Relationships in different cultures

unit 3 psychology A2 aqa a

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  • Created by: lauren
  • Created on: 09-06-12 20:48

Voluntary and non-voluntary

Western cultures predominantly urban, ensuring relatively easy social and geogrpahical mobility - interaction with a large number of people - high degree of choice over who they interact with on a daily basis

Non-Western cultures lack urban settings - less social and less geographical mobility - interaction with fewer others on a daily basis - less choice who they form relationships with

Support - Epstein - in socities with reduced mobility, non-voluntary marriages seemed to work well with low divorce rates and high levels of love between partners - Myers - no difference in marital satisfaction between Indian couples in arranged marriages and non-arranged marriages in the USA but Chinese study - Xiohe and Whyte - found that women who had married for love were happier than women who were in arranged marriages

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Voluntary and non-voluntary

IDA - evolutionary explanation for universal love - Pinker - romantic love is a human universal that evolved to promote survival and reproduction among humans - Janowiak and Fischer support this claim - romantic love existed in 90% of the 166 non-Western cultures they studied 

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Individual or group-based relationships

Attitudes in individualistic cultures where individual interests are more highly regarded than group goals or interests are consistent with the formation of relationships based on freedom of choice - collectivism leads to relationships that may have more to do with the concerns of the family or group 

Voluntary relationships not necessarily most successful - expect relationships based on love to produce more compatible partners than relationships based on family or financial reasons but this might not be the case - parents may be in a better position to judge long-term compatibility rather than young people who are 'blinded by love' and who ignore areas where they may be incompatible BUT 

Xiohe and Whyte - chinese study found freedom of choice in relationships appeared to promote marital stability rather than instability, greater long term compatibility in non-arranged marriages

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Norms act as guidelines for behaviour within a culture - norm of reciprocity stresses that for a benefit recieved an equal benefit should be returned - in individualistic cultures reciprocity seems to be voluntary whereas in collectivist cultures it is more obligatory - Japan has a norm of reciprocal gift giving -Ting-Toomey

Culture is an important factor in the study of relationships - social psychologists traditionally ignored culture in their study of relationships because of an emphasis on experimental method as the preferred method of study. Although cultural background may be seen as problematic extreneous variable its clear culture is an important variable istelf - Moore and Leung - 212 anglo-australian STUDENTS - amd 106 chinese-australian students - found differences between anglo-australian ad chinese-australian students in their attitude towards romantic relationships, love and loneliness

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