A2 Psychology (AQA) - Formation of relationships

  • Created by: Hannah
  • Created on: 08-06-11 13:03

Filter Theory Kerchkoff and Davis (1962)

Filter theory suggests relationships develop through different filters, and different factors are more important at different times.

It starts with a 'field of availables'. This refers to the group of people we could possibly have a relationship with, which gets narrowed down until we have a 'field of desirables'- those we consider potential partners.

  There are 3 filters:

  1. Similarity of social variables:

Such as proximity, ethnicity, social class, educational background, and physical attractiveness. We often only mix with people from similar backgrounds to ourselves.

  2.    Similarity of attitudes and values:

Such as ideas, beliefs, interests and morals. If a couple shares beliefs, it makes communication easier, and therefore a relationship that functions better.

  3.   Complementarity of emotional needs:

How well a couple suits each others needs. This happens once a relationship has been established.

:) Kerchkoff and Davis (1962) asked student


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