A2 Psychology - Romantic Relationship Essay

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Yetunde
  • Created on: 12-11-11 16:34

Relationship Formation ( Reward/need satisfaction)

The reward/need satisfaction model states that we become attracted to people who reward us directly. If we meet someone when we are in a negative emotional state and they make us happy, we look to them to provide the reward of being happier. This behavioural mechanism is based on the principles of Skinners operant-conditioning principles. A study showed that when a participant was rated highly, their liking for the experimenter increased significantly, giving support to the theory as the positive stimulus of being rated highly (increasing self esteem) lead to direct attraction to the experimenter.

We are also attracted to those associated with positive events. If we meet someone during a positive time in our lives or situation, they acquire positive value because they will then be linked to something that reminds us of a positive feeling. A similar lab experiment showed that when an experimenter gave high ratings, the liking for the experimenters associate increased proportionally to that of the experimenter, as they became the indirect reinforcer. 

This particular study was conducted in a lab setting, lacking mundane realism. The results produced are most likely to be flawed as the principles do not apply to real life. Also, the theory has an element of cultural bias as it implies this is applicable to all cultures when actually, it is thought…


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Relationships resources »