Maintenance of romantic relationships

Felicity Picton
Mind Map by , created over 5 years ago

A2 Psychology (PSYA3 - relationships) Mind Map on Maintenance of romantic relationships, created by Felicity Picton on 05/28/2014.

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Felicity Picton
Created by Felicity Picton over 5 years ago
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Maintenance of romantic relationships
1 Social exchange theory (Thibaut and Kelley) based on profit and loss, and a comparison level
1.1 AO1
1.1.1 Profit and Loss: Aim to maximise rewards and minimise costs. If the profits out weigh the costs then the relationship will succeed
1.2 AO2
1.2.1 Rasbult and Martz: use this theory to explain why some women stay in abusive relationships. If the investments are high, such as children and financial security, and alternatives are low, such as no money and nowhere else to live; it would be considered as a profit situation and the woman would stay
1.2.2 Cultural bias: Moghaddam - 'economic' theories only apply to short-term, high mobility western cultures ie uni students
1.2.3 Reductionist: breaks down relationship into basic social interactions that are focused on selfish rewards of individual
1.2.4 It also fails to take into account of the notion of fairness between the two individuals leading to equality rather than a constant seeking of profits
1.3 Comparison level
1.3.1 AO1 Thibaut and Kelley suggest we develop a comparison level which is a level that we judge all our relationships against. Comparison level can come from previous relationships, media or parents. If we judge the potential profit in a new relationship exceeds our comparison level then we will judge the relationship as worthwhile. Can use this comparison level to explain why we might leave our current partner to enter a new relationship
1.3.2 AO2 A way of dealing with potential threats is to get rid of them. Simpson asked P's to rate members of the opposite sex in terms of attractiveness; those P's who were involved in a relationship gave lower ratings than the single P's supporting comparison level. Flaw of comparison level is that it fails to explain why people leave relationships despite having an alternative Social exchange theory can be used to explain how sex is used as an exchange resource in intimate relationships. Marelich found when surveying american student, men were more likely to use blatant lies, such as caring for the woman or commitment, to have sex than women who are more likely to have sex to avoid confrontation, gain partner approval and promote intimacy. This shows that sexual deception is part of the social exchange process; the rewards are the pleasure of sex and positve relationships and the costs are sexual deception and unwanted sex
2 Equity theory (Walster et al)
2.1 Inequity and distress (Messick and Cook)
2.1.1 AO1 Fairness in relationships. People who strive to achieve fairness in their relationships and feel distressed if they perceive unfairness. If an individual puts more in than they get out they would perceive inequity, equally if they receive more than they give they will also experience inequity. The greater the perceived inequity, they greater the dissatisfaction and greater the distress
2.1.2 AO2 Stafford and Canary asked over 200 married couples to complete measures of equity and relationship satisfaction. They found that the highest satisfied P's were those who perceived their relationships to be equitable. These findings support equity theory
2.2 Ratio of inputs and outputs
2.2.1 AO1 Equity doesn't necessarily mean equality. Equity is concerned with perceived ratio of inputs and outputs: an equitable relationship should be one where the partner's benefits minus their costs equals their partner's benefits less their costs. If we perceive inequality in our relationship we are motivated to restore it. For example, we may change the amount we put into a relationship and/or the amount we demand from the relationship. We may also compare our relationships to our CL for other relationships to see whether we should continue the relationships or start a new one.
2.2.2 AO2 What happens if the relationship is inequitable? DeMaris wanted to find out whether marital inequity is associated with later marital disruption. He used 1500 couples as part of the US national survey of families and households and found that the only association of marital inequity and marital disruption was the women's sense of being under benefited in cases of divorce Slightly supports but the gender differences makes it difficult to completely support.

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