Formation Of Romantic Relationships

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Reward/Need satisfaction theory

  • Developed by Byrne & Clore
  • Learning explanation based on Classical(association) and operant(consequences) conditioning
  • People may directly reinforce (operant) by meeting physical/psychological needs for friendship
  • Foa & Foa - rewards include sex, status, love, money, approval etc.
  • If someone meets these needs, it is reinfocing and we are likely to repeat behaviour that is pleasureable and want to spend time with them, increasing the chance of relationship.
  • Bryne & Clore suggest that we are more likely to enter relationships if another person rewards us/creates positive feelings
  • Arygle identified several motivational reasons:
    • Sexual Needs
    • Biological Needs
    • Self Esteem Needs
    • Dependency Needs
    • Aggression Needs
    • Dominance Needs
    • Affiliation Needs
  • Can learn to like someone indirectly by associating positive emotions with people/situations
  • This is classical conditioning
  • Attracted…


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