Formation Of Romantic Relationships


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Psychology A2 Level - Formation of romantic relationships

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Formation Of Romantic Relationships

  1. 1. Formation of......<br />Theories of formation, maintenance and breakdown of human romantic relationships.<br />A Students Guide<br />Psychology Ex-L. Catherine Rose Riley. 12VICN<br />
  2. 2. Contents<br />Theories of formation of romantic relationships<br />Maintenance of romantic relationships<br />Breakdown on romantic relationships<br />Extra:<br /><ul><li>Vocabulary
  3. 3. References
  4. 4. Independent working log</li></li></ul><li>Theories of formation of romantic relationships<br />Clore & Byrne – Reinforcement affect model:<br />Reinforcement leads us to like people who reward us. Such reinforcement might be someone else acting positively towards us, or a situation involving someone else rewarding us.<br />Affect refers to the positive feelings that are associated with a good experience. If a particular event or situation creates positive feelings, then a person who is associated with the event becomes a conditioned stimulus, producing the conditioned response. Increased affect towards that person leads to relationship formation.<br />Evaluation:<br /><ul><li>This is a relatively simple model
  5. 5. The model does not account for relationships were rewards are irrelevant</li></li></ul><li>Theories of formation of romantic relationships<br />Argyle – Reward/ Need Satisfaction<br />People form relationships because interpersonal relationships satisfy parts of the seven basic motives or needs:<br />Biological<br />Dependency<br />Affiliation<br />Dominance<br />Sex<br />Aggression<br />Self esteem<br />Evaluation:<br /><ul><li>This explanation is more appropriate to individualist societies because the needs are focused on the individual not the group</li></li></ul><li>Maintenance of romantic relationships<br />Social Exchange Theory – Thibaut and Kelley<br />Social exchange refers to the exchange of rewards between two people, such as being cared for, companionship and sex. Relationships also incur costs such as money spent, or opportunities missed. According to this theory people maximise their rewards and minimise costs, so they receive a profit from the relationship e.g. Satisfaction. <br />In order to judge the rewards in a relationship, people make two comparisons:<br />Between actual and expected rewards.<br />The comparison level for alternative relationships<br />Thibaut and Kelley suggest relationships develop through key stages:<br /><ul><li>Sampling- explore rewards and costs directly and indirectly
  6. 6. Bargaining- prospective partners establish sources of profit and loss
  7. 7. Commitment- routines are established
  8. 8. Institutionalisation- norms and mutual expectations are established</li></li></ul><li>Maintenance of romantic relationships<br />Evaluation of social exchange theory – Thibaut and Kelley<br />Social exchange theory can be applied to all types of relationships. It takes an mechanistic approach. In reality, relationships are more complex. It is difficult to define rewards or costs, and to quantify satisfaction or profit. It also focuses too much on the individual perspective, rather than social aspects of a relationship, such as how partners talk with each other and interpret shared events. <br />
  9. 9. Maintenance of romantic relationships<br />Relationships are maintained through strategies that couples develop.<br />Rusburt et al 1986 suggested that there are four strategies that can be combined. Active or passive, constructive or destructive e.g. Loyalty = passive, constructive strategy where a partner waits for the situation to improve.<br />Evaluation:<br />This is a more recent approach, looking at the interaction between partners, rather than an individual perspective. It is more qualitative approach than social exchange theory.<br />The maintenance of relationships can be explained more simply in daily routines<br />
  10. 10. Breakdown of romantic relationships<br />Duck – Stage model of relational dissolution<br />Duck described breakdown in five stages.<br />Breakdown- dissatisfaction leads to breaking point<br />Intra-psychic phase- thinking about the relationship at first in private, then with confidants, and finally with partner. Repair strategy: re-establish liking for partner.<br />Dyadic stage- deciding whether to break up or repair. Repair strategy: express conflicts, clear the air and reformulate rules for future relationship.<br />Social phase- including others in debate, enlisting support for your side. Repair strategy: outsiders may help to patch things up or encourage separation. <br />Grave dressing phase- post mortem for public or private re-adjustment. Repair strategy: decide on mutually acceptable version of events, and/or savage friendship out of the breakup.<br />
  11. 11. Breakdown of romantic relationships<br />Evaluation of Duck’s stage model of relational dissolution<br />Strength = The inclusion of repair strategies. Useful for marriage guidance to identify the stage of dissolution reached, and strategies appropriate to that stage.<br />Duck focused on the process that take place after breakdown and focused less on early events.<br />Stage models so not explain why breakdown occurs, they are descriptive.<br />
  12. 12. Breakdown of romantic relationships<br />Duck- Risk factors<br />Duck suggested that breakdown can be explained in terms of risk factors.<br />Predisposing personal factors- dispositional =distasteful personal habits, change in interests, poor role models , dissonance on poor social skills.<br />Precipitating factors- situational= deception, boredom, relocation, conflict, or a better alternative.<br />Evaluation<br />These factors offer an explanation for dissolution.<br />Many relationships are stable despite the presence of such factors. Some factors are intervening variables e.g. Lower educational levels may be associated with divorce, but may not be the cause.<br />
  13. 13. References <br />
  14. 14. Vocabulary<br />
  15. 15. Independent learning log<br />