Filter Theory – Kerckhoff and Davis 1992
1) Social Demographic Filter
2) Similarity of Attitudes and Beliefs
3) Complementary Needs
Sprecher 1998 – supportive research, couples similar stage 1 = long term.
Kerckhoff and Davis – Students similar stage 2 – 18 months; after, stage 3
Gruber – baldini et al 1995 – Similar couples more likely to stay together 20yrs
later – Not enough emphasis on 2.
Stages – artificial – change.
Social-demographic less important today.
Maintenance: SET and Equity
Economic theories of social relationships: Social Exchange, Equity.
SET: Balance sheet principle: maximise gains, minimise losses. Blau 1964: Relationships
are expensive, take time and energy we should get back atleast what we put in.
Thibaut and Kelly 1959'
Payoff matrices - possible profits and losses Influences beyond relationship:
CL - if current relation compares favourably to last one. CL alt. - Compare with others we
could be in. 4 Stages: 1.Sampling 2.Bargaining 3.Commitment 4.Institutionalisation
SET redeveloped into Equity theory: Homans 1974: "people need fairness, if they do not
get it they become distressed." Doesn't mean equality, means balance and stability.
4 Principles: Walster et al. 1978:
1.Maximise rewards, minimise negative experiences. 2.Distribution made fair
'tradeoffs' 3.Inequality produces dissatisfaction. 4.'Loser' sees a chance of
restoration then equality may re-establish.
:( Methodology contrived - lack ecological validity
:( Individual differences - have many variables. Feeney et al. '94 - Equity theory failed to
predict relationship satisfaction as doesn't take into account large differences in context of
Differences between couples: Clark and Mills 1979:
•Communal couple - concern and positive regard for the other motivates giving.
•Exchange couple - keep scores.
:) SET supported by several artificial experiments but over short period of time.
Van Yeperen and Buunk 1990 - longitudinal study of 259 couples, after 1 year asked about
satisfaction. Those who felt their relationhip was equitable initially were most satisfied.
:( Ethical issues - lack of informed consent. Personal, researcher needs to be careful/sensitive.
:( Gender differences - Kahn et al 1980: Men focus more on equity, women on equality.
:( Cultural differences - Miell and Croghan 1996 - equity principle more important in western,
individualistic cultures and less important in non-western collectivist cultures.
Breakdown: Duck 1988, Lee
Duck 1988 "Intelligent Ducks Swim Grumpily"
•Intra-psychic phase - 1 person becomes dissatisfied
•Dyadic Phase - Other person involved, not resolved..
•Social Phase - family and friends involved, implications negotiated, maybe saved if not..
•Grave-dressing - Begin to organise post-relationship lives.
Risk Factors 1982- more likely to break down: (offer explanation)
•Predisposing personal - bad habits, poor role models, poor social skills.
•Precipitating - deception, boredom, relocation, conflict.
Lee 1984: Survey 112 break-ups. Relationships that were strongest, took longer to go through the stages. "Denying
Everything Never Resolves Troubles"
1.Dissatisfaction: Discover problems
2.Exposure: Brought into open
4.Resolution: Solve problems
5.Termination: Unsuccessful resolution
:( Only concerned with events up to dissolution, Duck's looks at afterwards.
:( Both don't explain why
:( Alternate theory: Felmlee's 'fatal attraction' theory 'the same characteristics that attract us
to someone end up being the ones that lead to the dissolution as they become predictable or
:( Cultural differences: Moghaddam et al. 1993 - North American relationships more
individualistic, voluntary and temporary. Non-western are collectivist, obligatory and
:( Most models developed from experience of white middle class, heterosexual participants.
:) Ducks model praised for addition of repair strategies in 2006. "resurrection phase" - people
can grow beyond psychological level of functioning after stressful life events. Women have
more growth than men, may be due to greater social support.
Sexual Selection and Human
The socio-biological theory uses evolutionary principles to explain
human reproduction.This theory is based upon the idea that
adaptive behaviour promotes survival of the individual and
Cunningham 1986 – women look for males with square jaws and
small eyes – maturity. Males – big eyes, small chin – fertility.
Buss 1989 – Cultural study, 37, 6 continents, 10,000 people: found
women preferenced resources + characteristics that translate to
resources e.g. ambition. Sampling: News ad's + postal Q's.
Wilderman and Allgeier 1992 – financially successful women
favour men with financial status.
Nicholson 1999 – too much emphasis on evolutionary psychology
as don't hold much significance today – human reproductive
success not as important any more.
Sex differences in Parental
Trivers 1972 – 'any investment by the parent in an individual offspring that
increases chance of survival.'
Bateman's principle is the theory that females almost always invest more
energy into producing offspring than males, and therefore in most species
females are a limiting resource over which the other sex will compete.
Species – Insects + fish – little or no care given as larger numbers of offspring
– some genes likely to survive.
Sex – Women more; Limited supply, foetus for 40 weeks. Postnatal
Status – Gaulin and Robbins 1992: Sons + Daughters in low and high income
families. Breastfeeding as a measure of investment.
Low – 50+% daughters breastfed, less than 50% sons.
High – 90% sons, less than 60% daughters.
Consistent with evolutionary explanations. Direct testing can't be measured
solely on breastfeeding.
Influence of Childhood on Adult
Bowlby 1969 – Infants are innately pre-disposed to develop an attachment
where from this they form an internal working model. The 1st attachment leads
to development of characteristic attachment styles.
Hazan and Shaver 1987 tested this with a 'love-quiz.' 100 Questions in a
newspaper, 620 replies. Findings were: 56% Secure, 25% Avoidant, 19%
Feeney and Noller 1992 – Individuals with avoidant attachments were more
likely to experience breakdowns.
Deterministic – doesn't allow room for flexibility e.g. life events.
Oversimplified – relationships are complex.
Ethics – can bring up negative memories.
Behavioural approach – abusive relationships can cause people to act
Demand Characteristics – people may lie on questions to look 'good.'
Culture - Romantic Relationships
Cunningham 1995 - agreement between diffo cultures and facial attractiveness
Argyle et al 1986 - compares friendship rules in collectivist and individualistic, similar cuz they
could tell the difference between intimate and non-intimate relationships.
More rules for obedience in the East
Japanese endorsed rules to avoid conflict
Italians more concerned with regulating intimacy
Ghuman 1994 - found arranged marriages are common
Moghaddam 1998 - Western relationships; passion more important during initial stages. In arranged
marriages it is commitment. outdated; spread of western culture.
Kitzinger and Coyle 1995 - point out homosexual couples have to face hostility from society.
Kurdek and Schmitt 1986 -measured love and liking and found no significant differences between married,
homosexual, heterosexual and co-habiting couples.
:( Cultural BIas
:( Cant be generalised - should be considered in socio-economic changes.
:( Observer bias - etic constructs assumed to be universal e.g. lack of equity rarely cause of dissatisfaction in
collectivist but is in individualistic.