Psychology AQA A PSYA3 Relationships


Formation of Romantic Relationships

Rewards Needs Satisfaction - Byrne and Clore. Needs = financial security, company, sex. More likely to form relationship with people who reward us due (operant conditioning). More likely to form a relationship with someone who is associated with postive experiences (classical conditioning).

RS - Griffit and Guay: participants carried out a creative task and some were praised by the experimenter and then rated the experimenter. Participants who had been praised rated the experimenter higher when they had been praised. They also rated onlooker higher when praised.

Culture and Gender biased: In many cultures women focus more on satisfying the needs of their partners than themselves and doesn't explain the motivation to give in a relationship as many women do.

Similarity Theory - Byrne, Clore and Smeaton. Personality and attitudes need to be similar to form a relationship. Attitude alignment may occur when there are differences. RS - Caspi and Herbener: couples who were more similar had higher marital satisfaction

However only looks ate attitude and personality, other factors may also need to be similar. E.g. Speakman found that people choose similar levels of body fat.

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Maintenance of Romantic Relationships

Social Exchange Theory - Thibault & Kelly: maximise rewards, minimise costs. Rewards = companionship, sex, being cared for. Costs = money, effort, missed opportunities. Sampling, Bargaining, Committment and Institutionalisation. CL and CLA

RS - Simpson: rate members of the opposite sex, those in a relationship rated lower than ones who were single. Supports CLA as they find their current relationship better.

Culture Bias: Moghaddam: Only applies to western culture in short term relationships between mobile people and can't be applied to other non-mobile cultures e.g. arranges marriages.

Equity Theory - Walster: One partners benefits - costs = other partners benefits - costs.

RS - Stafford & Canary: 200 married couples and found that satisfaction was highest when relationship was judged to be equitable. Next was over-benefited partners and lowest was under-benefited partners.

Ethical Issues - thinking deeply about marital satisfaction could cause problems.

Gender biased: men and women judge equity differently e.g. when wife earned more neither rated job as more important

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Breakdown of Romantic Relationships

Reasons for Breakdown - Duck: Lack of stimulation, lack of resources, maintenance difficulties.

RS - Cina: CCET (couples coping enhancement training) teaches skills such as communication and problem solving. Couples who had it reported much higher marital quality than control.

A Model of Breakdown - Duck & Rollie: Breakdown --> Intrapsychic --> Dyadic --> Social --> Grave-dressing --> Resurrection

RS - Tashiro & Frazier: newly single students reported emotional distress, personal growth and new insights into themselves and future partners. Supports Grave-Dressing and Resurrection.

Gender Differences: Women more likely to stress unhappiness and incompatibility as reasons for breakdown whereas men are upset by sexual withholding. Women want to stay friends after break up but men want to cut their losses and move on.

Reductionist: too simplistic to put relationship breakdown into stages.

Ethical Issues: particpants may be distressed talking about breakdown of relationships

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Sexual Selection

Intrasexual selection (mate competition): evolution resulting from competition between same sex individuals for mates

RS - Baker and Bellis: 4 types of sperm. Blockers prevent another man's sperm from entering cervix and Killer Sperm contains chemicals which kill rivals sperm.

Intersexual selection (mate choice): the process by which traits evolve because they are attractive to mates. e.g. if females prefer tall males then the population would increase in height.

RS - Dunbar: 42% of males looked for youth compared to 24% of females. 44% of males looked for physical attractiveness compared to 22% of women.

Sexual dimorphism: physical difference between sexes e.g. body shape and size

Mate choice and menstrual cycle: Penton-Voak - women prefer masculine face during oestrus and feminine face for long term relationship. Miller - lap dancers in oestrus earned 2x tips.

Clarke & Hatfield - strangers on campus. Males: 50%, 60%. 75%. Females: 50%, 6%, 0%


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Parental Investment

Females: time, risk of death during childbirth, 60 eggs in whole life.

Males: resources, cuckoldry, 60-300 million sperm each time.

Sexual jealousy: men more jealous of sexual act, women more jealous of emotional infidelity.

RS - Buss:  men higher physiological response when imagining sex, women - emotional.

Women want men with best genes for reproduction but want men with resources, shop around for studs but marry men with resources and protection. Baker and Bellis: 14% products of affairs.

Gender Differences - Geher: 91 non-parents were asked parenting scenarios. There were no sex differences in self-report responses but men showed increased heart rate. Males less prepared.

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Influence of Childhood on Adult Relationships

Shaver: attachment (attachment type acts as blueprint for future relationships), caregiving (knowledge about how to care for others learnt by modelling parents) and sexuality (attitudes towards sex are based on childhood attachment e.g. a person with avoidant attachment are more likely to think that sex without love is pleasurable.

RS - Hazen and Shaver: Love Quiz and found that attachment types are consistent. Secure: 66% child, 56% adult. Insecure Avoidant: 22% c, 24% a. Insecure Resistant: 12% c, 20% a.

However: many not be reliable as its retrospective, also demand characteristics

Overcome this by doing longitudinal: Waters assessed at 12 months and 20 years and found that 72% had same attachment type.

However, Lewis assessed at 12 months and 18 yrs and found only 42% had same attachment. Other factors cause change e.g. divorce.

Determinist: states that people with insecure relationship are destined to have poor quality adult relationships. However this is not the case.

Ethical issues:  self-fullfilling prophecy, cause relationship breakdown

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Relationships in Different Cultures

Western: individualist, self goal orientated, mobility, more choice.

Non-Western: collectivist, group goal orientated, interdependent, arranged marriages.

RS - Xiaohe and Whyte:  women who married for love were happier in the long term.

Counter evidence:  Myers found that non-voluntary marriages and voluntary marriages had similar levels of marital satisfaction which suggests that love is a similar feature across all cultures.

Non-trad cultures less likely to end in divorce than non-trad cultures because they think change is bad and divorce is frowned upon. Divorce rate in Western Cultures has gone from 2/1000 in 1960 to 12/1000. This shows that culture changes over time and influences romantic relationships.

RS: In China arranged marriages have decreased from 70% in 1949 to <10% in 1990.

Evolutionary adaptiveness: Jankowian and Fischer found that love was present in 90% of 166 cultures. Love has an adaptive value and should be applied to all cultures.

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