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Scientific study of how relationships form has shown that, in the initial stages at least, this process more to do with self-interest and little to do with shared emotions.

Reward/Need satisfaction theory (BYRNE & CLORE): attracted to people who we find satisfying or gratifiying --> Principles of operant conditioning: repeat behaviour desirable outcome, avoid behaviour undesirable outcome --> therefore, enter relationships b/c individual associated w/direct reinforcement (i.e. +ve feelings) thus attractive --> Furthermore, attraction through association (classical conditioning) .. associate people w/pleasant event (i.e. saving of life)

SUPPORT from GRIFFIT & GUAY: if P's positively reinforced (good mark on test) rating for experimenter high

ARON offered physiological support for link b/twn reward & formation of R.R: intense romantic love associated w/elevated level activity in brain --> scientifically objective evidence = replicability, reliability & generalisability --> Adaptive value: brain reward system .. drive ancestors focus on courtship energy on specific individ.

CATE: reward level best predictors of relationship satisfaction

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formation of RR II

H/W HAYS found issue with narrowness of the examination of rewards--> Some people greatly satisfied giving  as well as receiving

Reward/Need satisfaction theory subject CULTURAL BIAS: cultural & gender diffs. in formation of R.R --> LOTT: many cultures women focused need of others than receiving reinforcement--> theory not universal explana. of relationship formation .. imposed etic

BYRNE, CLORE & SMEATON: similarity import. predictor of R.R formation --> Two stages in model: 1. people sort potential partners for dissimilarity (avoid personality/attitudes too diff. from their own) --> 2.from the ones remaining..choose somone most similar to themselves --> Model emphasises similarity of personality/attitudes --> time progresses people's attitudes towards thing simmilar 'attititude alignment'

CONDON SUPPORTS view similarity importnat in terms of R.R formation--> People similar to us likely to like us .. lessens rejection --> When people share our attitudes & beliefs .. validates them .. is rewarding & relates to reward/need satisfaction theory --> H/W ROSENBAUM dissimlarity rather than similarity import. factor determining relationship development --> Dissimilarity-repulsion hypothesis tested in diff. cultures e.g SINGH Singapore --> It est. that P's 1st attracted b/c similarity attitudes .. as got to know...

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formation RR III

..each other better those who discovered more dissmilarities than similarities less attracted to each other

Research into similarity & dissmilairty limitations as only dealt w/attitude & personality similarities --> Yoshida: this represents narrow view of factors import. in relationship formation w/factors such as similarity of self-concept, economic level, physical condition equally import. --> Speakman: people choose partners w/similar levels of body fat

RESEARCH METHODO: Lab studies=dont really show principles of need satisfaction & similarity apply to real life .. lack mundane realism ..DC's = S.D--> H/W some conducted on real-life coupl & tended to support these claims.

CULTURAL BIAS: doesn't account for gender & cultural diffs. -->LOTT: many cultures women more focused on needs of others than receiving reinforcement --> Thus, this theory not universal explanation of formation of R.R & therefore culturally biased 

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Rhianna Price


Have you written an essay on this yet? You're the only one I've found who's using the same textbook as me useful! Thank you! 

Princess Natasha Daniel


Yes I have but it didnt get 24/24 it got 20/24..

The trick to the exam is to average 15/16 on each essay to get an A anyway!

I will upload my essay if it will be of any use to you :)

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