1.1.1 Couples that are romantically attached
are similar in terms of physical
1.1.2 Walster proposed a matching
hypothesis of why people who are
similar end up together.
220.127.116.11 1. The more socially desirable a
person is, more desirable they
would expect a dating or marriage
partner to be.
18.104.22.168 2. Couples who are attached
are more likely to have a happy
22.214.171.124 Testing the Matching Hypothesis
126.96.36.199.1 Walster - Computer
188.8.131.52.1.1 Men & women bought tickets for a
dance and completed a detailed
questionnaire about themselves. A
computer supposedly made ideal
matches. In fact students rated for
attractiveness and assigned
184.108.40.206.1.1.1 Researcher wanted to know how
many would as for a 2nd date
and on what basis. Results
showed most important was
factor was partners physical
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 If we settle for value match
then only those matched by
chance with date with similar
attractiveness would be asked
on 2nd date.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.1 Men acted on selfishness -
more attractive the woman
the more possibility would be
asked out again - regardless
of mans own attractiveness.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Hatfield & Sprecher - People offer many
characteristics, perhaps compensating for lack of
physical attractiveness, status, money. E.G. Older
successful wealthy man pairs with younger attractive
1.1.3 Individuals will be
18.104.22.168 A. Desirability of
22.214.171.124.1 Walster: referred notion as
realistic choices, individuals
influenced by the chances of
126.96.36.199 B. Probability of other
person saying yes
188.8.131.52.1 Murstein: Argues initial attraction depends
on available cues (physical
attractiveness). Initial attraction should
therefore be determined largely by the
comparison between attractiveness.
1.1.4 Gender Differences: Physical
attractiveness is valued more by
men, and vice versa, and so has less
of an impact on the perception of
mens social desirability. Implies men
can compensate deficit in physical
attractiveness with other qualities.
1.1.5 Role of 3rd Parties: Matching is sometimes
influenced by family & friends.
184.108.40.206 Hatfield & Sprecher: likely these 3rd parties would
consider compatibility because they determine who
will make suitable matches. E.G. Arranged marriages.
1.2 Reward/Need satisfaction model -
Byrne + Clore
1.2.1 Model suggests we are attracted to people we
find satisfying/gratifying to be with. The things we
find rewarding tend to be things that are unmet
(need for company, financial support). Mutual
attraction occurs when parter meets these needs.
220.127.116.11.1 Following stimuli as people, some
make us happy and some do not.
18.104.22.168 Based on Operant
Conditioning, more likely to
repeat behaviour that leads to
desirable outcome. Thus, we
enter relationships because
individuals is directly
associated with reinforcement
1.2.3 Griffit & Guay
22.214.171.124 Participants evaluated on a creative task and
then asked how much they like the experimenter.
Scores were highest when the experimenter has
positively evaluated the participants performance.
1.2.4 Foa & Foa
126.96.36.199 Argued that rewards can also include sex, status,
love, help, money. These are rewarding because
they meet our various social needs. E.g obtaining
approval of others satisfies our need for self esteem.
1.2.5 Cultural Differences
188.8.131.52 Theory does not account for cultural and gender differences.
Lott suggests in other cultures women are more focussed on
needs of others rather than receiving reinforcement.
1.2.6 Mundane Realism
184.108.40.206 Most studies are lab studies, therefore not it is hard to
apply the model to real life. However studies by Caspi &
Herbener on real life couples have supported these claims.
2 Maintenance of Romantic
2.1 Social Exchange Theory -
Thibaut & Kelley
2.1.1 Profit & Loss
220.127.116.11 Centre of theory is the assumption that all
social behaviour is a series of exchanges;
maximise rewards, minimise costs.
18.104.22.168.1 People exchange resources with the
expectation they will receive a profit.
22.214.171.124.1.1.1 In line with other economic theories of human
behaviour, stresses that commitment to a relationship
is dependant on the probability of this outcome.
126.96.36.199 The notion of exchange used
to explain why women stay in
188.8.131.52.1 Martz argues when investment is
high and alternatives are low, this
could still be considered a profit
situation, and stay in relationship.
2.1.2 Comparison Level
184.108.40.206 In order to judge whether on person offers something
better or worse that we might expect from another.
220.127.116.11.1 Kelley -
18.104.22.168.1.1 A standard against which all our
relationships are judged.
22.214.171.124.1.2 CL is the product of our experiences of
relationships and what we might expect from
this particular exchange. If we judge potential
profit exceeds CL, relationship is worthwhile.
126.96.36.199.1.2.1 Thibaut & Kelley -
Level for Alternatives
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Person weighs up potential increase in
rewards from different partner, music any
costs from ending current relationship.
220.127.116.11.1.3 Simpson et al -
Participants asked to
rate members of
opposite sex based
18.104.22.168.1.3.1 Participants already
in relationships gave
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 However, Social Exchange Theory does not
explain why some people leave relationships
despite not having any alternatives.
2.1.3 Criticised for focussing too much on the
individuals perspective and ignoring social
aspects of relationships. E.G. how partners
communicate and interpret shared events
188.8.131.52 Duck & Sants
2.1.4 MAIN CRITICISM: Selfish nature of theory. Are
people only motivated to maintain relationships
out of selfish concerns? Such principles may
only apply in individualistic cultures, if at all.
184.108.40.206 Moghaddam: suggests economic theory
only applies to western relationships and
even only to certain short term relationships
among individuals with high mobility
(Students) in western societies.
220.127.116.11 In short term relationships, it
makes sense to be concerned
with give and take.
18.104.22.168.1 However, in long term relationships
within less mobile populations
groups, are more likely to value
security than personal profit.
2.2 Equity Theory -
Walster et al
2.2.1 Hatfield et al extended the Exchange Theory to include
an emphasis on fairness and equity.
22.214.171.124 Equity Theory: people expect to receive
rewards form a relationship which are
proportional to the rewards they provide.
126.96.36.199.1 It is assumed that imbalance can be tolerated if
the two people accept the situation.
188.8.131.52.1.1 Individuals try to maximise rewards and
reduce costs. There is negotiation to
produce fairness. E.G. one may do
shopping every week to compensate
for being away playing sports.
184.108.40.206.1.1.1 If relationship is unfair or
inequitable, produces stress.
2.2.2 Hatfield et al - asked newlyweds to
indicate if they felt they were
receiving more or less than they
should in view of what they were
contributing to their marriage.
220.127.116.11 Were also asked to indicate their level of
contentment, happiness, anger and guilt.
18.104.22.168.1 Under benefitted lowest level of overall
satisfaction with marriage and tended to
experience anger. Over benefitted cam next,
and those who perceived marriage as
equitable had highest level of satisfaction.
22.214.171.124.1.1 Men who are over benefitted were almost as
satisfied as those in equitable marriage. But
over benefitted women were less satisfied
then women with equal benefits.
2.2.3 Exchange & Communal
126.96.36.199 Clark & Mills - Disagreed with the
claim that all relationships are based
188.8.131.52.1 Distinguished difference between exchange
relationships and communal relationships.
184.108.40.206.1.1 Exchange relationships may involve keeping track of
rewards/costs, communal relationships are governed by
desire to respond to the needs of the partner.
220.127.116.11.1.1.1 Still some concern with equity
but partners believe things
balance out in the long run.
2.3.1 GENDER DIFFERENCES
18.104.22.168 Men & Women may judge
22.214.171.124.1 Steil + Weltman
126.96.36.199.1.1 In married couples, husbands who earned
more rated their own careers more important
that their wives, and wives agreed.
188.8.131.52.1.1.1 However, situation were wives income was
higher neither rated career as more important.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Researchers concluded that wives tendency to seek less for
themselves than comparable men making comparable
contributions, impeded the achievement of equality at home.
3 Breakdown of Romantic
3.1 Rollie & Duck -
Model of Breakdown
3.1.1 Rollie and Duck’s model of
breakdown attempts to explain the
process in six steps.
3.1.2 It begins with dissatisfaction with how
a relationship is conducted
18.104.22.168 Leads to an intrapsychic process that is
characterised by brooding on the partner’s
faults and the costs of the relationship
22.214.171.124.1 In the dyadic process, people confront their partners
and discuss their feelings about the relationship
126.96.36.199.1.1 If further breakdown occurs, social
processes will take place, whereby friends
and family will offer advice and support.
188.8.131.52.1.1.1 After having left the relationship, grave-dressing
processes will commence. Tidying up memories.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 In the final resurrection process, each partner
prepares for new relationships by learning
from the mistakes of the prior relationship.
3.1.3 Tashiro & Frazier surveyed
students whose relationships
had recently broken down
18.104.22.168 They reported to have experienced emotional distress as
well as personal growth, stating that these breakdowns
had given them a clearer idea about future relationships
22.214.171.124.1 This provides evidence supporting the
grave-dressing and resurrection processes.
126.96.36.199.2 However, a methodological flaw. Sample Bias
only sample of undergraduate students, findings
cannot be generalised to other relationships. This
reduces the population validity of the study.
3.1.4 Deterministic, but fails to take into account any other
factors such as choice of breaking up and how we act
after the break-up. Ignores the role of free will.
3.1.5 Psychologists praised the theory for
being intuitively appealing. The theory
makes logical sense in suggesting that
people experience different emotions
and behaviour during a breakdown.
Considers individual differences.
3.2 Duck - Reasons
3.2.1 Duck proposed three reasons as
to why relationships break down.
3.2.2 Lack of skills: A partner may lack the
interpersonal skills to make the
relationship mutually satisfying. They may
be a poor conversationalist, poor at
indicating their interest in their partner, or
their interactions with other people may be
3.2.3 Lack of stimulation: A lack of
stimulation may be boredom or
a belief that the relationship is
not going anywhere, and this
may result in breakdown.
3.2.4 In some circumstances, relationships
may become strained due to
maintenance difficulties: the partners
do not see each other often enough.
3.2.5 Boekhout et al -
188.8.131.52 Asked undergraduates to rate various reasons for a partner to
be unfaithful in a relationship. Partners judged that boredom &
lack of attention to be among the most likely reasons.
184.108.40.206.1 Shows how affairs may be the result of a perceived lack of
skills and/or stimulation and thus supporting Duck's theory.
3.2.6 Long-distance relationships can be
the cause of maintenance difficulties
220.127.116.11 However, Holt & Stone found that there was
little decrease in relationship satisfaction as
long as the lovers are able to reunite regularly.
18.104.22.168.1 This suggests that long-distance relationships may not lead to breakdown as Duck’s
explanation would suggest. However, this may be partly due to the increased
accessibility to technology which allows long-distance partners to communicate fully.
22.214.171.124 Women are more likely to stress unhappiness & incompatibility as reasons for
break-up, while men are more upset with sexual withholding. Women also have more
desire to remain friends after the breakup, while men prefer to cut losses