive people were found to be the more deisred partners. This shows that appreance is more important than intellegence and personality. 

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Matching hypothesis (AO2/AO3)

However, the original computer dance study lacks ecological validity, as the study was brief and so any judgement may have been due to superficial characteristics and the sample is not representative, as the sample was of students. A follow up study (6 months later) found that those of similar attractiveness were likely to have continued dating. Walster and Walster (1969) repeated the study, but allowed to students to meet before the dance, so they could think about the qualities of the partner they wanted. The found that students prefered someone of similar attractiveness.

Murstein (1972) looked at photographs of dating and engaged couples and found they were similar in attractiveness. 

Murstein and Christy (1976) found that married couples were also similar in attractiveness. 

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Matching hypothesis (AO2/AO3)

The physical attractiveness of a person must not be over exaggerated in it's importance of the formation of relationships.

There are other factors that are important for long term relationships.

Also, because the ptps don't know much about the other people, it is uderstandable why they would base their judegement on the apperances. The hypothesis must also distinguish between idealistic and realistic choices in a partner (e.g. not going for celebraties).

Finally, studies have supported the matching hypothesis. Huston (1973) found that males who were guarenteed acceptance by a more attractive person would go for it, if they weren't they would go for someone of similar attractiveness. 

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Very good explanation, divided AO1/2/3, which is very helpful! 5/5

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