Relationships

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Theories for the formation of relationships

  • REWARD NEED SATISFACTION THEORY: Byrne et al; we find relationships rewarding/find life unpleasant & unrewarding when alone. Operant and Classical conditioning. 
  • Operant; people reward us directly by meeting psychological needs (the need for love/friendship). Those that are helpful, cheerful, attentive & supportive provide this direct reinforcement = liked more.
  • Classical; indirectly rewarded as some individuals may provide pleasant circumstances or pleasant events occur around them (compliments they provide or other positives) = pleasant feelings associated with the person themselves.
  • Positive moods experienced when meeting individuals = association thus increasing the likelihood of attraction.
  • Attracted to individuals who meet our needs & expectations. Individuals that do invariably induce positive feelings increasing attraction to them also. Byrne et al: balance of positive and negative feelings were crucial & ones where positive feelings outweighed negatives were most likely to succeed.  
  • MATCHING HYPOTHESIS: Walster et al; people who were similar in attraction levels/intelligence/social standing = more inclined to form relationships with each other. People pair themselves with others based on own sense of value & look for partners with similar qualities. More socially desirable a person is = more desirable they would expect their potential partner to be. People matched well = happier relationships compared to couples that are mismatched (social desirability).
  • “Realistic choices” = influenced by what they want & what they think they can get as chance of reciprocated feelings. 
  • Hays et al; students in friendships gave value to rewarding other person as being rewarded themselves = reward/need theory is flawed. Friendships & student relationships revolved more around equity & fairness = people not as self-centred.
  • Reward/Need = reductionist; oversimplifying complex elements into simple processes (operant/classical conditioning).
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Theories for the formation of relationships

  • Ignores free will; portrays people as simple stimuli response machines rather than the complex individuals everyone really is. In addition, sample consisted of students and and findings may lack ecological validity to wider generalisation. 
  • Support: Griffitt et al; P'pants evaluated on creative task by experimenter, then asked how much they liked experimenter. Rating highest from p'pants who were evaluated positively. Criticism =  lacked external validity in real world settings and actual real world relationship formation as doesn't suggest relationship forming. Most studies supporting reward/need model lack mundane realism and internal validity as they do not necessarily show principles of need satisfaction. 
  • Gender differences & Cultural Bias reward need model: Lott et al; in many cultures women socialised to be more attentive  needs of others such as husbands and children rather than their own rewards. However, meeting others needs may be rewarding in itself, difficult to disprove theory for cetrain.
  • Consider arranged marriages = no matching, rewards/needs. Cultural bias to western society. 
  • Walster et al; dance study to test the matching hypothesis.students believed they were meeting dates based on similar social desirablity but were actually matched randomly. when matched to those that they were physcially attractive they were likely to pursue dates further = physical attraction most important in matching hypothesis.  
  • Lacks internal validity as may not actually be measuring students matching themselves according to their own social desirability weakening the theories credibility. 
  • Mustein et al; measured couples & judges independently assigned to score each partner on levels of attraction without knowing which people were actually partners. Strong evidence supporting the matching effect occurring as the scores for each partners level of physical attraction showed significant similarities.
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Theories for the formation of relationships

  • Bobblet et al also found evidence for a matching effect for more com- mitted couples showing those matched similarly appeared to have stronger relationships (married, engaged or going steady). 
  • Flaw of matching hypothesis = proposes people pair up with others of similar “social desirability”.
  • Hatfield et al proposes complex matching occurs where those lacking in one area make up for it in others e.g. wealth, personality, physical attraction. An example of this is when a wealthy older man pairs up with a younger attractive woman.
  • Matching hypothesis = reductionist & incomplete to account for such instances weakening the theory.
  • Matching hypothesis = deterministic; does not account for the role of free will that people have in determining their own choices. Many people pair up together despite being very different on percieved social desirability and this is due to free will, which is not accounted for in the theory.
  • Evolutionary explanations may also explain the formation of relationships better.
  • People may ultimately look to form relationships with people that offer the most in terms of passing on their genes successfully i.e. be it through attraction indicating fidelity or wealth promoting the chances of a stable and secure future for themselves and children.
  • Support for this and criticism of both matching hypothesis and reward/need models comes from research by Takeuchi who has shown a gender difference exists with men placing greater importance on physical beauty (fidelity) while women place less emphasis on this and being more open to other social desirability traits such as kindness and generosity (security). 
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Theories for the maintenance of romantic relations

  • Social exchange theory; relationship behaviour = series of exchanges based on rewards, costs & profits.  Attempts to maximise rewards while minimising costs. inidivudals receieve rewards and feel obligated to reciprocate. 
  • Rewards = pleasurable and beneficial (sompany/security/intimacy). 
  • Costs = anything that is viewed as a loss (effort/time/arguments/abuse/loss of other opportunities)
  • costs subtracted from rewards equals in a loss or profit, relationships are mainatined if a profit reoccurs. 
  • Comparison level = based on previous relationship experiences, expectations & comparison of possible alternative relationships that may be available. may look at benefits of not being in a relationship (less arguments/freedom/more time with friends). 
  • if judges curent relationship offers poor value based on comparison level = end it or maintain provided profits exceed this comparison level. 
  • Equity; similar to SET but people want to achieve fairness (equity) not profit. 
  • under/over-benefitting cause inequity = dissatisfaction or possible dissolution. 
  • greater inequity = greater dissatisfaction/distress. 
  • recognising inequity provides chance for relationship to be saved by making adjustments to establish equity; provided the 'loser' feels there is chance of restoring fairness & is motivated to save relationship. 
  • can be done by changing amount put in (input)/taken (output) or changing perception of inputs/outputs (counselling). 
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Theories for the maintenance of romantic relations

  • both people can't put in different amounts, little = little in return, more = more; dependent on input/output ratios. 
  • may still compare relationship to comparison level for other relationships = whether worth continuing/starting new 1.
  • Mills & Clark; lack of support for SET & there were two types of couples. Communal couple = each partner gave out of concern for the other. Exchange couple = kept mental record of point scoring. = SET may lack external validity. 
  • Rusbult et al; studied maintenance for 7 months, found SET doesn't explain honeymoon period, later relationship satisfaction related to costs = SET better for long term maintenance. Also support for SET; as people gauging costs and rewards of relationship in comparison to alternative ones = people view & maintain on benefits/costs (SET).
  • Hatfield et al; people who felt they over/under-benefitted; those underbenefitting felt angry whilst those overbenefitting flet guilty = neither wanted to maintain an unbalanced relationship = supports SET/Equity.
  •  Yum et al; heterosexual relationships in 6 different cultures & found people in equitable relationships engaged in most maintenance strategies. Heterosexual = not for homosexual ones. 6 cultures = little sample.  Cultural factors = little support to equity & its ecological validity & generalisation across culutres. 
  • Canary et al; degree of percieved equity & prevalence of maintenance strategies=equitables ones are maintained(equity)
  • Dainton et al; 219 romantic relationships, those in inequitable relationships = unhappy & wanted to be equitable again.
  • SET/Equity = reductionist; assume maintenance is down to profit/equity but they are more complex. e.g women stay with abusive husbands despite high losses/inequity. 
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Theories for the maintenance of romantic relations

  • Role of 'love' isn't factored in = theories are too simplistic, over-simplified & incomplete. 
  • Research focuses on heterosexual relationship, doesn't consider homosexual ones = lacks external validity. 
  • SET/Equity; cultural bias = based on western cultures, e.g. arranged marriages based on bringing families/communities together so maintenance not down to selfish desire/equity. 
  • Kahn et al; gender bias isn't accounted for; females more concerned with equality & receiving equal amounts regardless of input, men more concerned with equity & benefits proportionate to input. Theory doesn't apply to both genders. 
  • Moghaddam found evidence for cultural bias with US students in relationships prefering equity while europeans pre- ferred equality suggesting further cultural differences and limited application of each theory dependant on cultures.
  • However the results and findings from this study may limit the results to younger adults and students rather than long-term relationships as is common with older individuals.
  • Mills and Clark stated it was not possible to quantify emotional investment which played a huge role in relationship maintenance.
  • Such theories are unable to quantify or explain how “love” fits in although this is widely accepted as a huge factor in maintaining relationships. 
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Theories for the breakdown of relationships

  • Duck 4 stage model; breakdown is a process rather than a single event. Factors that can cause this; lack of skills (interpersonal), stimulation (may lead to boredom/ relationship not progressing or developing), maintenance (not spending enough time together due to work commitment). 
  • Intrapsyhic; social withdrawal, resentment & feeings of being under-benefitted occur.
  • Dyadic – Partners discuss problems and provided it is constructive rather than destructive this could lead to reconciliation. If this is not resolved the breakdown progresses to the next stage.
  • Social stage – The breakdown is made public to friends and family. There is negotiation over assets, support is sought from social networks and alliances are made.
  • Grave-dressing – A post view of the relationship breakdown is established for why it occurred with each person having their own account. The rebuilding of self-esteem for future relationships occurs here to show trust and loyalty, two important qualities which are under question. 
  • Lee's 5 stage model;  
  • Dissatisfaction – An individual becomes dissatisfied within the relationship.
  • Exposure – Dissatisfaction is revealed to ones partner.
  • Negotiation – Discussion occurs over the nature of the unhappiness.
  • Resolution – Attempts are made to resolve the dissatisfaction. 
  • Termination – If the dissatisfaction is not resolved the relationship ends. 
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theories for the breakdown of relationships

  • Tashiro et al; supports Duck: students reported after breakups they not only felt distressed but also personal growth and better insight into themselves & what they wanted from future relationships = grave dressing & resurrection enabled them to move on. Students = can't generalise = realtionships may be different to adult ones = lacks external validity. 
  • face validity = people can relate their own/others' experiences to both models. 
  • Boekhout et al; supports Duck: studied extramartital affairs; found reason for affairs was a reaction to percieved lack of skills or stimulation, men = lack of sexual excitement, boredom & variety, women = lack of attention/emotional satisfaction. However, p'pants may not give genuine reasons to portray those commiting the affair as the victim. 
  • Gender differences apparent in Duck & Lee's models; Kassin et al: women stress unhappiness and incompatibility whilst men blame a lack of sex. Women want to remain friends, Men want a clean break. 
  • Argyle et al; gender differences for breakups: women = lack of emotional support, men = lack of fun. 
  • Models can't account for gender differences; reductionist and oversimiplified with more complex processes being involved. 
  • Akert et al; person who instigated the break up suffered less negative consequences than non-instigator. models can't explain these individual differences. those inititaiting breakup have already come to terms with it ending = less negatives. 
  • Lee's theory based on research/surveys from 112 breakups of non marital romantic relationships; found negociation & exposure stages were the most distressing and emotional draining. may not apply to marriages as children & shared assets. 
  • models don't provide practical implications for counselling & assessing relationship with intervention to save it. 
  • phases of breakdown aren't always universal as some couples simply walk away from a relationship. 
  • don't help us fully understand breakup as as it begins when unhappiness has set in. Also not based on homsexuals. 
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Theories for the breakdown of relationships

  • The main problem for both models is they are based heavily on western society and therefore suffer from cultural bias. In some cultures arranged marriages tend to be more permanent and involve families in crisis, which these models cannot fully explain. Therefore the models can be argued to be ethnocentric and lacking external validity to wider generalisation across different cultures.
  • Neither model factors in love and how that may play a mitigating role in relationship breakdown yet it is universally accepted as a key component within relationships.
  • In addition neither theory can explain abusive relationships where an abused partner may not initiate the stages of dissolution but instead walk away completely.
  • Also there is great ethical issues and concern carrying out research of this sensitive nature. This raises the issue of vulner- ability of participants and discussing and reliving breakups may cause distress. Privacy is also a concern due to the in- tensely personal nature of discussing breakups. 
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the relationship between sexual selection and huma

  • Darwin; sexual selection - competition for mates between individuals of the same sex affects the evolution of cetrain traits.
  • Any physical trait that enhances reproductive success will be passed down over time. Animals possess features that make them attractive to members of the opposite sex & allow them to compete with members of the same sex. 
  • E.g. humans = the relative hairlessness of human beings compared with other great apes allowed our ancestors to keep cool aswell as promote good hygiene = trait becomes desirable in a mate (result of sexual selection). Greater loss of body hair in women would've been through greater pressures on women from sexual selection in comparison to men. 
  • However, the peacock's tail goes against this = no advantage; heavier &  more noticable by predators. 
  • Zahavi; handicap principle: if any indicator is too costly to produce and is still displayed = sign of strong genes and health. peacocks able to siplay bright, heavy features & still survive = makes them more attractive to females (may apply to humans)
  • Sexual selection pressures through genders due to differences in gametes; males = millions of sperm, however not certain of paternity & little cost to production = natural selection favors them = maximises mating opportunities. Females = limited eggs with huge investment during & after pregnancy. Must be more choosy in finding strong, healthy, committed males. 
  • Intra-sexual selection; males who compete with eachother for access to females. men have evolved indicators (strong jawlines, high cheekbones, traingular backs & wide shoulders) = strength & testerone which women seek. 
  • High levels of testerone = damage immune systems and only be able to be displayed in strong males. 
  • Thornhill et al; women preferred men with strong traits, men looked for fertility through youth & physicial attraction = sexual selection theory for humans. 
  • Intersexual selection; women = men who show indicators of providing good genes = protect her & child, status & resources. 
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The relationship between sexual selection and huma

  • Thornhill et al; women preferred men with strong traits, men looked for fertility through youth & physicial attraction = sexual selection theory for humans. 
  • Intersexual selection; women = men who show indicators of providing good genes = protect her & child, status & resources. 
  • Psychologists; evolutionary behaviour shapes mate selection in males and females. Males should look for signs of fertility, youth & physical attraction (in women). Women should look for genetic strength, masculine features and the ability to provide and protect. 
  • Buss et al; cross cultural study (37 cultures, over 10,000 people) on mate preference. males = younger, physically attractive females, females = strong & athletic males with emphasis on resources. both = increase reproductive success = supports. hoever, questionnaires used = eaisly misunderstood across cultures, self reports = translation problems through use of 3rd party translators. mate preference = not indicative of what actually happens in real life. 
  • Dunbar et al; 4 american newspapers with over 900 personal ads reviewing mate preference. women offered youth & physicial attraction, men offered finanicial status & resources = each sought what the other wanted = supports theory. However, only americans = cultural bias. Kindess & intelligence was rated higher in importance = doesn't support. 
  • Singh et al; men preferred waist to hip ratio of 0.7 across cultures = sign of fertility = supports theory. 
  • Thornhill et al; symmetrical faces sought by both genders, symmetry = strong genetic fitness & strong resistance = supports. Women sought men w/ masculine features. Men sought women w/ childlike features (youth & fertility) = reproduction.
  • Studies outline preferences but not reflective of everyday life; social, cultural factors & opportunities not recognised.  
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the relationship between sexual selection and huma

  • theory is beneficial = helps understand human behaviour as some things biologically programmed to nature (not nurture).
  • Not scientifically based; on post-hoc evidence. Cannot be proven or disproven either way. 
  • Gender bias; assumes men are likely to cheat on their partners and points to genetic programming as the cause; not all men cheat. doesn't explain why women cheat as they look for support & security; cuckoldy possible reason but difficult to prove.
  • Evolutionary theories such as this can be argued to be reductionist as they simply put down mate choice due to our genetic makeup. In truth partner choice is much more complex involving cultural and social elements which are not fully considered and this theory portrays us as driven purely by nature which is clearly not true.
  • The theory is also deterministic as it suggests human sexual preferences are genetically programmed and we are at their mercy. The theory does not take into account our ability of conscious thought which gives us free will to make choices for ourselves. Even in Buss et als study across cultures “Kindness” and “intelligence” was ranked higher than physical attraction.
  • Sexual selection theory cannot also explain homosexuality and why this exists. No children are produced and such behav- iour goes against the theory. This raises serious ethical issues as people may use sexual selection theory to highlight the “ab- normality” of homosexuality and create prejudice through homophobia.
  • Arranged marriages have also existed for centuries yet such behaviour goes against the theory. This also shows how cul- tural factors also play a role in human reproduction. 
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Sex differences in parental investment

  • evident sex difference; males can opt out of parental investment in way that females can't. 
  • human females need to invest more in respnse to adaptive pressures. 
  • Brain size increase = more diffi- cult childbirths due to skull size increases, to compensate children are born relatively immature at 9 months compared to other animals. Females therefore required to make a large investment pre-natal and post-natal = females are required to care for the child during pregnancy for 9 months followed by years of care after in infancy.
  • Investment = much higher in comparison to males who can invest a few moments of copulation and a teaspoonful of semen (Sy- mons). Evolutionists explain this difference due to females be- ing certain of being the mothers of the children due to internal fertilization where as men do not have the same degree of certainty.
  • This is made more difficult in more promiscuous mating arrangements where there is a risk of Cuckoldry. 
  • This results in a huge difference in the potential maximum reproductive success of each sex making random mating far too costly for human females.
  • When males do invest in their children and females they are under pressure from protecting themselves from cuckoldry which is the risk of investing in children that are not their own. This is because males cannot be sure of paternity while females can. Due to this males have a greater concern about fidelity in their mating partners than their mates (Miller).
  • Buss et al; sexual jealousy may have evolved as a possible solution to this problem. Men are more jealous of the sexual act itself while women are jealous of the shift in emotional focus and the loss of resources and investment into another woman. 
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sex differences in parental investment

  • Consequences of high cost maternal investment: Infant dependency = females want male providers but also the expense of childrearing means females want to ensure good quality children too so their efforts are not wasted.
  • One way to achieve this is to marry a man with good resources and who is caring yet “shop around” for men with good genes through extra-marital affairs with men who may not have resources.
  • Baker et al; results from one magazine survey of over 2700 uk women, 14% of the population could be due to extra-marital affairs supporting this theory of sex differences and parental investment. However sample is very small in comparison to uk population (over 60 million) & difficult to generalise. Cultural bias = focused on UK women meaning results may be eth- nocentric and not across other populations. Also the results being from particular types of magazines may in fact attract a certain demographic of readership - the content about extra- marital affairs may actually attract those that engage in such behaviour further biasing the results. Therefore it is hard to establish cause and effect from such survey results.
  • Buss et al; male US students = more concern about sexual infidelity, female students = greater concern over emotional infidelity. This was also supported by physiological responses when respondents were asked to imagine scenes of sexual or emotional infidelity.
  • Men showed more distress with sexual rather than emotional infidelity = supports the theory however the results from US students suggesting cultural bias and making cross-cultural application difficult. The age group may also not be indicative of the whole population.
  • In humans joint parental care may actually be more desirable because of the high costs of successful reproduction.
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Sex differences in parental investment

  • Men do restrict their reproductive opportunities investing more heavily in each individual offspring.
  • Gross & Shine; internal fertilization parental care is carried out by 86% of females while with external fertilization parental care is carried out by males in 70% of species supporting such predictions based on paternal certainty.
  • Andersson et al; investments by fathers in the college education of biological and step-children = highest when the biological father lived with the mother of his children. This would initially support such an evolutionary theory however in all other instances investments were equal which does not appear to support the theory overall.
  • Reductionist; as it attempts to explain human behaviour down to simple evolutionary explanations with us governed by “nature” rather than “nurture” negating social and cultural influences completely. Human behaviour far more complex.
  • Deterministic; does not factor in peoples ability for conscious thought and free-will. Many females care for children that are not her own in relationships as do men. Couples even adopt putting in equal amounts of energy despite there being no biological link either highlighting this ability to break away from our genetic programming. 
  • As with most evolutionary theories, attempting to explain differences in investment between the sexes is heavily based on post-hoc evidence that is difficult to conclusively prove or disprove. Popper argued theories that cannot be scientifically proven remain speculative and this is one big criticism of such an evolutionary explanation for differences.
  • Gender bias; portrays men to be more susceptible to cheating and infidelity. In truth this is not the case and there are cases of both genders behaving this way as a man cannot mate without a willing female either. 
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Sex differences in parental investment

  • Men do restrict their reproductive opportunities investing more heavily in each individual offspring.
  • Gross & Shine; internal fertilization parental care is carried out by 86% of females while with external fertilization parental care is carried out by males in 70% of species supporting such predictions based on paternal certainty.
  • Andersson et al; investments by fathers in the college education of biological and step-children = highest when the biological father lived with the mother of his children. This would initially support such an evolutionary theory however in all other instances investments were equal which does not appear to support the theory overall.
  • Reductionist; as it attempts to explain human behaviour down to simple evolutionary explanations with us governed by “nature” rather than “nurture” negating social and cultural influences completely. Human behaviour far more complex.
  • Deterministic; does not factor in peoples ability for conscious thought and free-will. Many females care for children that are not her own in relationships as do men. Couples even adopt putting in equal amounts of energy despite there being no biological link either highlighting this ability to break away from our genetic programming. 
  • As with most evolutionary theories, attempting to explain differences in investment between the sexes is heavily based on post-hoc evidence that is difficult to conclusively prove or disprove. Popper argued theories that cannot be scientifically proven remain speculative and this is one big criticism of such an evolutionary explanation for differences.
  • Gender bias; portrays men to be more susceptible to cheating and infidelity. In truth this is not the case and there are cases of both genders behaving this way as a man cannot mate without a willing female either. 
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the influence of childhood on adult relationships

  • shaver = attachment, caregiving & sexuality systems = experiences of love in adulthood = bowlby = internal working model = later relationships continuation from early attachment styles (secure/insecure) caregiver sets standards for later relationships. 
  • caregiving system = knowledge about how one cares for others, learned through modelling behaviour of primary attachment figure. 
  • avoidant may see sex without love is pleasurable. 
  • Qualter et al; show how children learn from other children, way a child thinks about themselves is detrermined by specific experiences that become internalised = develops sense of own value which determines how they approach adult relationships. 
  • Nangle et al, children's friendships = training ground for adult ones, therefore close friendships could play significant role in developing social skills as they are characterised by affection, sense of alliance & intimacy = important for adult relationships. 
  • Fraley et al; meta analysis = positive correlations between early attachment type & later relationships supporting the theory. 
  • greater support = likely needed in childhood to encouarge social interaction. however study used US p'pants. = theory limited to US. 
  • Gender differences; Schneider et al; girls more intimate friendships, boys more competitive. 
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The influence of childhood on adult relationships

  • could affect how both genders develop in ability to interact with peers in later life & sexual selection theories "intra sexual competition" may be a reason for gender differences; theory may be flawed in assumption that early attachment styles alone shape later relationships but differences in gender also due to socialisation (nurture) or “nature” due to males competitive streak to attract females. Erwin et al claimed any gender differences are overemphasized & similarities are overlooked also.  
  • Simpson et al;  longitudinal study spanning more than 25 years involving 78 participants at 4 key points: Infancy, early childhood, adolescence and adulthood.  Findings of this study supported claim that expressions of emotions (adult romantic relationships) could be related back to a persons early attachment experience.  useful as it allows researchers to observe changes in behaviour instead of asking people to rely on memory  (biased or affected). weakness = other unknown variables can still be affecting the p'pants later adult relationships  (cultural or social factors). 
  • Belsky et al; secure women experienced less conflict with husbands than insecure. secure = more likely to to manage conflict in mutuall focused way = may explain why there is less conflict = applied to dating & married couples. 
  • secure = more committed to relationship & feel greater love for partners = consistent with shaver = early attachment affect later realtionships. hamilton et al; securely attached children became insecure due to negative life events. 
  • rutter et al; insecure attachments in childhood didn't always translate into adult ones as many went to form stable relationships = suggests nurture & environment shaping behaviour more than early attachment. 
  • reductionist; do not factor in other influences (cultural/social) which may lead us to adapt & improve ch deficiencies. 
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The influence of childhood on adult relationships

  • theory states early experiences set in stone our later relationships = clearly not the case as adult relationships are far more complex. = free will alows us to break away from early experiences through concious thought & self awareness = address problem areas. therefore theories like this are deterministic as assume our fate is sealed from childhood however we are constantly learning and adapting our behaviour and attachment styles may change over time. 
  • studies that show correlations never conclusively proven = impossible to establish cause & effect as insecure early attachments may be due to innate temperature or other factors. 
  • problem is adulthood may be cause by other variables during life and not necessarily childhood experiences = methodological problems for longitudinal studies. 
  • studies such as Ainsworth are culturally biased & not applicable to non-western cultures, therefore findings can be culturally biased. 
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The influence of culture on romantic relationships

  • western = people choose partners on romance, attraction & individual choice, usually before making decisions to live together or get married, some may live together without marriage (rate of marriages in western cultures has decreased). 
  • due to social mobility western cultures are generally characterised by greater pool of potential relationships & choice due to living in urban settings meaning we regulary interact with large no's of people. 
  • non western = fewer urban centres and less geographical & social mobility translating to less choice about who they interact with on a daily basis = relationships = factors (economic/family).
  • Western culture = importance on rights and freedoms of individual = individualistic = own choices - relationships = voluntary. 
  • Non W= group tends to be main unit of concern = collectivistic = encouraged to be interdepen-dent and rely on one another - relationships = family, group, community = involuntary = arranged marriage = parents significant role in who their child chooses to marry and unions are joining of communities and extended families, based on assumption that marrying for love would be a disaster and "parents know best". 
  • Research = voluntary marriages (individualistic cultures) lower levels of satisfaction in long term. 
  • Also such cultures may see divorce as "shame" on family which discourages unhappy couples to consider divorce. 
  • love more important in western than non w. 
  • Hsu = compared chinese & north american societies & demonstarted how different values shape relationship choices. 
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The influence of culture on romantic relationships

  • chinese regard heritage & ancestry as important therefore relationships more permanent, western that emphasised progress & discontinuity favoured temporary relationships = cultures shape relationships.
  • Norms and rules between cultures may affect relationships due to what is considered normal behaviour. E.g. reciprocity = if someone receives a benefit they must return it. 
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