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  • Created on: 24-12-15 09:01

Formation: Reward/Need Satisfaction Theory

Research Evidence Support - GRIFFITH & GUAY - participants evaluated on a creative task - given marks then asked to rate experimenter - highest ratings given to experimenters who had positively evaluated the performance. Correlational (not causation) but positive reinforcement

Research Evidence for Role of RewardsCATE - 337 individuals / questioned + assessed about relationships in regards to reward/satisfaction - rewards dominant. HOWEVER - HAYS: giving can be just as satisfying.

Methodological Issues - Self-report methods: questionnaires + interviews - social desirability bias - highly sensitive topic area = problematic + heavy reliance on students as participants (notoriously influenced by peers and expectations which may bias investigation) Reveal similarity in beliefs as rewarding -- may be an example of normative social influence. 

Cross-Cultural Variation in Formation - Based heavily on Western values - liking and meeting of needs are fundamental in the formation -- many eastern cultures based on family suggestions + religious tradition. Limited to explain the formation -- more holistic view required. 

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Formation: Filter Model

Research Evidence - KERCHOFF & DAVIS: Longitudinal study / less than 18m attitude similarity most important (filter two) / more than 18m meeting of psychological + emotional needs (filter three)

Research Evidence Supporting Field of AvailablesNEWCOMB: Paired + placed students in rooms after obtaining information about personal beliefs. Similar beliefs: 58% / Not same: 28% Moved from available > desirable - further supported by KERCHOFF: Married partners have same social, economic, educational and religious backgrounds. 

Too Rigid - Doesnt consider dynamic nature of human interaction. IRL relationships form more fluidly + can spontaneously form relationships. Choose to be w/people not local to them or of similar disposition (long distance, prison, virtual)

Alternative Explanation - Not complete without biological, evolutionary or environemntal factors - physical attractiveness, child rearing capability, financial stability. Made and maintained because of a "social exchange" - weighing up present and future costs 

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Formation: GENERAL

Psychology as a Science

Predominantly correlational - relationship between two co-variables - no cause & effect can be problematic due to practical and ethical considerations. No casual conclusions can be drawn, highlights the debate: are findings reliable?

Reliability & Validity

Dynamic individualism - validity of any relationship study is questionable - as a consequence so is the reliability of any findings. It's difficult to operationalise many terms such as what is 'rewarding' or what an individual 'needs'. Cannot predict.

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Maintenance: Social Exchange Theory

Research Suport for CL - CLA - CL threat - tactics to reduce possible impact to protect. SIMPSON: people in relationships give lower ratings to members of opposite sex in terms of attractiveness. Doesnt explain effectively why some people leave relationships despite no alternatives + doesnt state disparity. 

Face Validity - Seen regularly in daily relationships - has been used to explain why women stay in abusive relationships - RUSBULT + MARTZ: when investment is high (children, mortgages) alternatives are few = profit situation exists. Many women stay despite negative consequences.

Incomplete ExplanationARONSON: making comparisons is not realistic - inc. in reward, rather than constant rewards are crucial. SET sees people as being fundamentally selfish, person's main interest in maintaining relationships determined only by own hedonistic concerns. RUBIN: purely altruistic in close personal relationships (making sacrifices for sake of others w/no consideration of rewards. Psychological processes involved.

Culture BiasMOGHADDAM et al: relevant in Western cultures - dominated by different concerns and features. Exchange and equity are dominant values. Claim theories reflect highly individualistic an capitalist orientation of N. America. Cant make universal generalisations.

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Maintenance: Equity

Research Evidence Supporting Equity DE MARIS - 1500 participants - importance of equity in dissatisfaction - later breakdown. Woman's sense of being underbenefitted = key feature of disruption. STAFFORD & CANARY: 200 married couples asked to measure equity - most satisfied those w/most equitable. Unfairness leads to dissatisfaction.

Problems w/Self-Report Methodology - Questionnaires + interviews - social desirability bias - biased - people feeling like losers in terms of equity - difficult to be objective. Dont recall information correctly (stress / emotional arousal)

Reductionist CLARK & MILS: against exchange theories that take economist view - argues they dont consider communal relationships where people get enjoyment from meeting the needs of partner w/out expecting reward. Degree of equity - belief that it will balance over course of relationship - not main focus. More dynamic thoughts

Gender Differences STEIL & WELTMAN: In married couples, men who earned more than wives rated career as more important than wives' - wives generally perceived own career as less important. Wives earned more than husbands - neither partner viewed career as more importnat. Women seek less for themselves in comparison to males.

Too Simplistic - Discounts many dynamic factors - people can choose to disregard any rewards or equity / many people choose to remain despite major costs/highly inequitable. Struggle to effectively explain why people remain in relationships where there's non-reciprocal domestic violence + v little benefit. Equity too simple - ignores emotional decisions of choice

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Breakdown: Why - DUCK

Research Evidence Supporting Lack of Skills/StimulationBOEKHOUT et al: extra-relational affairs can be linked to a lack of skills/stimulation. Men have affair because: sexual excitement, boredom, variety. Women because: lack of attention, committment or satisfaction. 

Against Lack of Proximity - LDR more common than we think - 70% of those sampled have had at least 1. People do move + separate from family and friends (mobile society) HOLT & STONE: Little decrease in relationship dissatisfaction as long as lovers were able to reunite regularly

Alternative - Fatal Attraction Theory - FELMLEE: Behaviors we initially found appealing become exaggerated traits that become dissatisfying & can lead to dissolution. Happens heaps especially in relationships between younger people. Alternative considerations to proximity, lacking skills and stimulation that can lead to breakdown of romantic relationships. 

Cultural BiasDUCK - Non-western relationships may be formed differently + it's likely different pressures will function in their dissolution. Arranged marriage: entire families + communities may become involved. Dominant factors in western not sig. features in non-western

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Breakdown: How - Rollie & Duck

Research SupportTASHIRO + FRAZIER: found that as well as experiencing emotional distress + evidence of grave dressing + resurrection. Experienced personal growth - support for the process of breakdown

Gender Differences - BREHM & KASSIN: women more likely to stress "unhappiness and incompatibility" as reasons for dissolution - men upset by "sexual withholding" - generalizations cannot be universally drawn between men and women

Methodological Issues - Model based on subjective reports from participants - which lacks empirical support - recording accurate recall may be difficult. Questions whether stages occur as suggested. Ecological validity - problems w/retrospective recall + social desirability bias. 

Practical App - Relationship counselling - identify stage + suggest appropriate ways to repair - individualistic look at the couple but also recognizes that individuals operate within a group (Family + Friends) taking wider social context.

Inflexible - Rigid - assume every breakdown goes through the same stages - qualitative variations in every relationship break up. Fewer physical symptoms. Partners can choose to take an active role in dissolution = positive outcome. 

Incomplete - Neither explain why relationships breakdown but focus on sequence of likely events. Focus more on processes involved after it's clear that the relationship is at an end. Integrated model incorporating why people go through the processes identified in the model would provide a more adequate account of relationship break ups.

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Inter + Intrasexual Selection

Research Evidence for Human Reproductive Behavior + Sexual Selection WANFORTH + DUNBAR: 40% males seek youthful, physically attractive // 20% women want that/ Evolutionary characteristics which aid reproduction are advertised (physica attractiveness, resources) those who dont have that advertise social characteristics to compensate

Research Evidence Supporting Importance of Fertility - Humans: oestrus is hidden - research argues that women near their most fertile point are more attractive to men. MILLER: Lap dancers earned 2x as many tips when working during their oestrus phase. Male sexual selection closely linked to female fertility. 

Research Evidence for Male Preference for Most Fertile BUSS: 37 cultures - males prefer younger women in a good fertility stage. Some critics argue it's about social power and younger women are easier to control. KENDRICK: argues that teenage boys prefer women five years older because they are at peak fertility.

Methodology - Self-report methodology - notoriously known for being affected by reconstructive nature of memory + social desirability bias esp. on such an emotive topic w/many social connotations. Suggested that findings not objective

Nature/Nurture - Tied to form relationships solely on nature, biology and evolution. Powerful environmental and cognitive influences. Evolutionary argument cant explain emotional experiences nor can it explain when it doesnt fit evolutionary survival (young man w/older woman) more complex than determined by traits

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Short Term + Long Term Mating Preferences

Research Evidence for Short Term Mating PreferencesCLARKE & HATFIELD: university students approached strangers of opposite sex - 75% men said yes & 0% women said yes. Men have evolved short term mating preferences as indicated by desire for sexual variety (inc. genetic variety)

Research Evidence for Universal Nature of Long TermBUSS: 10,000 participants / 37 cultures / men value partners that can reproduce and care for offspring - youthfulness + physical attractiveness. Women value men with financial prospects + greatest resource potential. Both want intelligent, kind, dependable. (Argued that it lacks internal validity - theoretical pref. not actual choice - but supported in actual marriages over 29 different cultures)

Validity - Gender Bias in Short Term Mating Pref. - Suggests only males gain evolutionary benefit - lack external validity - men could not have evolved desire for sexual variety w/out willing females. GRIELING + BUSS: although there are potential costs, there are benefits too. Opportunity to leave a poor quality relationship if there's no prospect for long term security. 

Reductionist - Driven purely by evolutionary considerations + suggests human reproductive behavior is limited to one simple casual factor. Doesnt reflect real-life sexual selection/reproduction. Over last 100 years it changed dramatically - inc. in non-hetrosexual relationships + conraception + couples choosing not to have kids

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Parental Investment Theory

Practical Application - Females have to protect offspring during pregnancy (limit alcohol, smoke intake, watching diet) and are most likely to be raising children the most afterwards. Max chances of reproductive success - benefit from a partner who can aid in this process in terms of providing protection, resources, care and consideration. Dating companies + relationship counseling. 

Contradictory Research Evidence - Males invest less - they will have less choosy mating behavior -- but dont take into consideration extraneous variables. BEL VENNER: male choosiness varies with intra-sexual competition. Smaller orb-weaving spiders would alter selection and become less choosy depending on how much competition there was. Suggests parental investment theory is too rigid and deterministic when claiming those with less investment will be less choosy.

Face Validity - Men more likely to engage in short term sexual relationships + women more reluctant. Short term: require less investment, time or effort = ideal opportunity to inc. reproductive success. Women on the other hand - less likely to be attracted to one night stands than men bc not commitment to raise any potential offspring. Doesnt take change in attitude into consideration - bc advent of contraception. 

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Sexual Strategies Theory

Research Evidence Supporting Evolutionary Explanations of Male Parental InvestmentAPICELLA & MARLOWE - London / man's paternal resemblence + male infidelity increased so did parental investment. ANDERSON - New Mexico / paternity confidence decreased so did time spent with the child + involvement in child's education. Assurance of genes being passed.

Research Evidence Supporting Short-Term Sexual Strategies in FemalesFISHER large scale studies of married couples w/kids - 10% of children different biological father. Women emply 'mate insurance' strategies - seek short and long term mates who provide resources + committed

Face ValidityTRIVERS - Reasons why we see many young women in relationships with older, financially stable men and many older men seeking younger physically attractive females. Acknowledges both strategies may aid reproductive success in v different ways.

Socially Sensitive Research - Suggestion that women are only interested in mating which acquires the best genes and/or resources can lead to negative stereotyping. Males maximize rep. success by having as many partners as possible can do the same. Not present in harmful manner with harmful direct social consequences. 

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General Evaluation

Cannot Explain Gay and Lesbian Relationships - Non-reproductive but parallels with heterosexual relationships in dynamics and behaviors (exclusivity, jealousy) Cannot explain homosexual females reluctant to engage in non-comitted sexual encounters even with no threat of reproduction - nor why older gay men prefer young males. 

Alternative ExplanationsBELL - related to female choosiness - can be explained in other ways besides survival of genes and reproductive advantages. Same behavior can be explained at a moralistic or emotional level. Belief that it's wrong to engage in casual sex can explain female choosiness > can be explained by a socialization or cultural factors. (More conscious intrinsic explanation rather than passive evolutionary explanation)

Psychology as a Science - Face validity but lacks falsifiability - purely speculation - cannot be scientifically tested as it's impossible to measure. Difficult to conduct lab investigations to identify a reliable cause and effect. Too many ethical and practical issues. Highlights the debate 

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Childhood: Continuity Hypothesis

Research Evidence Support Parental Child Relationships on Adult Relationships WATERS - attachment styles remained stable after 20 years with 72% of adults had the same attachment style as 12 month old. HAZAN & SHAVER: similar to love styles seen in adults. Adult romantic love can be related back to an individual's attachment history. Secure: happy, friendly, trusting / Insecure: less easy, more likely to be divorced, true love was rare. 

Research Evidence Aginst Continuity Hypothesis Explaining Adult Relationships FURMAN - found quality of adolescent relationships is a better predictor of romantic adult relationship features than parental relationships. SULLIVAN - mature relationships - not just attachment but affiliation, caregiving and sexual behavior. 

Methodology - Self-report, question validity, question reliability - social desirability bias - personal questions about parental and intimate relationships. Careful drawing conclusions. 

Continuity Hypothesis is Deterministic - Implies an insecure avoidant child will never form a trusting and intimate relationship - disregarding dynamic nature + interaction with environment. Can choose to adapt > gain fulfilling relationships. 

Alternative Explanation - Temperament hypothesis - some infants born with innate personality traits to be friendly and this leads to secure attachment and also determines the kind of relationships they have later in life. Some children are born with opposite traits which makes forming secure attachments difficult. 

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Adolescent Experiences

Research Evidence to Support Peers in Adolescence Have Sig. Impact on Adult Behavior QUALTER & MUNN - children learn from experiences with other children. Develop specific ways of thinking about themselves based on expereinces = determines some of the way they interact w/others in adulthood. NANGLE: claims children's friendships are training grounds for adulthood relationships - characterized by a sense of alliance, trust, sharing and acceptance. 

Research Evidence to Support Adolescence on Adult Behavior CLAUSEN: 33 late maturing males / less self-confident / in need of more support. JONES: early maturing boys more responsible, co-operative and sociable as adults.

Gender Differences - Cant draw generalizations, significant gender differences - Girls: more intimate friendships than boys and more likely to report care and security. Boys: more competitive, engage in competitive activities, whilst girls participate in more sharing and cooperative activities. 

Reductionism Reducing a complex human behavior down to one simple component. Temperament hypothesis suggests a key element in formation of adult relationships in people is that some infants are born with innate personality traits to be friendly. Some born with opposite traits. 

Methodological Issues - Self-report, questionnaires, interviews - social desirability bias + dont recall information accurately due to factors such as normative social influence + peer pressure. Questions overall validity 

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Voluntary or Non-Voluntary

Research Evidence for Cultural Differences - Non: Extremely low divorce rates and half of the couples report falling in love with each other. Voluntary: High rates of divorce, individuals can choose to move to another relationship. Arranged marriages - dominant characteristic of non-western cultures -- arent any more common than they are in the West.  

Research Evidence Against Cultural Differences - Non: Becoming more urban and more individual - ADAR: kibbutz families moving away from living with 3-4 generations to just couples. Mirrors phenomenon of now popular nuclear family unit. Divorce rates increase as western societies became more urbanised - huge differences implied between non and western cultures overstated & w/massive growth of capitalism and industry, cultures are becoming much more integrated + similar

Psychology as a Science - Culture understudied - cultural diversity: pre-occupation with lab studies to infer cause and effect makes it difficult to consider culture objectively. HOGG & VAUGHAN - people bring their cultural baggage into the lab setting not a bad thing - culture is important variable. 

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Individual or Group Based

Research Evidence Supporting Role of Freedom of Choice - XIAOHE & WHITE - freedom of choice = able to marry for love = felt better about relationships than those in arranged marriages. Freedom of mate choice promoted marital stability rather than instability. 

Cultural Shifts - Parents in non-western cultures select partners based on group-based values - may feel children will miss important compatibility factors because of blind love which negates long-lasting relationships. Noticeable shift to love marriages -- parents' dominance dropped from 70% in 1940s to 10% in 1990s. Overgeneralisation - to believe that all non-western cultures have group-based values at the core of romantic relationships. 

Methodology - Correlatory research - only identifying a link between two co-variables - no cause and effect phenomenon between individualistic cultures and higher rates of divorce. No objective research can be conducted into this area due to practical and ethical considerations. No casual conclusions can be drawn.

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Continuity & Discontinuity

Ethical Issues - very personal topic - investigating + incorporating the cultural infuences can be problematic. Not implying that one culture is better than another. Relationship practices in one culture shouldnt be prejudiced against or be used to label or stigmatise individuals bc of norms + values of culture not being understood, appreciated or internalized. Reposnsibility to consider socially sensitive impacts of research. 

Inherent Bias due to Overreliance of Western Developed Methodology - Relies not only on western concepts of ideal relationships but also on preferred western methodology to gather the findings. ARGYLE: significant cross-cultural variations in relationship 'rules' when his study was replicated in Japan and Italy. However, one criticism of his research could be the list of rules was formulated in the UK and could have included rules specific to that particular culture. Questions asked indicative of culture. Inherent cultural bias prevents objectivity.

Alternative Explanations - Simplifies the complex behavior to just differences in culture, not acknowledging factors such as attitudes towards romantic love. Non-western: idea of romantic love being necessary can be attributed to urbanisation and media influences. Both of which are increasing in non-western societies. PINKER: views love as a human universal - evolutionary value - lowers mortality rates + stress - inc. happiness. Romantic love found in 90% of non-western tribal societies (166 cultures) This suggests that to discuss romantic relatinships looking at just culture provides an incomplete explanation.

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