Factors affecting attraction: Filter theory

  • Factors affecting attraction: Filter theory:
  • AO1:
  • Filter theory (Kerckhoff and Davis)
  • Explains attraction in terms of attitudes and personalities. First er consider the field of availables (pool of potential partners who are accessible to us). From this we select the field of desirables via three filters of varying importance at different stages of a relationship. 
  • Social demographic (1st level filter):
  • Demographics are features that describe populations; social demographics include geographical location and socail class. You are more likely to meet and have meaningful encounters with people who are physically close and share other features with yourself (e.g. same social class). Anyone who is too 'different' (too far away, too middle class) is not a potential partner and is 'filtered out' before the next stage. 
  • Similarity in attitudes (2nd level filter):
  • Important to the development of romantic relationships only for couples who had been together less than 18 months. In early stages of a relationship agreeing on basic values promotes better communication and self-disclosure. Byrne found that similarity in attitudes causes mutual attraction. Where such similarity doesn't exist it is found that often the relationship fades after only a few dates. 
  • Complementarity (3rd level):
  • Partners complement eachother when they have traits that the other lacks. For example, one partner may enjoy making the other laugh, and in turn this partner enjoys being made to laugh. Therefore the partners meet


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