Relationships

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What does the reward/need satisfaction theory put forward by Byrne and Clore (1970) propose? (AO1)
That we are attracted to people who we find satisfying or gratifying to be with.
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Most stimuli in our lives is rewarding or punishing in some way. What effect do these stimuli have on our behaviour? (AO1)
Rewarding stimuli produce positive feelings in us(make us feel happy), these stimuli could be people.According to operant conditioning we are likely to repeat any behaviour that leads to a desirable outcome.
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Byrne and Clores theory therefore suggests that we enter into romantic relationships because (AO1)
The presence of some individuals is directly associated with reinforcement (i.e the person creates positive feelings in us) which makes them more attractive to us. Meet in positive mood then we associate them with a pleasant event.
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Support for the view that some individuals provide direct reinforcement comes from Griffit and Guay (1969) explain (AO2)
Participants were evaluated on a creative task by an experimenter and then asked to rate how much they liked the experimenter.The rating was highest when the experimenter had positively evaluated (i.e rewarded) the participants.
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Furthermore, Cate et al (1982) asked 337 individuals to assess their current relationships in terms of reward level and satisfaction and found?(AO2)
Results showed that reward level was superior to all other factors determining relationship satisfaction.
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However a basic problem with reward/need satisfaction theory is that (AO2)
It only explores receiving rewards, whereas Hays (1985) found that we gain satisfaction from giving as well as from receiving.
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Furthermore, reward/need satisfaction theory does not account for cultural and gender differences, for example..(AO2)
Lott (1994) suggests that in many cultures women are more focused on the needs of others then receiving reinforcement. This suggests that this theory is not a universal explanation of relationship formation and is therefore culturally biased.
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What does Byrne, Clore and Smeaton's (1986) suggest about relationship formation? (AO1)
This theory suggests that similarity promotes liking, implying that we first sort potential partners for dissimilarity, avoiding those who are too different and then we choose someone similar to ourselves.Similarity of personality and attitudes.
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What did Berscheid and Reis (1998) demonstrate? (AO1)
That people are more likely to be attracted to those who have similar personality traits than those who have dissimilar or complementary traits.For example,two hard working people would be more attracted to each other.
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What did Caspi and Herbener (1990) find?(AO1)
That married couples with similar personalities tend to be happier than couples with less similar personalities.
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Similarity is important in relationships for 2 main reasons, explain (AO2)
1)we assume that people similar to us will be more likely to like us,lessen the chance of being rejected as a partner-Condon and Crano(1988).2)when other people share our attitudes and beliefs it tends to validate them, which in turn is rewarding
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However, Rosenbaum (1986) suggested? (AO2)
that it is dissimilarity rather than similarity which is more important in determining whether a relationship will form,
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This dissimilarity repulsion hypothesis has been tested in a number of cultures, e.g.Singh and Tan (1992) in Singapore and Drigotas (1993) in the US. expain (AO2)
These studies established that participants were first attracted to individuals because of similarity of attitudes and that as they got to know each other, those who discovered more dissimilarities than similarities became less attracted to each othe
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Research on similarity has only dealt with attitude and personality similarities, Yoshida (1972) pointed out?(AO2)
That this only represents a narrow view of factors in relationship formation, with factors such as similarity of self concept, economic level and physical condition being equally important.
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Explain the social exchange theory put forward by Thiabut and Kelley.(AO1)
The assumption that all social behaviour is a series if exchanges to maximise rewards and minimise costs.People exchange resources with the expectation that they will earn a profit.Rewards exceed costs.Commitment to a relationship depends on profitab
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Thiabut and Kelley suggest that we develop a comparison level, explain(AO1)
This is a product of our experiences in other relationships,which we use to judge the potential profit of a new relationship. If potential profit exceeds our comparison level then the relationship will be seen as worthwhile and the other attractive.
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Social exchange theory can explain why some women stay in abusive relationships. Rusbult and Martz (1995) argue? (AO2)
That when investments are high (e.g.children) and alternatives are low (e.g.money), this could still be considered a profit and loss situation and a woman might choose to remain in a relationship despite abuse.
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What do Duck and Sants suggest about the social exchange theory?(AO2)
Focuses too much on individuals perspective and ignoring social aspects of a relationship, such as how partners communicate.
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The main criticism of social exchange theory is that it is somewhat selfish, explain(AO2)
This is because it gives the impression people are only motivated to maintain a relationship out of selfish concerns, such as profits. These ideas are therefore culturally biased.
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Research suggests that such 'economic' theories like the social exchange theory can only apply to relationships in western societies, explain(AO2)
These mainly apply to students in western societies. Other societies may value other things such as security over profits. This culture bias therefore weakens the argument proposed by the social exchange theory because it lowers its validity.
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Explain equity theory and the view of Walster et al(AO1)
Assumption that people strive to achieve fairness in their relationships and feel distressed if they perceive unfairness.According to Walster et al any kind of equity has the potential to create distress.Inequity=give alot,receive little
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However, equity does not always mean equality, within equity theory, explain(AO1)
What is considered fair in a relationship, in terms of input and output, is a largely subjective opinion for each partner, their perceived ratio of inputs and outputs.
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Clark and Mills disagreed with the claim that all relationships are based on economics, explain (AO2)
Distinguished between exchange relationships (between colleagues)& communal relationships(between lovers).Exchange relationships may involve keeping track of rewards&costs,communal relationships are governed by a desire to respond to partners needs.
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Ragsdale et al reject the claim that equity is the key determent in relationship satisfaction, explain(AO2)
They argue that this represents "an incomplete rendering of the way in which married people behave with respect to each other" and that equity theory is an insufficient theory to explain marital maintenance.
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Ragsdale et al's claim is then supported by a study using 1500 couples,as part of the US national survey of families, which found?(AO2)
The only subjective index of inequity associated with disruption of marriage, is a woman's sense of being under benefited.This greater under benefit increases risk of divorce.
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Research by Speakman et al (2007) found?(AO2)
That people often choose partners with similar levels of body fat.
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Duck proposed 3 main reasons why relationships break down. Explain the impact a lack of skills has(AO1)
Some relationships are difficult because they lack the interpersonal skills to make them mutually satisfying. A lack of social skills (i.e they can't make conversation) means that others perceive them as not being in interested in relating, so
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Explain the impact a lack of stimulation has on a relationship(AO1)
This would cause relationships to breakdown,as they are not getting one of the rewards of relationships.Baxter found a lack of stimulation is often quoted when breaking off a relationship.
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Explain maintenance difficulties within relationships(AO1)
Some relationships are strained when partners do not see each other enough (e.g if one goes away to university). These can be overwhelming and lead to the breakdown of a relationship.
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What did Boekhout et al (1999) showed how such affairs might be a direct reaction to the perceived lack of skills and/or stimulation (AO2)
They asked undergraduates to rate various sexual & emotional reasons for men&women to be unfaithful in a committed relationship . Participants judged that sexual reasons for infidelity (e.g sexual excitement) would be more likely to be used by men,
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Research has suggested that long distance romantic relationships and long distance friendships are perhaps more common than we might think. For example, Rohlfing (1995)(AO2)
Found that 70% of students sampled had experienced at least one long distance romantic relationship and that 90% has experienced a long distance friendships.
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Holt and Stone (1998) (AO2)
found that there was little decrease in relationship satisfaction as long as lovers are able to reunite regularly. This suggests that maintenance difficulties are not a reason for relationship breakdown.
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The importance of social skills deficits in relationship breakdown has lead to the development of training programmes that attempt to to enhance relationship skills in distressed couples.Explain (AO2)
The couples coping enhancement training programme aims to sensitise couples to the issue of equality and respect within their relationship and to improve communication&problem solving skills.Research has shown these result in higher marital qualility
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Rollie and Duck (2006) proposed a model of the breakdown of a relationship. What are the stages?(AO1)
Intrapsychic process, dyadic process, social process, grave dressing process and the resurrection process.
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Rollie and Duck's model is supported by observations of real life breakups. For example, Tashiro and Frazier (2003) surveyed undergraduates who had recently broken up with their partner and found?(AO2)
They typically reported that they had not only experienced emotional distress but also personal growth. These students reported that breaking up with their partner had given them new insights into themselves and a clear idea about future partners.
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Paying attention to the things that people say, the topics that they discuss and the ways in which they talk about their relationships offers both an insight into their stage and also suggests interventions appropriate to that stage, explain (AO2)
If the relationship was in the intrapsychic phase for example, repair might involve re-establish liking for the partner, perhaps by re-evaluating their behaviour in a more positive light. In later stages, different strategies of repair are appropriat
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Briefly explain short term mating preferences(AO1)
Men evolved a greater desire for casual sex and would ideally seek sex earlier in a relationship. Female behaviour would not be subjected to the same evolutionary pressures.In one year men pass on genes to several children and women could only have 1
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Clarke and Hatfield (1989) Men&women experimenters approached strangers on a college campus and asked them 3 questions...(AO2)
1)would you go on a date with me,2)would you come back to my apartment?,3)would you have sex with me?.Females 50% date,6%apartment and none sex.Males 50% date, 69% apartment and 75% sex.
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Despite the fact that short term mating carries considerable potential costs for the woman, there must also be some benefits. Greiling and Buss (2000) suggest?(AO2)
That she could profit in a number of ways, including using short term mating as a way of leaving a poor quality relationship (mate switching) or as a way of producing more genetically diverse offspring.gender biased views of mating behaviour.
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What did Buss (1989) find? (AO1)
Males preferred younger mates and preferred to get married at 27.Females preferred older mates&wanted to get married at 25
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Explain Buss (1989)'s study (AO1)
Conducted an experiment into long term mating preferences, which tested whether there are differences between males and females in how they choose mates, 10,047 participants-opportunity sampling,mean age of 23.from 37 cultures.
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Explain some strengths of Buss' methodology (AO2)
Large sample size so representative-increases generalisability. Validity high because used 2 questionnaires which are valid measures of mate preferences.
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Explain some weaknesses of Buss' methodology (AO2)
Sample may be biased because from industralised countries and majority students. measures reduce representativeness because only used on the literate population and in some countries education for women is less valued.
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Briefly explain the parental investment made by human females (AO1)
Larger-minimal number eggs.Certain a child is theirs.Minimal=carry in womb for 9 months-breastfeed.prenatal and postnatal.random mating more costly.
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The expense of child rearing means that females want to ensure good quality offspring so they don't waste their efforts. One way to achieve this....(AO2)
To marry a man who has good resources and is caring but shop around for good genes by having affairs with 'studs'-attractive men advertising good genes but no resources.
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There is evidence of this from a magazine survey of over 2,700 UK women...(AO2)
From the results of this survey, Baker and Bellis (1990) estimated that as many as 14% of the population were products of extramarital affairs.
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Some women may attempt to offset their greater parental investment by cuckolding their partners. What are the benefits and risks of this?(AO2)
Benefits=additional support or higher quality genes for children. Risks=abandonment and the use of mate retention strategies(e.g threats/actual violence against the female)-Daly and Wilson(1988)
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Briefly explain the parental investment made by human males(AO1)
Almost unlimited number of sperm.can walk away after sex. under the risk of cuckoldry(investing in child not theirs).Miller(1998)greater concern about fidelity of child.Buss(1995)sexual jealousy evolved to solve investment problems.
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What does Dunbar (1995) suggest?(AO2)
Joint parental care is desirable because of the obvious benefits of successful reproduction. In any situation where males can increase the success of child rearing it will pay them to do so.
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In humans, males may restrict their reproductive opportunities and invest more in each individual offspring, Reid (1997) supports this claim(AO2)
That human males do contribute to parenting by providing resources (e.g a stable food supply) and this investment allows the family to live in healthier environments, resulting in a decrease in infant and child mortality.
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In line with parental investment theory predictions about sex differences in type of jealousy, Buss et al (1992) found(AO2)
That male US students indicated more concern about sexual infidelity, whereas female students expressed more concern about emotional infidelity. This was supported by physiological responses when respondents were asked to imagine scenes...
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Parental investment theory would predict that investment by fathers would be greater if they know the child is biological theirs, however, Anderson (1999)...(AO2)
Measured the resources invested by fathers and step fathers (i.e time spent with child and financial investment). Men appeared not to discriminate between their step children and biological offspring.
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Explain voluntary relationships in western societies(AO1)
In western cultures we live in predominantly urban settings with easy geographical and social mobility. This ensures that on a daily basis, we voluntarily interact with a large number of people.therefore there is a greater pool of potential mates so
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Explain non-voluntary relationships in non western societies (AO1)
Fewer urban centers and less geographical and social movement. This means people have less choice about whom they interact with on a daily basis. Interactions with strangers are rare and relationships are tied to other factors such as family.
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What did Epstein (2002) find concerning non voluntary relationships?(AO2)
Make good sense and seem to work well. In perhaps about half of them the spouses report that they had fallen in love with each other.
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Myers et al (2005) studied individuals in India living in arranged marriages and found?(AO2)
No differences in marital satisfaction when compared to individuals in non arranged marriages in the US.
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However, in some rapidly developing cultures, such as China, there has been a noticeable increase in 'love matches', explain(AO2)
i.e. a move away from traditional arranged marriages. In China, instances in which parents dominate the process of partner choice have decline from 70% prior to 1949, to less than 10% in the 1990's.
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What effect has this had on marital satisfaction? A study of women in Chengdu, China,by Xiaohe and Whyte(1990) found?(AO2)
That women who had married for love felt better about their marriages (regardless of duration) than women who experienced arranged marriages.
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Because relationships in western societies are typically based on freedom of choice, we might expect to find differences between the cultures regarding the importance of love, Levine et al (1995)(AO1)
Investigated love as a basis for marriage in 11 countries. respondents were asked whether they would marry someone in the absence of love. The US respondents expressed a reluctance (14% willing to).Collectivist cultures India-24% and Thialand-34%
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Moore and Leung (2001) tested cultural differences in the importance of love and compared 212 Anglo-Australian and 106 Chinese-Australian students.(AO2)
Of the students,61% of the Anglo-Australian students were in a romantic relationship compared to 38% of Chinese students. AA males were less romantic and more casual about relationships than females.CA males were as romantic as CA females.
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Research suggests that attitudes towards love and romantic relationships generally may be explained by the greater urbanisation and mobility found in western cultures rather than cultural divide, explain(AO2)
There has been a sharp increase in divorce rates in India in recent years despite India being regarded as a traditional collectivist culture. As most members being divorced are members of Indias thriving urban middle class, this suggests...
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Shaver et al (1988) claimed that what we experience as romantic love in adulthood is an integration of 3 behavioural systems acquired in infancy - attachment,care giving and sexuality systems. Explain attachment system(AO1)
Bowlby(1969) later relationships are a continuation of early attachment styles(secure/insecure) because the behaviour of infants primary attachment figure promotes an internal working model of relationships, leads child to expect same in later relati
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Explain the care giving system (AO1)
The care giving system is knowledge about how one cares for others, learned by modelling the behaviour of the primary attachment figure.
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Explain the sexuality system(AO1)
The sexuality system is learned in childhood, for example, individuals who suffered from avoidant attachment are more likely to hold the view that sex without love is pleasurable.
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The relationship between attachment style and later adult relationships has been demonstrated in a number of studies, Fraley (1998)....(AO2)
Conducted a meta analysis of studies, finding correlations from 0.10 to 0.50 between early attachment and later relationships. Fraley suggested that one reason for low correlations may be becyase insecure-anxious attachment is more reliable.
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However, one key question concerns the stability of attachment types. explain (AO2)
It could be that an individuals attachment type is determined by the current relationship, which is why happily married individuals are secure.
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Attachment theory does suggest that significant relationship experiences may alter attachment organisation, for example...(AO2)
Kirkpatrick and Hazan (1994) found that relationship breakups were associated with a shift from secure to insecure.
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Qulater and Munn(2005) have shown that children also learn from their experiences with other children...(AO1)
The way that a child thinks about himself and others is determined at least in part by specific experiences, which then become internalised. As a result, children may develop a sense of their own value as a result of interactions with others...
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Nangle et al (2003) claims...(AO1)
That childrens friendships are training grounds for adult relationships. The experience of having a friend to confide in promotes feelings of trust,acceptance and a sense of being understood-characteristics that are also important in later relationsh
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Gender differences in childhood relationships have been found in a number of studies, for example Richard and Schneider (2005)...(AO2)
Found that girls have more intimate friendships than boys and are more likely to report care and security in their relationships with other girls.
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Erwin (1993) has found that..(AO2)
Boys relationships tend to be more competitive, a fact attributed to greater emphasis on competitive play activities. In contrast, girls are more likely to engage in cooperative and sharing activities.
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However, Erwin claim that..(AO2)
Sex differences in the experience of childhood relationships have been overemphasised and the many similarities tend to be overlooked.
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Most stimuli in our lives is rewarding or punishing in some way. What effect do these stimuli have on our behaviour? (AO1)

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Rewarding stimuli produce positive feelings in us(make us feel happy), these stimuli could be people.According to operant conditioning we are likely to repeat any behaviour that leads to a desirable outcome.

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Byrne and Clores theory therefore suggests that we enter into romantic relationships because (AO1)

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Support for the view that some individuals provide direct reinforcement comes from Griffit and Guay (1969) explain (AO2)

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Furthermore, Cate et al (1982) asked 337 individuals to assess their current relationships in terms of reward level and satisfaction and found?(AO2)

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