Psychology A2 - relationships

Revision for A2 Psychology (AQA) 

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  • Created on: 09-01-12 18:02

Behavioural

REWARDS/NEEDS SATISFACTION MODEL
BYRNE & CLORE

positive feelings = we like people

  • CLASSICAL CONDITIONING
  • positive feelings associated with people who make us feel good.
  • negative feelings associated with the opposite.
  • OPERANT CONDITIONING
    direct rewards -> we like them
  • driven to seek rewards and avoid punishment.
  • rewards = positve feelings
  • punishment = negative feelings
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Research support

GRIFFIT & GUAY

  • evaluated on creative task
  • rated the experimenter most highly afterwards when praised by them
  • Can explain associative learning
  • P's also rated the onlooker higher when praised by experimenter
  • Associated onlooker with own emotional experience

CATE et al

  • P's assessed their current relationship in terms of rewards and satisfaction levels
  • results showed the most important factor was rewards
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Evaluation

Unlikely to elicit any ethical issue

Cultural differences

Gender differences

Lacks ecological validity

Ignores natures influence (evaluation upon attraction)

Reductionist – breaking down relationship initiation into stimulus and response.

Deterministic - associations may be made outside their control – influencing what they like

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Similarity

BYRNE, CLORE AND SMEATON

.promotes liking

.We lessen the chance of being rejected and find validation for our beliefs and attitudes

.Likely to sort out potential partners for strength of similarity and reject those who are too dissimilar

CASPI AND HERBNER

found married couples were rated as happier when they shared similar personalities

ATTITUDE ALLIGNMENT occurs in long terms relationships

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matching hypothesis

  • WALSTER
  •  initial attraction towards someone would be determined by a comparison between the other persons attractiveness and their own attractiveness. Those that are matched in social desirability are more likely to interact affectionately and consequently are more likely to have successful relationships than individuals that are mismatched.

Walster dance study

  • Positive reaction to physically attractive dates – more likely to arrange subsequent dates with them regardless of intelligence and personality.
  • Reductionist – people may pair up based on personality rather than physical attractiveness.
  • Gender difference –physical attractiveness valued more by men than women, where men can compensate with resources if they lack physical attractiveness.
  • Cultural bias, heterosexual bias, Biological determinism, lacks realism (ecological validity)
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Maintenance

SOCIAL EXCHANGE THEORY
Relationships seen in economic terms and involve an exchange of rewards.
Feelings for others depends on profits (want to get out more than we put in)

THIBAUT AND KELLEY
outlined four stages in the development of long-term relationships
Firstly in sampling
Secondly bargaining occurs
Thirdly commitment
Finally institutionalisation .

  • individuals have comparison levels where the consider previous and other peoples relationships against their own as well as comparison level for alternatives where they compare their relationship with other possibilities.
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Evaluation

Cultural bias individualist principles inherent economic considerations couple striving for what is most rewarding for themselves

Reductionist (ignores influences from media and culture)

MILLS AND CLARK

identified two types of couple

EXCHANGE COUPLE - keeps a mental record of who is ahead in the relationship

COMMUNAL COUPLE - each partner gives out concern for the other

Selfish nature of theory.

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Sex, lies and social exchange

sex used as an exchange resource in intimate relationships

Deception strategic weapon in the exchange programme

MARLICH et al

Men more likely to use blatant lies to have sex

Women more likely to have sex to avoid confrontation, promote intimacy and gain approval

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Investment

•The investment model of relationships developed by Rusbult expresses the importance of three factors for a relationship to persist successfully: satisfaction, quality of alternatives and the amount of investment.

1. rewards minus the costs of being within a particular relationship.
2. quality of alternative relationships. Sometimes however they may stay in a relationship just because there is a lack of better alternatives.
3. with investments into the relationship, this is anything that an individual puts into a relationship that they have entered which may be lost if they leave it e.g. time, friends, material possessions.

  • used to explain why women stay in abusive relationships
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Evaluation

Demand characteristics may affect what information people input as well as the difficulties involved in interpreting what is written – questionnaires.

methodological issue - use of different procedures across the 52 studies in the meta- analysis, where the studies may not have used reliable procedures, providing results based on inconsistent methods of research.

Rusbult - questionnaires were used to measure college students view of relationships concerning how satisfied they were, what alternatives were available and how much they invested, all of which was compared to how committed they felt.

Rusbult found that high satisfaction and investment lead to committed relationships where as an attractive alternative is significant in the break-down of one

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COMPARISON LEVEL

how people in relationships deal with potential threats - reduce them to protect relationship

SIMPSON et al

Asked p's to rate members of the opposite sex

P's in relationships gave lower ratings

SOCIAL EXCHANGE THEORY DOESN'T EXPLAIN WHY PEOPLE LEAVE RELATIONSHIPS

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Self disclosure

ALTMAN AND TAYLOR - SOCIAL PENETRATION THEORY

When you have just met you match to similar levels or you might feel threatened
As a relationship develops - more likely to respond with sympathy than self disclosure

DEPENETRATION
When the habit of self disclosure is abandoned - associated with the breakdown of breakdown of relationships

GENDER DIFFERENCES - DINDIA AND ALLEN
Meta analysis
women tend to self disclose more than men with romantic partners and same sex friends
No difference between sexes in terms of disclosure to male friends

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RUSBULT, ZEMBRODT AND IWANISZEK

High psychological femininity
VOICE ------ACTIVE ------ CONSTRUCTIVE ----- DISCUSS

LOYALTY - PASSIVE --- CONSTRUCTIVE ----- WAIT AND HOPE

NEGLECT - PASSIVE --- DESTRUCTIVE -------- IGNORE PARTNER

EXIT--------- ACTIVE ----- DESTRUCTIVE ------- ABANDON
high psychological masculinity

DINIDA AND BAXTER - examined strategies used by 50 couples to work at their relationship
19 different methods - talking about day, compliments etc
Wider set of strategies for mainentance than repair
The longer relationship the fewer strangles needed to maintain it.

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STAGE THEORY OF MAINTENANCE

LEVINGER

A,B,C,D,E MODEL

Aquaintance - mutual attraction
Build up - engage in self disclosure
Continuation - commitment and consolidation
Deterioration - imbalance of costs and rewards
Ending - the end
Useful framework to understand theory
Suggests a fixed pattern

RISK FACTORS
incompatibiltiy, mechanical failure, sudden death, lack of skills, lack of stimulation, maintenance difficulties, cultural differences, gender differences

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The breakdown of romantic relationships

 Duck's model of breakdown

1) Intrapsychic - Internally: The individual may feel resentment towards their partner and become socially withdrawn.They may start to focus on partner’s faults while considering other possible alternatives for partners.
2) Dyadic Phase - problems are talked about.
3) Social phase - the breakup is announced to friends and relatives, where advice and support are sought. They may blame the other partner the relationship breaking up as to reduce social implications.
4) Grave-dressing - Different accounts of why the relationship broke down.

5) (DUCK AND ROLLIE) Resurrection - Prepare for new relationships

Think about what they want from a new relationship and what they should avoid.

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5 stages of pre-marital romance

LEE'S MODEL -

1. ( D) dissatisfaction discovered
2. (E) dissatisfaction exposed
3. (N) negotiation about dissolution
4. (R) attempts at resolution
5. (T) relationship is terminated

E and N to be most dramatic. D to T most loneliness and fear of break up

Comparing Duck and Lee
Lee focuses on processes
Duck focuses on the stages after the end
Lee sociologist not psychologist
Neither explain Why? Just the stages.

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An evolutionary explanation of relationship breakd

males may increase emotional commitment if they are threatened with breakdown. This relates to how women prefer mates with resources or the potential to acquire them.

Promiscuity
If males are threatened with relationship breakdown they may become promiscuous, so if relationship were to breakdown this could help them find a replacement mate quickly.

Reputation
Behaviours adapted to prevent loss of reputation are also evident. For example where the rejector is usually seen as cruel, they may be sympathetic during the break up to prevent future mates from rejecting them.

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Evalutaion

Reductionist – behaviour is reduced down to adaptive function.

Cultural validity- Making generalisations of adaptations based on findings in one culture

Population validity – students only of a particular age were used by Perilloux et al.

Self-report data used by Perilloux et al. where participants may write socially desirable answers.

Alpha bias – differences between males and females may be exaggerated.

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HUMAN REPRODUCTIVE BEHAVIOUR

The relationship between sexual selection and human reproductive behaviour

Males have to compete with other males, where those that are successful may continue to produce offspring as part of what is known as intrasexual competition.

Females – women invest their time and resources heavily into raising a few offspring so they need to make the correct choice of partner i.e. someone who can produce offspring worthy of such investment. The implications of selecting a partner with unsatisfactory genes is larger. Because of this there is intersexual selection where the female chooses the best available offspring from those that are competing.

INTRASEXUAL (mate competition)
INTERAEXUAL (mate choice)

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Men as success objects and women as sex objects

 DAVIS - lonely hearts column

Men - looking for women who are physically attractive
Women - seek men who have higher status and financial sercurity

Not testable - unscientific
Individual differences
Media and environment not considered

Short-term mating preferences
Males may be more likely to be promiscuous as the more females they impregnate the more chances of reproductive success they may have. " lower their standards" is offered short term mating and then showed a marked decrease in attraction after sex
Females are less likely to become promiscuous as they have a higher risk of poor offspring.

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RESEARCH

 CLARK AND HATFIELD

men and women experimenters approached strangers on a uni campus
3 questions:
1. Would you go on a date with me? F = 50% M = 50%
2. Would yo come back to my apartment? F = 6% M = 69%
3. Would you have sex with me? F = 0% M = 75%

Research focuses on what people say they prefer rather than what they actually choose in a relationship.

Reductionism – behaviour is reduced to natural responses.

Heterosexual bias

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Evolutionary explanations of parental investment

Sex differences ---Maternal investment
Female has limited number of offspring
. They are the sex that invests most so they are more selective of their offspring because they have more to lose. Females also invest more into the rearing of offspring, where the baby spends 9 months in the womb and is then dependent on mothers milk for two years.

Paternal investment
Male invest less than females, so instead they compete with other males for reproductive opportunities.
A lot of investment is in the courting stages for men because of this.
There is difficulty however for males in determining whether a child is their own with the risk of cuckoldry being imminent, where they could potentially raise children that aren’t their own. Men are more concerned about the female having sex with other men than for that female to be emotionally involved with another male.

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LONG TERM MATING

RESEARCH EVIDENCE - PENTON-VOAK et al

Female mate coice varies across the mentrual cycle

Long term relationship - feminised version of the male face (kindness and child rearing)

When ovulating - masculine version of the male face (testosterone)

TESTOSTERONE = suppresses e immune system, a male who is healthy despite this must have an efficient immune system (valuable characteristic)

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