FORMATION - Rewards/Needs Satisfaction Theory

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FORMATION - Rewards/Needs Satisfaction Theory

AO1 - Byrne and Clore

  • attracted to people whose presence is rewarding to us and meets some of our needs
  • people have a range of needs - biologically based social needs (sex) and emotional needs (feeling of belonging)
  • theory is based on operant conditioning - ML to repeat behaviour that leads to desirable outcomes & vice versa
  • we enter relationships because the presence of some individuals is reinforcing (creates a positive feeling in us) making them more attractive
  • we also like people associated with pleasure - if we meet someone in a good mood we are more inclined to like them than if we are in a bad mood
  • balance of postive and negative feelings is crucial for relationships to form so relationships where positive outweigh negative feelings are more likely to develop and succed

IDAs: LIMITED - v simplistic as it is reductionist because it focuses solely on rewards and ignores other important factors eg attraction and also reduces relationships to be the repetition of pleasuarble behaviours when they are more complicated than this CULTURAL BIAS - Lott (1994) compared interactions of couples in a range of cultures, in most women are socialised into being more attentive to others needs rather than their own

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FORMATION - Rewards/Needs Satisfaction Theory AO2


  • FOR TOP- Griffit and Guay aimed to test that reward and reinforcement increase attraction, p's were evaluated on aa creative task by an experimenter and then asked to rate how much they liked the experimenter, the rating was highest when the experimenter had postitively evaluated (rewarded) p's performance

TAIL - positive reinforcement made them rate the experimenter higher

  • FOR TOP - Aron et al gave p's a self-report questionnaire asking about romantic love and measured brain activity, those who had measured highly on romantic love showed strong activity in areas of the brain, early stage, intense romantic love was associated with elevated levels of activity of dopamine

TAIL - supports as rewarded by partner and fulfilling needs making you happier

  • AGAINST TOP - Hays investigated student relationships finding that individuals favoured fairness and gave priority to rewarding the other person
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