Relationships

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  • Created on: 03-06-16 10:45

Formation AO1: The Reinforcement-Affect Model

Established my Byrne and Clore 

Theory stresses the importance of rewards and the satisfaction of needs in a relationship

Based on the behaviourist principle of operant and classical conditioning 

It states that we like those who reward us and dislike those who punish us (this is due to association). When a situation is rewarding we will like the person we are with because good feelings become associated with them. 

4 Main Assumptions:

  • Stimuli is either positive or negative; we seek out the positive 
  • Rewarding stimuli gives us happy feeling 
  • Feelings lead to evaluation:
    • Positive feelings = positive evaluation (relationship likely to form)
    • Negative feelings = negative evaluation (likely to not form relationship)
  • Neutral stimuli will become associated with pleasant feelings 
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Formation AO2: The Reinforcement-Affect Model

It cannot be used to predict who will form a relationship and who won't - different people assess different things to be rewarding 

Deterministic 

  • Suggests when other people provide us with reinforcment or are associated with reinforcement relationships are likely to form with them - our behaviour is determined by the liklihood of reinforcement 

However, Hays provides contradictory evidence (that its not deterministic):

  • Work examining friendships indicated that we are concerned with fairness for both parties, not just maximising our own rewards - rewards and satisfaction not sole purpose of 

Cate Et Al provides supporting evidence:

  • Experiment with 337 people who assessed current relationship. Found reward level superior to all other factors when debating formation - people want to recieve rewards 
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Formation AO2: The Reinforcement-Affect Model

Support comes from Aron Et Al - provides wider academic credibiltiy:

  • Using MRI, investigated the brain activity of 17 individuals who reported being intensly in love 
  • Asked participants to rate how in love they were 
  • Found that the dopamine-rich areas of the brain that are associated with reward were activated to a greater extent when shown picture of the person they love than someone they liked - the amount of activity also correlated with the degree they said they were in love 
  • WE LOVE THOSE THAT REWARD US 
    • AO3 - However completed in a lab - contrived and artificial setting - low ecological validity 
    • Duck: Lab experiments should not be used when investigating relationships as relationships are not formed in a lab 

Ethnocentric:

  • Collectivist cultures do not have same emphasis on needs and rewards 

Reward isn't as powerful a predictor as thought e.g. parent/child relationships - helping others and self-sacrificing often a reward in itself 

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Formation AO1: Matching Hypothesis

Main Premise: Indiviudals seek to form an attachment with the best possible partner they think they can attract 

  • Want to feel they have the best possible partner that won't reject them 
  • As a consequence, it is observed that individuals form couples with similar levels of attractiveness

2 Specific Hypothesis':

  • The more socially desirably the person is, the more socially desirable they expect their partner to be 
  • Couples who are matched in terms of their social desirability are more likely to have a happy relationship

The 'Halo Effect'

If someone is seen as physically attractive they are thought to have more positive attributes as well e.g. being more sociable, more skilled. Highlights the importantce of attractiveness  in formation. 

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Formation AO2: Matching Hypothesis

Support from the Walster Dance Study:

  • Set up university dance - each student completed a questionnaire so a suitable partner could be matched with them - it was actually random
  • They were rated for physical attractiveness by a group of researchers
  • At the end of the dance they were asked to evaluat their partner and comment if would meet again
  • Found regardless of their own attractiveness - p's reacted more positively to attractive people
  • THEREFORE NOT SUPPORTING THE THEORY (people go for people with similar attractivnes)

Carried out an extension of the study where people had time to meet beforehand and more naturally - the results supported the hypothesis where p's paired up with people the researchers thought had similar attractivness levels 

AO3 - Could have been effected by researcher bias - as they had to determine how attractive the p's were however everyone has different ideas about who is attractive 

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Formation AO2: Matching Hypothesis

Supporting evidence comes from Mursteins Face Study:

  • Showed photographs of steady or engaged couples (real couples) to p's along with images of random couples put together for the experiment 
  • The real couples were judged consistently to be more similar in terms of attractiveness than the random couples
  • Murstein claimed that his study was useful in showing how people go for similar people

Also useful as they used real life couples therefore increasing the reliabiltiy of the research 

Gender Bias - Takeuchi: not all studies will be the same as there is a gender difference in how far physical attractiveness is valued 

  • Physical attractiveness of women is more valued by men, but attractiveness of men is less valued by women 
  • This suggests men can more easily compensate for a lack of physical attractivness by displaying other admirable characteristics e.g. kindness and generosity 
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Maintenance AO1: The Social Exchange Theory (SET)

SET revolves around 'profit' and 'loss' within relationships - Each person attempted to maximise their rewards (sex, affection) and minimise their losses (money, effort ect)

Four Stage Model:

  • Sampling - Couple explores the rewards and costs in a variety of relationships
  • Bargaining - Couple 'costs out' the relationship and identifies srouces of profit and loss
  • Commitment - Couple begins to settle down; exchange of rewards becomes predictable
  • Institutionalisation - Interactions are established and couple has settled down 

Thibaut and Kelley recognised the importance of influences beyond an analysis of the relationship within itself and introduced two 'reference' levels 

  • The comparison level between actual and expected rewards: Compares rewards and costs of what we have been used to in the past or what we think we is appropriate/we deserve 
  • The comparison level for alternatives: Concerned with the benefits of possible alternative relationships. Compares the outcomes for the refernece relationship with others that we could be in. If we feel other one would be better, motivated to end maintenance 
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Maintenance AO2: The Social Exchange Theory (SET)

Support comes from Rusbult - provides wider academic crediblity 

  • Asked college students in heterosexual relationships to do questionnaire over 7 months 
  • Found there were 3 underlying factors that determined whether they were 'satisfied' 
    • They had carefully weighed up rewards and costs of the relationship 
    • Consdiered the amoutn they had invested into the relationship
    • The extent of an attractive alternative 
  • Supports as shows person is more likely to not maintain if they lose little and have high comparison levels 
  • AO3 - uses reterospective data (questionnaire) - forgetting details, broken up = bias 

Further support: Simpson 

  • Found p's who were already dating tended to rate members of the opposite sex as less attractive - supports as demostrates whilst in relationship people close off from attractive alternatives 

Real life application - Rusbiult and Martz: can be used to explain why women stay in abusive relationships - when investments are high and alternatives low, abusive r regarded as profitable - helpful for charities to help create measures that convince women to realise their situation isn't profitable and alternatives can be positive 

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Maintenance AO2: The Social Exchange Theory (SET)

Reductionist:

  • Theory breaks down relationsips into a number of basic social interactions that are focused on hedonistic rewards of a single individual. Fails to take into account the notion of fairness 
  • This view is unrepresentative of society as not all individuals are hedonistic 

As a result, Waslter developed the Equity Theory 

  • The Equity theory accepts SET's claims that people monitor their relationship in terms fo profit and rewards, however suggests couples maintain their relationship by aiming for fairness 
  • If relationship is unfair it is seen as inequitable - inequity leads to them feeling dissatified so couple will try and repair the relationship by putting in more or less effort 
  • More representative of society as couples are liekly to try and repair relationship 

Culturally Bias - Moghaddam:

  • The 'economic' theories of maintenance only apply to Western cultures and people with high social mobility Less mobile groups and non-western cultures more likely to value security than personal profit e.g. arranged marriages - even though the relationship is seen as unprofitable they are unliekly to leave as it provides security for them and fam
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Maintenance AO1: Equity Theory

The theory accepts SET's claims that people monitor their relationships on rewards and profits however it extends it by suggesting couples also maintain by aiming for fairness for both partners. 

If the relationship is seen as unfair it is seen as inequitable. Inequity leads to the person feeling dissatified, however also leads to the over-benefitting person feeling guilty that their partner is unhappy. This results in the couple trying to repair the relaitonshipn by them putting in more or less effort 

Waslter offered 4 principles that underpin equity:

  • As suggested by SET - people try to maximise their rewards in a relationship
  • Trading rewards between both partiies occurs to ensure fairness 
  • Inequity produces dissatifsation with the person who recieves the lower level of reward 
  • The loser will endevour to rectify the situation, and the greater the percieved inequity the greater the effort the remedy the situation
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Maintenance AO2: Equity Theory

Not all couples apply to the theory - Clark and Mills:

  • Suggested that some couple work 'communally' meaning they want to love and care for eachother, not see their relationship as a situation where they ahve to give and recieve in equal amounts 
  • Couples do not keep count of the vinestment and cost - happy to accept there may be times when one partner needs more support or does less - will work out in the end 

This is supported by the Feeney: 

  • Suggested the theory is an invalid explanation of real-life relationships 
  • Equity is not as important in real love, modern world relationships are more sophisticated and a simple cost/benefit analysis is too simplistic. 

Cultural Differences in the importance of equity - Aumer-Ryan Et Al:

  • Found Hawaiian sample were most satisfied when they saw relationship as equitable, however in Jamacian sample both men and women most satisfied when thought overbeneffiting 
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Breakdown AO1: Duck

The breakdown of relationships is described as a 'process'. Duck produced a model into the theory of relationships as he felt breakdwon is highly complex. Duck's model is a phase model. At each phase there is a threshold, once breached it moves the process to the next phase. 

Phase 1: Intrapsychic Phase

  • The individual see's themselves as no longer being able to stay in relationship
  • Begin to analyse their partners behaviour and assess how adequate they are. 

If behaviour in adequate they move to Phase 2: Dyadic Phase

  • The indivudal chooses to confront their partner and negotiations are made 
  • If partner agrees to consdier ending the relationship the couple enters the next phase

Social Phase:

  • Couple addresses the social implications and state of relationship is made public
  • 'Intervention Teams' brought in to try and bring about reconciliation 
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Breakdown AO1: Duck/ Duck and Rollie

If the intervention teams fail the couple begins Phase 4 - The Grave Dressing Phase:

  • Dissolution becomes inevitable and involves each of the partners trying to 'get over' the breakup and engage in their own 'post-mortem'
  • The 'post-mortem' involves creating a version of events of the dissolution which enables them to emerge from the relationship with an intact reputation fro relationship reliability. 

This theory was later refined by Duck and Rollie (AO1/AO2)

Unlike the earlier model, the model focuses on processes rather than distinct phases 

Breakdown Phase (added to the beginning - The turning point - when an individual considers that the relationships should finish, it disatisfaction is great enough and things don't improve they move to the next stage 

Ressurection Phase (added to the end) - Point when they move on, maybe to another relationship, they learn fro previous mistakes and think about what they want in the future 

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Breakdown AO2: Duck and Rollie

A strength of Rollie and Ducks model is that it offers a realistic explanation of breakdown 

  • Ducks original model only had 4 stages and was very simplistic and so lost ability to explain the complex process 
  • Rollie and Duck's model explain the typical partterns in different phases rather than stages 
  • HOWEVER, it only describes how not why people breakup 

Support comes from Gray and Silver:

  • Surveyed 45 couples who had been married for an average of 10 years bu filed for divorce 
  • Found both men and women were likely to protect their self esteem by giving their own version of what happenened (support for grave dressing phase)
    • AO3- Low population validity - cannot generalsie, low external validity - inadequate suppor

IDA - Ethnocentric Bias:

  • Most research largely based on data from white, middle-class couples
  • Relationships are affected by the culture theyre in so social expectations will effect the breakdown - e.g. in a culture where divorce is frowned upon the social phase will be different to a culture where it is more accepted 
  • Also, in cultures where men have many wives the ressurection phase may not happen as they already have other wive
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Breakdown AO2: Duck and Rollie

Despite this, in cultures where it applies, the ressurection phase represents a positive view of breakdown and highlights the potential for personal growth 

  • Many people do benefit from leaving a relationship and therefore it is realsitic 
  • It also portrays what can be seen as a negative thing a a positive thing 
  • Tradiitonal models focus mainly on the distress casued by the breakdown 

IDA: Real Life Application

  • Duck says that by paying attention to how people talk about there relationship it could be possible to intervene before the relationship breaks down 
  • E.g. If someone in their intrapsyhcic phrase can be encouraged to thinka bout the good thingsb about their partner and think about their own behaviour as contributing to the problem
  • THis is a strength as it can be applied to real-life relationships and can help to save those relationships
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Breakdown AO1: Evolutionary Perspective

There is an evolutionary advantage to staying in ra long term relationship - childrearing is more successful is more ucccesful when there is a long-term relationship between partners. 

Mothers need constant food suply when breastfeeding and therefore throughout history have relied on male resources. Also keeps constant sexual access for both sexes. Being in a relationship is therefore adaptive - enhances survival of both sexes 

Evolutionary theory has made predictions about relationship break up and suggests reasons behind the bheaviour of the person breaking up the r (rejector) and the rejectee 

Perilloux and Buss: explanation fo why evolution may have shaped rejector and rejectee behaviou

Prediction  -  Costs related to emotional investment:

  • It is more constly for women to leave a relationship. Women need to remain in a relationship to keep the mail resources. If a male is emotionally involved in a rleaitonship he is likely to share his resources - however with breakdown he is less likley to share. A woman being left means she would experience higher costs 
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Breakdown AO1: Evolutionary Perspective

Prediction 2 - Increasing commitment as a response to the threat of breakup:

  • Women like to have a male who is highly emotionally commited as this ensure the survival of their young - so if a male is threatened with breakdown he will exploit this saying he will increase his commitment. This doesn't work for women as males provide resources, more important for them to be emotionally involved. 

Prediction 3 - Infidelity:

  • May be deliberate attempt to break up relationship as gives chance to get better partner 
  • More costly for females to terminate a relationship as so resource dependent 
  • Sexual variety more important for men, infidelity serves this desire by giving men sexual access to females outside relationship. Also helps rejector find replacement mate quickly. Males more likely to engage in sexual activity before relationship breaks up 

Prediction 4 - Managing repuational damage:

  • Rejectors may be percieved as curel and heartless whilst rejectee percieved as the victim. 
  • Rejectors therefore motivated to minimise any reputational damage and make effort to be seen as reaosnable and compassionae rather than cruel and heartless 
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Breakdown AO2: Evolutionary Perspective

Perilloux and Buss conducted research to test their predictions. Asked 199 heterosexual student participants to complete quesitonnaire. All had experienced a breakup with 80% as rejector and 71% as rejectee. Results supported all 4 predictions:

Prediction 1: Costs related to emotional investment 

  • Women reported more severe emotional responses after break up 

Prediction 2: Increasing commitment as a response to the threat of a break-up

  • Displays of commitement as a way of preventing a breakup more effective when used by men

Prediction 3: Infidelity

  • Male rejectors did report engaging in extra-relationship affairs than females. However, found both sexes likely to engage in post-breakup sexual activities (age? college environment?)

Prediction 4: Managing reputational damage

  • Foud rjectors do fear beign seen as cruel and heartless and used stratergies to stop this (e.g. raising others self estm)
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Sex Differences in Parental Investment AO1

The idea of parental investment was suggested by Trivers and defined it as: any investment made by a parents in an indiviudal offspring that increases the offsprings chance of surviving at the cost of the parent's ability to invest in other offspring 

He claims the investment is far from equal:

  • The females has a lot less gametes than the male has sperm so more costly to produce 
  • Maternal investment - obviously grow in body for 9 months, but there is a very difficult childbirth and the child is completely dependent for the mother, also they are certain they are the mother 
  • Paternal Investment - Human males are able to opt out of being a father in a way that females cannot. Males can also never be completely certain that the offspring is there (cuckoldry) 

Sexual and Emotional Jealousy: the possiblity poses different adaptive probs for males&females

  • For a man it means risking in offspring that aren't his own 
  • For women it means that the resources will be taken away from her and her offspring 
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Sex Differences in Parental Investment AO2

Parental investment theory suggests females are more prepared, Geher Et Al investigated this:

  • Asked undergraduates (not parents) to complete scale that measured how prepared they percieved themselves to be for parenting 
  • Found no difference in perceptions of males and females of their readiness for parenting 
  • However, when presented with scenarios found males showed significantly higher automatic nervous system arousal 
  • AO3 - Social Desirablity Bias: The males could have given answers they thought approproate 

However, there is evidence that the father is very important 

Reid:

  • Fathers helping out is associated with the decrease in infant mortality rates as well as improving physical health of children 
  • Resources provided by fathers allow the family to live in healthier, stable environments
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Sex Differences in Parental Investment AO2

Anderson:

  • Contradicts the assumption that the investment of fathers is greater if they know child is theirs 
  • Examined help given by fathers and stepfathers to children 
  • Measured paternal investment in terms of financial support and time spent with child 
  • Found men did not discriminate between children and step children 

Evidence for Sex Differences:

Buss Et Al:

  • Male students showed higher GSR when asked to imagine sexual infidelity of partner 
  • Female students showed higher GSR when when presented about emotional infidelity 

In contrast, Harris found:

  • Men respondw with greater arousal to any sexual imagery, regardless of its content therefore whether sex differeneces in jealousy are actually due to social learning not evolution 
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Sex Differences in Parental Investment AO2

Helps to explain gender differences in sexual jealousy ^^^ 

However, trivers theory fails to take into account that not all mating is about long-term relationships and that women, as well as men, clearly engage in short-term relationships, one night stands and affairs 

Theory tells us very little about homosexual relationships, which are non-productive.

  • Tooby Et Al argue that the same principles can be used to udnerstand relationships and that age preferences shown are inbuilt in men regardless of sexuality 

IDA: Using just the evolutionary approach is simplistic limited and therefore reductionist

  • Rowe suggests PI is due to personal and social conditions, however Belsky suggests it is childhood experiennces. These two are indicating evolutionary isn't complete explanation 

Gender Bias - under values both of the sexes, seeing women as mercenary resource driven, slaves to their children. HWereas males are seen as naturally bad parents due to lack of investment. Upholds stereotypes of men and women 

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Sexual Selection AO1:

Evolutionary explanations of human reproductive behaviour are based on the principles of sexual selection. Evolutionary theory states the sexual selection and subsequenct reproductive behaviour are due to nature. Selecting a mate to reproduce with is due to evolution and has adaptive benefits. 

Females: Theory states most important is the survival of their offspring - limited no of gametes 

  • Females look for males with masculine features, such features are casued by testosterone which suppresses immune system, therefore only healthy males have them = good genes 
  • Look for males with good resources to provide for future offspring and ensure their survival 
  • This reproductive behaviour ensures that subsequenct offspring are of a better quality 

Males: Primary concern is spreading genes 

  • Looks for indicators of fertility and youth - research shown that hour-glass figure with a waist-to-hit ratio of 0.7 is most ideal as indicates fertility
  • Workman and Reader found that men look for childlike features (e.g. big eyes)
  • Due to this drive to spread genes, men have more sex than women - found that for women casual sex can cause serious consequences. Clark and Hatfield found in study of college students when stranger asked for sex 75% of males said yes whereas no females did - showing how males are more motivated for casual sex 
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Sexual Selection AO2:

IDA - The thoery has a strong cultural bias:

  • Dixson found that men in Tanzania believed that the ideal 0.7 ratio looked sickly - they preferred a ratio of 0.9
  • The evolutionary theory does not account fro this difference - sexual selection may be influenced by culture as well as nature

However, Buss provides contradictory evidence:

  • Did a meta-analysis of 37 cultures and found that the preference for hour-glass exsisted cross culturally, also men universally placed emphasis on physical attractiveness as it is an indication of health and hence fertility, also all wanted a woman younger than them 
  • Women showed universal preference for men with resources or resourseful charcteristics
  • Strong evidence - sexual selection appears to result of evolution as its found across cultures 

AO3: Methodological Limitations

  • As a large scale study spanning several continents with different sampling methods being used in each ocountry raises question if it achieved representative samplinga cross population - e.g. rural and less-educated individuals were underrepresented in the study
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Sexual Selection AO2:

Another limitation: Preferences do not equal real-life choices:

  • People may express a preference for an ideal partner, while accepting that they may have to compromise when it comes to a real-life partner. 
  • However, a study of real-life marriages (Buss) found that men do choose yuonger women, futhermore when they divorce and re-marry it tends to be with younger women 

Nicholson continues this argument going against Buss:

  • The evolutionary theory does not accurately represent how people choose partners in real life; the relevance of evolutionary factors is overemphasised 
  • While it may be adaptive in some environments to behave as the theory suggests, it is not in some others due to the changing nature of environments - ENVIRONMNT INFLUENCES 

However, research by Langlois supports the argument:

  • Found that babies stare at attractive faces - this early facial preference sugggests that sexual selection behaviours are innate. Research by Kendall-Scott and Stark found cross cultural agreement for early facial preference. This research provides wider academic credibility for Langlois 
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Influence of Childhood on Romantic Relationships

Place importance on childhood experiences on future romantic relationships 

Internal Working Model - Bowlby:

  • Suggested that a child's primary attachment figure was the 'blueprint' for later relationships 
  • All of their ideas are based on their childhood experiences with primary attachment figure - these internal worlking models influence the childs expectations about relationships 
  • Adult relationships are likely to reflect early attachment styles (secure/insecure)

A study by Hazen and Shaver investigated the link between attachment style & later relationships

  • Used quesitonnaire that asked adults to comment on early attachment experiences and most importnat romantic relationship of their life so far
  • Found people who were securely attached as infants tended to have happy and long relationships as adult 
  • Adults who were insecurely attached found adult relationships more difficult and were more likely to be divorced 
  • Support's Bowlby's idea of the internal working model and his claim earily experineces effect
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Influence of Childhood on Romantic Relationships:

Research has also investigated the importance of children's interactions with peers as an influence on their relationships in adulthood 

Qualter and Munn:

  • Found that childrens' interactions with other children enable them to learn more about themselves as they internalise these experiences and develop expecatations about their future relationships 
  • For exmaple, their interactions with other children give them a sense of their own value (popularity)
  • These internalised expectations influence how they approach adult relationships in the same way as the internal working model outlined earlier 
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Influence of Childhood on Romantic Relationships:

Simpson provides evidence into the relationship between attachment style and adult relationships

  • Followed 78 individuals from infancy to early 20's (longitudinal study) - were studied at 4 key points and caregivers reported on their attachedment behaviours
  • Those individuals who were securely attached were more socially comptetent in shcool and were more liely to have secure friendships - in adulthood has more positive daily emotional expeirences
    • AO3: The longitudinal approach is appropriate and allows for proper investigation 
    • However, this study cannot establish cause and efffect - however does allow researchers to predict likley outcomes in specified circumstances

Probelms with reterospective data:

  • MAny of the study in this area rely on reterospective data e.g. Hazan and Shaver 
  • Some of the pp's were in their 80's their meemory of their childhood expeerience was unliekly to be completely accurate 
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Influence of Childhood on Romantic Relationships:

Further support for the link between attachment style and marital satisfaction - Feeney:

  • Examined relationship. Believed there would be a relationshipbetween attachment style and caregiving, and this would affect how satisfied someone was in their relationship
  • FOund that secure attachment was associated with supportive caregiving to the partner and that marital satisfaction was higher for securely attached individuals 

She further exmained the relationship between attachment style and emotional experience:

  • Found insecure attachment was associated with less frequent and intense positive emotions with more frequent and intense negative emotions 
  • Therefore, attactment plays role in influencing emotional climate of marriage - marital satisfact

Social Desirability Bias:

  • Researchers int his field frequently use self-report methods, this has probelms 
  • P's may want to give a good impression of how well adjusted and secure they are in relationship - realibility of data may be weakened 
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Influence of Childhood on Romantic Relationships:

Support for the Interaction with Peers theory - Nangle Et Al:

  • Also highlights the importance of friendship in this process 
  • Having a close friend to trust and confide in helps children learn how to take part in emotionally intimate relationships - though feelings of acceptance and of being understood by another person - important for later relationships 

Blos: Suggested that relationships with peers help the adolescent avoid feelings of lonelinesss, without having to make any commitment to a long-term partner, they provide a 'way-station' on the route to achieveing seperation from parents and 'individuation'

IDA - Determinism: 

  • MAny of the studys indicate that early experiences have a fixed influence on later adult relationships 
  • However, this is not the case as many researchers (e.g. Simpson) found many examples of adults who were experiencing happy and satisfying adult relationships despite having been insecurely attached as children 
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Influence of Culture on Romantic Relationships: AO

Hofstede argued we can distinguish between different cultures on these dimensions:

  • Individualist: Most western cultures. Greater emphasis on I not We in interpersonal relationships. Peronsal needs are more important. Relationships viewied as indiviudal and temporary 
  • Collectivist: Most Eastern cultures. More value placed on we than I. Desires of individual considered less important than ties between and responsiblies to collective units (family). Marriage often seen as union between families 

Marriage:

  • Westerners think of monogomy as the norm. This belief is the law and reflects Christianity 
  • However, culturs differ in marital arrangements: Polygamy can take the form of polygyny or polyandry 
  • Another arrangement is mantadory marriage to a specific relative (Triandis) 
  • Monogamy appears to be a universal concept as probably fewer than 0.5% of human societies have practiced polyandry as common form of marriage (Price and Crapo)
  • Therefore, whlist there appears to be different marriage structures aroudn the world, with more variety in Collectivist societies - there appears to be minimal cultural differences as monogamy is the norm 
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Influence of Culture on Romantic Relationships: AO

Arranged Marriages:

  • Where culture appears to difffer is how the monogamy is formed and the concept of love 
  • Arranged marriages more common in collectivist - in Japan almost 1/4 marriages are arranged
  • Ghuman states that arranged marriages are common among religions like Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims (all prominent in collectivist cultures)
  • HOWEVER, Goodwin found that only 9% of Hindu marriages he studied were arranged - therefore not that different from Christians - indacting cultural similarities 

Considering love:

  • Gupta and Singh found love is more likely to develop and grow duing course of arranged marriage compared with 'love marriages'. 
  • Arranged marriages more common in collectivist cultures where the whole extended famliy 'married' the extended family. Distinct from individual cultures where they marry eachother (Triandis)

Divorce rates amongst those who marry for parents wishes are much lower than those who marry for love (argument in favour of arranged). But divorce rates are rising amonst arranged couples - indicates westernisation and less difference

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Influence of Culture on Romantic Relationships: AO

IDA: Migration

  • Due to greater and urbanisation and mobility collectivist cultures have more influence from Western cultures 
  • As a result India has shown a sharp increase in divorce rates in recent years, which has become the norm in western countries however has only recently become migrating
  • However, research findings suggest that the relationship differences found in a range of cultures may not be the result of Western versus non-western, instead the increasing urbanisation of societies around the world 

Sexual Jealousy:

  • According to Ford and Beach only 53% of societies studied forbit extramarital sex by both
  • Some socities permit and even encourage sexual relationships to which Westerners would respond with jealousy 
  • Reiss believed that jealousy is universal, but expressed more reality in some societies

Cultures also seem to differ on what behaviours trigger sexual jealousy

  • In many cultures, marriages and sexual relationships are strictly regulated by concepts of kindship e.g. orthadox Jews reqiure a man to marry his deceased brothers widow. 
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Influence of Culture on Romantic Relationships: AO

(Cont.) In India the husband and wife do not always live together but the wife concieves most of ehr children by different men who she has had short relationships with, but this is no basis for jealousy by the primary husband. However, he would express jealousy if she showed a lack of interest in him - either sexually or non-sexually (Prince and Crap)

Probably the most common triggers of jealousy are sexual behaviours, but the specific type of behaviour that produces sexual jealousy varies from culture to culture 

IDA: Evolutionary perspective on romantic love 

  • Pinker suggests love is a species-specific adaptation that has evovled to promote survival and reproduction among human beings 
  • Long-term commited relationships are associated with lower mortality rates, increased happiness and decreased levels of stress = there is clear adaptive value 
  • THerefore this would appear to be seen in all cultures regardless - Jankowiak and Fischer: clear evidence in lots of societies of passionate, romantic love 
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