The formation of romantic relationships I
Reward/Need Satisfaction Theory (Byrne and Clore, 1970):
This theory suggests that we are attracted to people we find satisfying and gratifying to be with. In our lives we are presented with rewarding and punishing stimuli, and naturally we are motivated to seek rewarding stimuli. When applying this theory towards people, it only follows that we should be attracted to those who make us feel the most positive. Things that we tend to find rewarding can be when a partner fulfills our unmet needs, for example the need for companionship or financial security. Mutual attraction occurs when two people fulfill each other's unmet needs. According to the principles of operant conditioning, we tend to repeat any behaviours which have a rewarding outcome, suggesting we enter relationships because the presence of certain people acts as a reward. We may also find ourselves attracted to some people through association. According to classical conditioning, if one meets somebody at a happy event, e.g. a wedding or a festival, you will remember that person in a positive light because you associate them with the positive environment you met them in, increasing their attractiveness. According to Byrne and Clore, relationships where positive feelings outweigh negative feelings are the most likely to suceed.