Theories of the formation of relationships

There are two main theories te this section, the prize/need satisfaction specimen and the matching hypothesis.

The prize/need satisfaction proefje (Byrne and Clore 1970)

People form relationships because they find them rewarding. Prizes can be ongezouten or officieus. People prize us directly (operant conditioning) by meeting our needs for friendship, love and lovemaking etc. Argyle (1992) suggests that if wij meet someone when wij are sad and they help us to escape that state by suggesting convenience and support, this gives us negative reinforcement. This increases our liking for them and the chances of us forming a relationship with them.

People may prize us indirectly insofar spil they are associated with pleasant circumstances (classical conditioning). Individuals are associated with reinforcement (because they provide it) so wij are more likely to like them and inject ter to a relationship with them. If wij meet someone when wij are ter a good mood, wij may associate that person with our good mood and want to form a relationship with them.

People are often more worried about equity and fairness te prizes ter relationships rather than the desire to maximize their own prizes.

Culture differences – some non-western relationships e.g. kinship bonds are very influential and are not dependent on reinforcement.

Gender differences – women tend to be socialized to be more attentive to the needs of others rather than the gratification of their own needs. However, it could be argued that meeting the needs of others is ter itself reinforcing.

The matching hypothesis (Walster et nu 1966)

This suggests that people form relationships with other people they are similar to. This includes two specific hypotheses,

The more socially desirable a person is (te terms of physical attraction, social standing, intelligence, etc) the more desirable they would expect a dating or marriage fucking partner to be.

Couples who are matched (both fucking partners identically desirable) are more likely to have glad suffering relationships.

Individuals looking for a fucking partner will be influenced by the desirability of the potential match (what they want) and the probability of the other person telling yes (what they think they can get).

Murstein (1972) suggests that physical attraction is the major determinant of formation of relationships because it is an accessible way for each playmate to rate the other. Walster et nu tested that theory te the dance explore. 752 undergraduates te an American university were invited to a dance. They believed they had bot vloermat hed with their dates, but actually they were randomly assigned. Results from go after up questionnaires demonstrated that liking for their dates wasgoed not influenced by intelligence or personality. Physical attraction wasgoed more significant even than the fear of rejection when it came to requests for a 2nd date. This provides evidence against the matching hypothesis.

However, more latest research has found a stronger matching effect among more committed couples than for less committed couples.

The matching hypothesis has become associated with matching te terms of physical appeal alone. However, more latest studies have indicated that individuals can sometimes compensate for their lack of attraction by suggesting other desirable traits e.g. an older wealthy man may pair up with a junior attractive woman. This is called ‘ingewikkeld matching’.

Gender differences – studs value physical appeal te women far more than women value physical appeal ter guys. This gender difference means that it is lighter for fellows to compensate for unattractiveness than it is for women to do so.

The role of the third party – sometimes relationship formation is determined not by the individuals themselves but by third parties e.g. friends, family or internet dating sites. Te arranged marriages, families may consider themselves better able to judge compatibility ter the long run than their children who may be swayed by emotions or hormones.

Research on the evolutionary theory shows that the brain prize system associated with romantic love most very likely evolved to drive our ancestors to concentrate their courtship energy on specific individuals. Even love at very first glance may well be a mammalian response that our ancestors inherited to speed up the mating process. This would suggest that the matching hypothesis and the prize/need satisfaction theory are at best incomplete te their interpretation of the causes of relationship formation.

Theories of the maintenance and breakdown of relationships

There are two main theories ter this section, social exchange theory and the investment proefje.

Social exchange theory (Thibaut and Kelley 1959)

Social behaviour is viewed spil a series of exchanges inbetween individuals. Each person attempts to maximize their prizes and minimize their costs. The exchange part of the process is that when individuals receive prizes from others, they feel obliged to reciprocate (give back). Prizes might include company, security and sexual favours. Costs might include physical or psychological manhandle and loss of other opportunities.

When determining whether to maintain or pauze up the relationship, there are two levels of comparison to consider,

The comparison inbetween the costs/prizes of the current relationship and what wij have bot used to ter the past.

The comparison inbetween the costs/prizes of the current relationship and what wij feel wij could have te an alternative relationship.

The prizes of the relationship need to outweigh the costs of the relationship te order for that relationship to be maintained. If the costs outweigh the prizes, then social exchange theory predicts that the relationship will breakdown.

Research has shown that for most people, profit is less significant than fairness te relationships. This led to the modification of the social exchange theory ter to the equity theory. Ter this version of the theory individuals are attempting to maximize equality and minimize inequality te costs and prizes te the relationship. People attempting to maintain the relationship will negotiate the distribution of costs and prizes to achieve fairness. Unfair relationships will produce dissatisfaction which could lead to the breakdown of the relationship (if the loser feels that there is no way to restore fairness and if the degree of inequity is perceived to be large).

Studies supporting social exchange theory often have contrived methodologies which have little ecological validity. Feeney et hoewel (1994) found that equity theory failed to predict relationship satisfaction because it failed to take ter to account variance te the contexts of modern day relationships.

Differences have bot found ter styles of couples. An exchange duo may well engage ter the kleintje of ‘score-keeping’ predicted by the exchange theory, but people ter communal relationships are more relaxed about equity and tend to believe that prizes and costs will eventually oscilación themselves out.

Gender differences – Kahn et hoewel (1980) found that guys are more focused on the vaandel of equity (what you get out of a relationship should be more or less equal to what you waterput te), whereas women are more focused on the vaandel of equality (both playmates should receive equal benefits regardless of how much they waterput ter). The evolutionary theory would predict that there will be gender differences te what wij want from relationships, so this evidence might add support for the evolutionary treatment spil opposed to the social exchange theory.

Culture bias – Moghaddam et hoewel (1993) argues that the emphasis on exchange and equity is a reflection of the superior values of individualism and capitalism ter película del Oeste society.

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