Relationships

What is natural selection?

Natural selection argues that animals should end up with physical and behavioural characteristics that allow them to perform well in competition with their rivals.    

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What is sexual selection?

  • This is where individuals possess features which make them more attractive to the opposite sex or help them compete with members of the same sex for access to mates. 
  • Darwin also argued that sexual selection should favour the evolution of special adaptations such as weapons, defensive organs & a whole range of subtle devices to threaten or deter rivals.
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What is intra-sexual selection?

Intra-sexual selection refers to competiton between members of the same sex for access to mates.

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What is inter-sexual selection?

Inter-sexual slecetion refers to the effects of choice on members of the opposite sex.

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What are the characteristics of female gametes?

  • Females produce only a few energy-rich larhe eggs and are only fertile 72 hours a month from puberty to menopause.
  • Women have to endure pregancy and lacation so have a large investment of energy in each offspring.
  • Maximum 1 offspring per 2 years.
  • The exact number of offspring is limited by access to resources that are needed for survival
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What are the characteristics of male gametes?

  • Large number of sperm produces and males are fertile every day from puberty until death.
  • Little energy is required- only that required for sperm production and mating.
  • Limited by access to fertile females.
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What characteristics are preferred by females?

  • Men with resources to provide for them.
  • Characteristics that may indicate resources such as intelligence or ambition.
  • Older men as they have had more time to gather resources.
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Why are women choosy?

The cost of a bad choice of partner is much greater as females have to invest so much time into producing offspring. Therefore, females are choosy about their partner.

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What characteristics are preferred by males?

  • Indicators of fertility
  • Youth
  • Curvy- indicates absence of pregancy/ larger bottom indicating fat reserves( could support offspring if food was scarce).
  • Physical attractiveness e.g. symmetrical faces indicate good genes and absence of disease.
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Why are men not choosy?

Males are more promiscuous and not choosy since the cost of a bad choice of female is small (only a few sperm are lost).

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What did Buss study?

He asked 9000 adults in 37 cultures across Africa, Europe, North America and South America about important characterisitcs using a questionaire survey.

He found evidence to support significant differences between the sexes. He found;

Women more than men valued earning potential (36/37 cultures).

Men more than women value physical attributes (34/37 cultures)

Women more than men value ambition and industriousness.

Men more than women value chastity.

Men prefer women younger than themsleves. Women prefer men older than themsleves. 

These results support the evolutionary theory as they are in agreement with evoluntionary theories predictions.

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What is sperm competition?

Competition between males does not end when they have mater with a female. Many chimpanzees will mate with each femlae thus she is likely to have spem of several males inside her reproductive tract at the same time.

This had led to selective pressure on males to produce more sperm with each ejaculate in order to compete effectively with rival sperm.

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What is self-disclosure?

This means revealing personal information about yourself. Romantic partners reveal more about their true sleves as their relationship develops. These disclosures about one's deepest thoughts and feelings can strengthen the romanitc bond when used appropriately.

Self disclosure has a vital role in a relationship beyond the inital attraction. Most people are careful about what they disclose, at least to begin with. Used wisely and effectively it can really help the course of true love run smoother.

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What is the social penetration theory?

This is a theory created by Altman and Taylor which determines the way in which realtionships develop.

It is the gradual process of revealing your inner slef to someone else, of giving away your deepest thoughts and feelings. In romantic realtionships, it involves the reciprocal exchange of information between intimate partners. When one partner reveals personal info they display trust; to go futher the other partner must also reveal something sensitive. 

As the partners increasingly disclose more and more info to each other, they penetrate more deeply into each other's lives and gain greater understandings of each other.

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What are the two elements of self disclosure ?

  • Breadth and Depth
  • As both of these increase partners should become more committed to each other. We disclose alot about ourselves at the start of a relationship but this is superficial information mostly.
  • Breadth of disclosure is narrow bevause many topics are off limits in the early stage of a relationhsip. If we reveal too much too soon we might be a bit TMI and dissolve the realtionship before it even begins.
  • As the relationship develops self disclosure becomes deepers and progressively we remove more nd more layers to reveal our true sleves and encmpass a wider range of topics.
  • Eventually we are prepared to point out painful memories, strongly helf beliefs,powerful feeling and secrets.
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What did Reis and Shaver point out?

  • For a relationship to develop, as well as increase in breath and depth there needs to be a reciprocal element to disclosure. Once you decide to disclose something that reveals your true self, hopefully your partner will respond in a rewarding way with their own opinion/ inimate thoughts and feelings.
  • in a successful relationship there is a balance of self disclosure which increases feelings of intimacy and deepens the relationship.
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The role of attractiveness?

  • Buss showed that men place greater importance on physical attractiveness when choosing a potential mate.
  • Evolutionarily attractiveness is important  since it indicates heath and fertility in a woman.
  • People with symmetrical faces are rated as more attractive as this shows good genes which could be passed on through mating.
  • Research has shown that women also look for physically attractive men when choosing a short term partner but find it less important when finding a long term partner.
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What did McNulty find?

  • Physical attractiveness is not only important at the start of the relationship in bringing partners toegther but it continued to be an important feature several years after marriage.
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What is the matching hypothesis?

  • People will be attracted to other people showing a similiar level of attractiveness to themselves. Although we find physical attractiveness desirable we can't all form relationships with attractive people.
  • Our assessment of our own attractiveness may therefore play a role in our choice of romantic partner and we will choose someone of a similar attractiveness. This is because although we want the most attractive partner this desire is balanced by the percieved liklihood of rejection.
  • Once in a relationship neither partner would feel comfortable if there was unequal matching. The more attractive person has no reason to settle for a less attractive partner and the plaineer one may feel insecure.
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What is the filter theory?

  • Filter model argues that realtionships develop through 3 filters so that different factors are importnace at different times.
  • The 'field of avalibles' are the people that we could start a relationship with. We filter out potential partners for different reasons at different imes, so the field of avalibles os gradually narrowed down to a relatively small 'field of desirables' - those who we would start a realtionship with.
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What is the first filter of the Filter Theory?

  • Social demographic variable- This filter exerts its influence without us even being aware of it. Most people tend to mix with other who are similar to them. A much larger group of people who come from different backgrounds or places are rarely encountered. This means that people of the same educational or economic background are in a class which make up the field from which partners are chosen.
  • We find these people attractive as we have more in common with them.
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What is the second filter of the filter theory?

  • Similarity of attitudes and values. Similarity causes attarction and if the couple share ideas and beliefs, communication should be easier and the realtionship may progess. 
  • However, if they appear to be very differnt, to think differently and share different views about the world, it is likely the realtionship will not progress much further as communication will be strained. 
  • At the stage people with different attitudes, values and beliefs are filtered out.
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What is the 3rd filter in the Filter Theory?

  • Once the couple has established a relationship which is fairly long term the thrid filter appears.
  • Complemantarity of emotional needs- this is how well two people fit together as a couple and meet each other's needs. People who have different needs like the need to be caring and be cared for work as they complement each other. 
  • Complementarity is attractive as it give the two partner the feeling that they form a whole which makes the the relationship more likely to be successful.
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What is the social exchange theory?

  • SET is an economic theory based on the idea that relationships can be seen in terms of trading and the exchange of commodities. 
  • It is based off the principle that all relationships depend on the exchange of rewards and costs and the most satisfying and enduring realtionships are the ones which have high rewards and low costs.
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What is the social exchange theory?

  • Thibault and Kelley believs that individuals were motivated to maximise rewards and minimise costs, both of which are subjective. The value of these rewards and costs can change over the course of the realtionship. For a realtionship to be formed and matined according to this model rewards minus costs should result in a profit for each individual.
  • To judge whether a person offers something better or worse than we might expect from a another they proposed the comparison level - a standard against which all our relationships are judged. This is a product of our experiences together with our general views of what we expect from this particular exchange.
  • If we judge that the potential profit or actual profit exceeds our comparison level the realtionship will be judged worth while. if the result is negative then we will be less satisfied with the realtionship.
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What is the CLalt?

  • Comparison level for alternatives- the person wighs up a potential increase in rewards from a different partner against any costs associated with ending the current relationship. A new relationshop can take the place of the current one if it has higher rewards .
  • However, it is argued that the CLalt is influenced by the curret state of our relationshop, if we are happy we may not even nothing the other alternatives.
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What is the equity theory?

  • Developed as a response to criticsms of the the social exchange theory, with its general assumption that people strive to achieve fairness in their realtionshops and feel distressed if there is unfairness.
  • Any kind of inequity has the potential to create distress. People who give a great deal in a relationship and get little in return would percieve inequity and therfore would be disatisfiied in the relationship as they experience resentment, anger and hostility.
  • It is possible for each partner to contribute very diffferent amounts and for the relationshi to still be equitable.Although one partner perceives themselves as putting in less the realtionship will still be judged fair is they get less out of the relationship.  
  • An equitable relationship should be one where one partner's benefits minus their costs equal their partner's benefits minus costs.
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What are 2 factors of the investment model?

  • Satisfaction and alternatives - satisfaction is based off the CL. A satisfying realtionship is judged by comparing rewards and costs and is seen as profitable if it has many rewards and few costs.Each partner will be satisfied if they are getting more out of the realtionshop then they expected based on previous experience and social norms.
  • A comparison with alternative results in romantic partners asking themselves if their needs could be met outside of their current realtionship. Alternatives could be realtionships with other people or no relationship at all.
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What is investment size in the investment model?

  • A measure of the resources attached to the realtionship, which oculd be lost if the realtionship were to end. There are two types of investments;
  • Intrinsic investments- resources we put directly into the relationship. They can be tangible like money or a car or intangible like with energy or effort.
  • Extrinsic investments- These are resources that did not previously feature in the realtionship but are now associated with it. Tangible resources would be thing bought together like a car, intangible would be things like mutual friends or shared memories.
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Commitment in investment?

  • If partners in a relationship experience high levels of satisfaction, the alternatives are less attractive and the sizes of their investments are increasing then we can predct the partner will be commited to the relationship.
  • Rusbult argued that commitment is more important the satisfaction because it can help to explain why dissatisfied partners stay in a relationship - they are commited because they dont want to waste their investment.
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What did Duck do?

  • Argued that the ending of a relationship is not a one off event but a series of phases which take a long time to go through. Each phase is marked by a threshold where one or both of the partner reach a point that tips them over into the next stage.
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What is the first phase of Duck's model?

  • Intrapsychic stage - one of the partners becomes increasingly dissatisfied with the relationship and spend a lot of time thinking about it. They won't discuss their concerns with their partner at this stage but may become socially withdraw from their partner. If dissastifcation is sufficient the relationship will move onto the next stage.
  • The threshold is: I can't stand it anymore
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What is the 2nd phase of Duck's model?

  • Dyadic phase- The dissatisfied partner will talk to their partner expressing thier dissatisfaction; this may involve compaining about lack of equity , resentment  and rethinking of the commitment of the relationship. 
  • Partner will then decide where to dissolve or repair the relationship. If dissatisfaction is is not resolved there is progression to the next stage.
  • The threshold is; I'd be justified in withdrawing.
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What is the 3rd phase of Duck's model?

  • The social phase- if attempts at negoitation are unsuccessful the intention to break up is made public, both partners will confide in friends and family,
  • Some may take sides while others will attempt to save the relationship. If it cannot be saved the relationship moves into the final stage.
  • The threshold is; I mean it.
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What is the 4th stage of Duck's model?

  • Grave-dressing phase - ex partners begin organising their new lives and they will both publicise their own accounts of the breakdown. They will want to present an image of themselves that defends their reputation and gives them credit to go into another relationship , they will want to show potential partners that they are a reasonable bet and maintain their own self estee.
  • The threshold is; It's now inevitable.
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What is the reduced cues theory?

  • This argues that CMC realtionships will be less successdul than face to face relationshops as they lack the emotional cues we usually depend on such as facial expressions. The theory argues that CMC can also lead to deindividation as we dont see another person as an individual which makes our behaviour less inhibited. This can lead to us becoming blunt and aggressive in out communication.
  • researchers believe we are less likely to form relationships as we wouldn't want to share our innermost thoughts with people who are impersonal.
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What is the Hyperpersonal model?

  • This model argies that we have greater self-disclosure online and reveal more personal information. In CMC realtionships we reveal more information earlier on and therefore relationships form quicker and are more intense. However, such relationship can also dissolve a lot quicker as the excitement of interaction isn't matched by the level of trust between partners. 
  • it is argued that it is easier to manipulate self-disclosure in CMC relationships as you have more time to decide how to present yourself and the message you want to send. This is known as selective self-presentation.
  • Another feature which makes CMC realtionships hyperpersonal is the anonymity. When you are aware that other people do not know your identity, you feel less accountable for your behaviour.
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What is absence of gating?

'Gates' occur in face to face realtionships and can include physical unattraciveness, a stammer, shyness etc which may be an obstacle to the formation of a relationship. These are absent in a CMC relationship.

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CMC advantage?

  • It is a huge advantage to CMC relationships. it means self-disclosure is deeper and more frequent which can help the realtionship form more quickly. 
  • Online, people are more interested n what someone is telling them than what tat person looks or sounds like, so attention is moved away from superficial features.
  • Poeple can use CMC to present images of themselves they could never do face to face e.g. an introvert appearing as an extravert.
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What are the 3 levels of parasocial relationships?

  • Entertainment social- This is the least intense level where celebrites are viewed as sources of entertainment and a fuel for social interaction. 
  • Intense personal- This is the intermediate level which refelects a greater personal involvement in a parasocial realtionship with a celebrity.
  • Borderline pathological- This is the strongest level of celebrity worship featuring uncontrollable fantasies and extreme behaviours. These might include spending a large sum of money on a celebrity-related object. At this stage celebrity worshop can become a much more serious problem e.g. stalking.
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What is the absorption-addiction model?

  • McCucheon argued that people pursue parasocial relationships due to deficits within their own life. For example, they may have a weak sense of selfidentity and lack of fulfillment. A parasocial relationship allows themto find fulfillment they can't achieve in their actual relationships.
  • The model is closely tied to the three levels of celebrity worship- those fans of poorer psychological adjustment and weak personal identity may go beyond normal boundaries and absorb themselves into the celebrity's life to gain a stronger sense of identity. This may be triggered by a personal crisis or life event. 
  • The model predicts an association between poorer psychological health and the strength og parasocial realtionships.
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What is absorption?

  • Absorption- seeking fulfillment in celebrity worship motivates the individuals to focus their attention on the celebrity. They will become pre-occupied with the celebrity and identify with them.
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What is the attachment theory?

  • Argues that the tendency to form parasocial relationships originates in early childhood relationships between children and their primary caregivers.
  • Bowlby's attachment thery suggests that early difficulties may lead to emotional troubles later in life.This is because the child forms an internal working model for how to interact with others based on their early interactions with parents. The continuity hypothesis argues that these early relationships continue to influence us later in life.
  • The theory argues that those with insecure attachment types as adults are more likely to become strongly attached to celebrities than secure attachement types.
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2 unhealthy attachments?

  • Insecure-resistant- most likely to form parasocial realtionships as adults. This is because they need to have unfulfilled needs met but in a relationship that is not accompanied by the threat of rejection, break up and disappointment that real life relationships bring.
  • Insecure avoidant- not likely to form parasocial relationsips they prefer to avoid the pain and rejection of realtionships altogether, whether they are social or parasocial.
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What is addiction in PSR?

  • Addiction –  this is where the individual needs to sustain their commitment to the celebrity by feeling stronger and closer involvement. This may lead to more extreme behaviours and delusional thinking. For example, stalking a celebrity because you believe that they really want to reciprocate your feelings, but their manager is stopping them doing so.
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