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Flashcards in Relationships Deck (98):

What are the 3 levels of parasocial relationship identified by McCutcheon et al (2002)

Entertainment social - celebrities= source of entertainment and fuel for social interaction Giles(2002) PR = fruitful source of gossip in offices.
Intense-personal - greater personal involvement such as obsessive thoughts and intense feelings
Borderline pathological - uncontrollable fantasies and extreme behaviours


Describe McCutcheon's (2002) absorption-addiction model

Explains tendency to form PR in terms of deficiencies in own lives or poorly adjusted psychologically
Absorption - individual focuses attention on celebrity, become pre-occupied in their existence and identify with them
Addiction - needs to sustain commitment to relationship by feeling stronger and closer involvement with celebrity. May lead to extreme behaviour and delusional thinking


Outline the attachment theory explanation

Bowlbys attachment theory suggested early difficulties may lead to emotional troubkes in later life. Ainsworth (1979) identified 2 attachment types: insecure- resistant & insecure-avoidant
Insecure-resistant = most likely to form PR to have unfulfilled needs met without rejection or disappointment
Insecure-avoidant = avoid relationships altogether


What support is there for the absorption-addiction model?

Maltby et al(2005) investigated link between celeb worship & body image in males & females 14-16. Females reported intense-personal PR with female celeb whose body shape they admired. These females had poor body image, link may cause anorexia
Maltby et al (2003) links entertainment-social with extraverted personality traits, intense-personal = neurotic & borderline pathological = psychotic
Both studies support correlation between level of celeb worship and psychological functioning


What are the problems with attachment theory?

McCutcheon et al (2006) measured attachment types and celeb related attitudes in 299 participants & found participants with insecure attachments were no more likely to form parasocial relationships than participants with secure attachments
Theory lacks validity


What are the 2 major methodological issues in PR studies?

1) most use self-report methods which are prone to likes of social desirability bias
2) most are correlational so can't establish cause and effect. Lack of longitudinal research which could solve.
Absorption-addiction uses so lacks validity


What are the problems with the absorption-addiction model?

A better description for PR than explanation. Describes characteristics of of people who are absorbed and addicted to celeb but doesn't explain how such characteristics develop


What cultural influences are there on PR?

Schmid &Klimmt (2011) tendency to form PR with Harry Potter is not culturally specific. Using online questionnaire found similar levels of parasocial attachment to Harry Potter in individualistic country (Germany) and collectivist (Mexico)


Outline the reduced cues theory

Sproull & Kiesler (1986) - CMC relationships = less effective than FtF ones because they lack cues such as tone of voice & facial expressions which leads to de-individualisation which encourages disinhibition in relating to others. Therefore often involve blunt and aggressive communication causing reluctance to self-disclose


Outline the hyperpersonal model

Walther (1996/2011) - online relationships = more personal and greater self-disclosure than FtF because CMC relationships can develop quickly as self-disclosure happens earlier. Cooper & Sportolari (1997) -can also end more quickly due to high excitement level not matching level of trust between relationship = boom bust phenomenon
Key feature of self disclosure in VR = sender of message has more time to manipulate online image - selective self-presentation (Walther)
Bargh et al (2002) - strangers in a train effect - when people don't know your identity you feel less accountable for your behaviour so may disclose more


What are gates?

An obstacle to the formation of a relationship eg. Physical unattractiveness or social anxiety


Why is absence of gating in CMC an advantage according to McKenna and Bargh (1999)?

Allows relationship to start in a way they would not in FtF ones you refocusing the attention on self-disclosure and away from distracting features. People can create own online identities


What research support is there for the hyperpersonal model?

Whitty & Joinson (2009) found questions asked online tend to be direct, probing and intimate, very different to FtF conversations which is often small talk. This supports that they way we self-disclose in CMC is designed to present ourselves in an positive light.


What support is there for absence of gating?

McKenna & Bargh (2000) looked at CMC use by lonely and socially anxious people and found that they were able to express their true selves more than in FtF situations. Of romantic relationships formed online 70% lasted more than 2 years - higher than offline world.


Why can't online self-disclosure be generalised to everyone?

Because there are different types of CMC - Paine et al (2006) - people on social networking sites generally have relationships in the offline world, people self-disclose more in a status than in an online e-commerce webform. Online dating often reduces self-disclosure as they anticipate meeting in the offline world in the future which rarely exists in chat rooms and gaming sites.


What does Walther (2011) argue about relationships being multimodal?

Argues that any theory seeking to explain CMC and self-disclosure, need to accommodate fact that our relationships are conducted online and offline through many different media in most modern relationships. What we choose to disclose online will be influenced by offline interactions and vide versa.


Why is reduced cues theory not completely accepted?

Lack of research support - Walther & Tidwell (1995) use different cues online such as style and timing of messages. Acrostics, emoticons and emojis are substitutes for facial expressions and tone of voice. Shows CMC can be just as personal as FtF


What is the phase model of relationship breakdown proposed by Duck (2007)?

When one partner realises they are dissatisfied with the relationship and the ending of a relationship goes through 4 phases, each phases is marked by one or both partner/s reaching a threshold where their perception of the relationship changes


What are the four phases of Duck's Phase Model?

Dyadic phase
Social Phase
Grave-dressing phase


Describe the intra-psychic phase

Focus on cognitive processing occurring within the individual. Dissatisfied partner thinks privately or talks to trusted friend. Weigh up pros and cons and evaluate against alternatives (including being alone). Begin plans for future


Describe the Dyadic phase

Focus on interpersonal processes between both partners. A series of confrontations of a period of time where relationship is discussed and dissatisfactions aired. 2 possible outcomes = determination to continue breaking up the relationship or renewed desire to repair it. If rescuer fails, another threshold reached.


Describe the social phase.

Focus on wider processes involving couple's social networks. Break-up is made public and partners will seek support and try forge pacts. Mutual friends feel they have to choose sides. Factions are formed and gossip is traded. Friends have impact eg. Some supportive, some judgemental against other partner etc. Break up driven by social forces.


Describe the Grave-dressing phase

Focus is on aftermath. Favourable story about breakup for public. Allows partners to maintain positive reputation and often shows other partner in bad light. Gossip plays important role and partner tries to retain 'social credit' (La Gaipa 1982) by blaming anyone but themselves. Involves creating personal story for partner to live with by tidying memories.


What methological issues are there in Ducks Phase Model?

Most research = retrospective. Participants give experiences of breakdown process some time after relationship has ended so recall may not be accurate or reliable.
Early relationship failure is hard to study as getting involved may make things worse.
Ignoring beginning of relationship failure makes description incomplete.


Why is Ducks Phase Model culturally biased?

Model = most research is based on experience of relationships in Western cultures, particularly USA. Moghaddam et al (1993) found relationships in individualistic cultures are generally voluntary and frequently come to an end. Relationships in collectivist cultures are more likely to be obligatory or arranged, involve wider family and are less easy to end. Therefore break down is not identical across cultures.


Why is Ducks Phase Model labelled incomplete?

Rollie & Duck (2006) original model = oversimplified. It has been modified and a fifth phase 'resurrection phase' was added where ex partners turn attention to future relationships using experience from past ones. Also is possible to return to previous stages. New model emphasises processes that occur in relationship breakdown rather than linear movement from one phase to next. Overcomes he weakness of original model being limited.


Give 1 strength of Ducks Phase Model

Has real life application. Helps identify and understand stages of relationship breakdown and suggests ways of reversing it with repair strategies which are more effective at particular points of breakdown. Eg Duck (1994) recommends that people in intra-psychic phase could be encouraged to focus on positive aspects of their partner.


Explain the limitation of Ducks Phase Model being descriptive rather than explanation.

Doesn't explain why breakdowns occur. Flemlee's (1995) fatal attraction hypotheses argues the cause of relationship breakdown can be found in the attractive qualities that brought the romantic partners together, by partners getting too much of what they were looking for.


What is Rusbult's Investment Model?

Rusbult et al (2011) - commitment depends on 3 other factors - investment size, satisfaction level & comparison with alternatives. A development of social exchange theory.


What is satisfaction?

Based on concept of comparison level. A relationship is judged by comparing rewards (support) & costs (conflict) and seeing if the relationship is profitable.


What is comparison with alternatives (CLalt)?

Partners judging If alternatives would be more rewarding or perhaps no relationship at all.


Why did Rusbult introduce investment?

Because according to SET, a relationship would end as soon as the costs outweighed the rewards or a more attractive alternative presented themself.


What are the 2 major types of investment?

Intrinsic - resources we put directly into relationship eg. Money & possessions. Can also be other resources eg. energy, emotion & self-disclosure
Extrinsic - resources that previously did not feature associate in the relationship but now closely associated with it eg. Possessions bought together or mutual friends acquired since the relationship began.


What does Rusbult argue is the main psychological factor that causes people to stay in romantic relationships?

Commitment because it can help explain why dissatisfied partners may stay in a relationship. They are committed because they have made an investment they don't want to see go to waste therefore they will work hard to repair a damaged relationship.


Explain relationship relationship mechanisms

Partners act to promote the relationship (accommodation) and put their partners interests first (willingness to sacrifice) and forgiveness. They are unrealistically positive about their partner and negative about tempting alternatives.


Give supporting research for Rusbults Investment Model

Le and Agnew (2003) in meta analysis reviewed 52 studies from 1970s-1999 which included 11,000 participants from 5 different countries. Found satisfaction, comparison with alternatives and investment size all predicted relaxation ship commitment. Relationships with the greatest were most stable and lasted longest. Outcomes true for both genders across all cultures and for homosexuals and heterosexuals. Shows validity.


Describe the methodological strengths in Rusbults Investment Model

Support relies of self report such as questionnaires and interviews which are appropriate because it is the partners perception of of the factors that matters.


Explain the issues of correlational research in Rusbults Model.

No evidence of causation. Can't conclude that Amy of the factors cause commitment in relationship.


What does Goodfriend and Agnew (2008) suggest is a weakness of Rusblults investment model?

Suggests it oversimplifies investment & there is more to investment than the resources you have already put in. They extended Rusbults model by including the investment romantic partners make in future plans. This makes them more committed as they want to see future plans work.


In which area is the investment model thought to be particularly valid and useful?

Useful explanation of relationship X involving intimate partner violence (IPV). Rusbult and Martz (1995) studied 'battered' women at a shelter and found that those most likely to return to an abusive partner reported making to greatest investment and having fewest attractive alternatives. Model recognises that a victim of IPV does not need to be satisfied to stay in it.


What is meant by the term equity?

Fairness. Walster et al (1978) both partners have the same level of profit. Lack of equity = one partner over benefits and the other under benefits which causes dissatisfaction and unhappiness


What are the consequences of inequity?

Partner subject to inequity will become distressed and dissatisfied
Strong correlation between greater perceived inequity the greater dissatisfaction


How do romantic partners react to inequity?

The 'put-upon' partner will work hard to make relationship more equitable if they believe relationship is salvageable
More unfair relationship feel the harder they will work
Or Will revise perception of rewards & costs so relationship feels equitable to them even if nothing changes


What supporting research evidence is tgere for equity theory?

Utne et al (1984) carried out survey of 118 recently married couples 16-45 and had been together more than 2 years before marrying and measured equity with 2 self-report scales. Found couples who considered their relationship equitable were more satisfied than those who saw themselves as over/under benefitting
Seen as more valid than SET


Describe cultural influences on equity theory

Equity theory assumes equity = universal feature
Aumer-Ryan et al (2007) round there are cultural differences between equity and satisfaction - couples from individualistic culture considers relationship to be most satisfying when relationship was equitable however partners in collectivist cultures were most satisfied when they were over benefitting.
Theory = limited because it cannot account for individual differences


Describe individual differences on equity theory

Not all partners are concerned about achieving equity.
Huseman et al (1987) describe some partners as benevolents - prepared to contribute more to a relationship than they get out of it.
Others = entitleds - believe they deserve to be over benefitted and accept it without feeling guilty.
Shows equity is not global feature and is not a universal law of social interaction.


What did Clark & Mills (2011) conclude about equity theory?

We should distinguish between different types of relationship - research shows equity plays a central role in casual friendships & business/work relationships.
Evidence for equity being important in romantic relationships is much more mixed


What contradictory research evidence is there for equity theory?

Berg & McQuinn (1986) found equity did not increase in their longitudinal study of dating couples. Equity did not distinguish between relationships which ended and those which continued. Other variables = more important such as self-disclosure


What is the Social Exchange Theory?

Thibault & Kelley (1959) - behaviour in relationships reflects economic assumptions of exchange. We try minimise losses & maximise gains (minimax principle). Judge satisfaction on profit it yields.
Opportunity cost - invest time & energy in your relationship using resources you cannot invest elsewhere.


What is comparison level in SET?

First way we measure profit.
The amount of reward you believe you deserve to get.
Develops from experience of previous relationships and influenced by social norms.
CL = high = relationship worth pursuing
Low self esteem = low CL


What is CLalt?

Comparison level with alternatives, second measure of profit
SET predicts we stay in current relationship as long as we believe it is more rewarding that alternatives.
Duck (1994) - the CLalt we develop depends on state of current relationship. If costs outweigh rewards alternatives become more attractive.


What are the 4 stages of relationship development according to SET?

Sampling - explore rewards & costs by experimenting in own relationships or observing.
Bargaining - beginning of relationship, start exchanging rewards & costs identifying what is most profitable.
Commitment - sources of costs and rewards become more predictable & relationship becomes more stable as rewards increase & costs decrease.
Institutionalisation - partners are settled down because norms of relationship are established.


Explain why SET is claimed to have inappropriate assumptions

Clark and Mills (2011) argue that the theory fails to distinguish between exchange relationships (eg work colleagues) and communal relationships (romantic). Exchange - do involve social exchange. communal - giving and receiving rewards without keeping score.
Claims reciprocal activities are monitored but if true we would question the type of commitment the partner wanted.


What are the issues with cause and effect in SET?

Argyle (1987) points out we don't measure costs and rewards in a relationship or constantly consider attractive alternatives until we are dissatisfied.
Miller (1997) found people who rated themselves as highly committed to a relationship spent less time looking at images of attractive people. Less time was good predictor of relationship continuing 2 months later.


What factor is ignored causing SET to be a limited explanation?

Equity, much research supporting role of equity in relationships and this is more important than balance of rewards and costs.


Explain why measuring SET concepts is an issue

Difficult to quantify. Psychological rewards are difficult to define especially as they vary person to person. It is unclear what values of CL and CLalt must be before dissatisfaction threatens relationship.


What is the problem with supporting research of SET?

Often use artificial tasks In artificial conditions. More realistic studies such as snapshot studies are less supportive of SET and cannot account for properties that emerge from s relationship over time such as trust.


What is the Filter Theory?

A theory devised by Kerckhoff and Davis (1962) to explain how romantic relationships form and develop by comparing attitudes and personalities of student couple in short term (<18months) and long term relationships.


According to Kerckhoff and Davis, what are the 3 main factors that act as filters to narrow down the partner choice to a field of desirables?

1st - Social Demography
2nd - Similarity in attitudes
3rd - Complementarity


Describe the social demography filter

Influence chance of potential partners meeting in the first place eg geographical location, social class, level of education, religion etc.
Benefit of proximity = accessibility
Anyone too different is discounted as potential partner.
Outcome of this filtering = homogamy (more likely to form relationship with someone culturally or socially similar)


Describe the similarity in attitudes filter

Kerckhoff & Davis found similarly in attitudes was important in development of romantic relationships but only for couples together less than 18months. Need for partners at earlier stages to agree basic values that results in deeper communication and greater self-disclosure.
Evidence we find similar attitudes attractive, Byrne (1997) describe consistent findings that similarity causes attraction as law of attraction.


Describe complementarity filter

Ability of romantic partners to meet each other's needs. Partners compliment each other when one partner has a trait that the other lacks. Eg one partner likes to laugh and the other likes to make people laugh. Kerckhoff and Davis found the need for complementarity was more important for long-term couples. Makes partners feel that together they make s whole adding depth to relationship.


Give supportive research evidence for Filter Theory

Theory has face validity as it agrees with most people's experience of romantic relationships.
Winch (1958) found evidence that similarities of personalities, interest and attitudes between partners are typical of the early stages of a relationship.


What did Levinger (1974) find about filter theory?

He found many studies could not replicate the original findings. He put this down to social change over time and difficult in determining a relationship in sense of its length. This highlights problems with generalisation.


Describe the issues of cause and effect in filter theory

Evidence that direction of causality is wrong - Anderson et al (2003) found in a longitudinal study that cohabiting partners became more similar in emotional responses over time (emotional convergence).
Davis and Rusbult (2001) discovered an attitude alignment effect in longer - term relationships. This suggested similarity is an effect of initial attraction and not the cause.


What issues has online dating caused for Filter Theory?

Lack of temporal validity- online dating has reduced importance of some demographic variables. Apps make meeting potential partners easier than ever. Therefore may Have a date with someone outside usual demographic range.


Explain the issues of similarity and complementarity in Filter Theory

Anderson et al (2003) found similarity increases over time which suggests complementarity may not be a common feature of long-term relationships.
Gruber-Baldini et al (1995) carried out a longitudinal study of married couples and found the similarities between spouses in terms of intellectual levels increased over a 14 year period.


Describe the evolutionary theory of physical attractiveness

Shackelford and Larson (1997) found people with symmetrical faces are rated as more attractive because it may be a signal of genetic fitness.
People are also attracted to baby face features eg large eyes and small nose because these trigger a caring and protective instinct.
McNulty et al (2008) found evidence that initial attractiveness that brought partners together continued to be important after marriage.


Describe the Halo Effect?

Have preconceived ideas of the personality traits attractive people have - positive. Dion et al (1972) 'what is beautiful is good' found physical attractive people are rates as strong, kind,sociable and successful. Example of self-fulfilling prophecy.


Describe the matching hypothesis

Walster (1966) - people choose romantic partners who are roughly the same physical attractiveness to each other. Have to make realistic judgement of own value to potential partner. Desire to have most attractive partner but balance this to avoid rejection.


Outline research support for the Halo Effect

Palmer and Peterson (2012) found physically attractive people were rated as more knowledgeable than unattractive people. This persisted when participants knew attractive person had no expertise. Has implications for political process


Outline research support for matching hypothesis

Feingold (1988) carried out a meta-analysis of 17 studies and found a significant correlation in ratings of attractiveness between romantic partners. Looked at actual partners = more realistic approach.


Outline research contradicting the matching hypothesis

Taylor et al (2011) studied activity logs of popular online dating site. Real life test of of matching hypothesis as it measured actual date choices not preferences. Online dateless sought meetings with partners more physically attractive than them. Did not consider own level of attractiveness.


Describe the role of cultural influences on physical attractiveness

Cunningham et al (1995) found female features of large eyes, prominent cheekbones, small nose and high eyebrows were rated as highly attractive by white, Hispanic and Asian males.
Wheeler and Kim (1997) found Korean and American students judged physically attractive people to be more trustworthy, concerned for other people, mature and friendly. Same culturally.


What did Towhey (1979) find about individual differences for physical attractiveness?

Some people do not attach much importance to physical attractiveness. Towhey asked males and female participants to rate how much they liked an individual based on a photograph and some biological information. Participants completed questionnaire - MACHO scale. Found participants Ho scored highly on the scale were more influence by physical attractiveness of the target when making a judgment of likability


What is self disclosure?

Revealing personal information about yourself, romantic partners reveal more about their true selves at the relationship develops. Self disclosures can strengthen a romantic bind when used correctly.


Outline Altman and Taylor's (1973) social penetration theory

The reciprocal exchange of information between intimate partners, when one partner reveals personal information they display trust, to go further the other partner must reveal personal information. As partners penetrate more deeply into each other's lives they gain a greater understanding of each other


According to Altman and Taylor, what are the 2 elements of self disclosure?

Breadth and depth.
As both increase romantic partners become more committed.
Like an onion - low risk on surface, as relationship develops self-disclosure becomes deeper removing more layers to reveal true selves and high risk information.


Outline reciprocity of self disclosure

Reis and Shaver (1988) - for a relationship to develop and increase in breadth and depth there need to be a reciprocal element of self disclosure.


Give the evaluation points for self disclosure

Support from research studies
Real life applications
Cultural differences
Correlation v causation
Self disclosure and satisfaction


What support is there from research studies for self disclosure?

-Sprecher and Hendrick (2004) studied heterosexual dating couples and found a strong correlation between measures of satisfaction and self-disclosure. Those who self disclosed and believed their partners did also were more satisfied and committed to their relationship.
- Laurenceau et at (2005) used diary entries to find that self disclosure and the perception of self disclosure were linked to higher levels of intimacy in long term married couples. Reverse also true.
These findings increase validity of theory.


What real life applications has self disclosure brought?

Hass and Stafford (1998) found 57% of gay men and women said open and honest self disclosure was the main way they maintained and deepened their committed relationship.
Shows research into self disclosure can help people improve communication in their relationships to increase intimacy and strengthen their bond.


What cultural differences have been found for self-disclosure?

Tang et al (2013) reviewed research literature regarding sexual self disclosure and found men and women in USA self disclosure significantly more sexual thoughts and feelings than men and women in China. Both these are linked to relationship satisfaction in these cultures.
Shows research from Western cultures are not generalisable to other cultures


Outline the research point 'correlation vs causation'

Much self disclosure research is correlational (e.g. Sprecher and Hendrick). It is assumed that greater self disclosure causes more satisfaction however correlations do not support this.


Outline the evaluation point 'self disclosure and satisfaction'

Theories of relationship e.g Ducks breakdown model, recognises how couples discuss their state of relationship and involve deep self-disclosures and intimate thoughts and feelings and yet can still not rescue the relationship


What is sexual selection?

An evolutionary explanation of partner preferences, attributes or behaviours that increase reproductive success are passed on and may become exaggerated over succeeded generations of offspring


What is anisogamy?

The differences between male and female sex cells


What are the differences between male and female sex cells?

Male - sperm are small, highly mobile, created continuously in vast numbers and do not create a great expenditure of energy to produce.
Female - eggs are relatively large, static, produced at intervals for a limited number of fertile years and require huge investment of energy


What is inter-sexual selection?

Between sexes, strategies that males use to select females or females use to select males.
Preferred strategy of female - quality over quantity. Female will chose a genetically fit partner who is willing to provide resources


What is intra-sexual selection?

Within each sex - strategies between males to be the one which is selected.
Preferred strategy of male - quantity over quality.
Competition between makes - winner reproduces and passes on winning qualities to offspring.
Some of these qualities may lead to aggression.


What is the runaway process?

When an attractive trait is chosen and over successful generations of females it would increase this trait in the male population as the women would continue to mate with males with this trait e.g height.


What is the sexy sons hypothesis?

Fisher (1930) - a female mates with a male who has a desirable characteristic, this 'sexy' trait is inherited by her son and increases likelihood that successive generations of females will mate with her offspring


What are the evaluation points for sexual selection?

Research support for anisogamy
Research support for inter-sexual selection
Ignores social and cultural influences
Support from waist-hip ratio research
Support from lonely hearts research


What research support is there for preferences related to anisogamy?

Buss (1989) - survey of 10,000 adults in 33 countries. Asked questions relating to age and attributes that should be important in partner preference. Found females placed greater value on resource-related characteristics e.g good financial prospects and ambition. Males valued reproductive capacity in terms of good looks and chastity and preferred younger mates.
Support predictions about partner preferences and can be applied across cultures.


What research support is there for inter-sexual selection?

Clark and Hatfield (1989) - male and female psychology students sent out across uni and approached students and asked would you go to bed with me tonight?' 0 females agreed where as 75% of males did.
Supports that females are choosier than males.


How does sexual selection ignore social and cultural factors?

Women's greater role in workplace means they are no longer dependent on men
Bereczkei et al (1997) argued that this social change has consequences for females mate preferences which may no longer be resource orientated.
Chang et al (2011) compared partner preferences in China over 25 years and found some changed but others remained the same.
Mate preferences are therefore a combination of evolutionary and cultural influences.


Outline support from waist-hip ratio research

Singh (1993/2002) found males find any hip and waist sizes attractive as long at the ratio is about 0.7. Wide him and narrow waist is a honest signal that women are fertile and not currently pregnant.


Outline support from lonely hearts research

Waynforth and Dunbar (1995) studied lonely hearts advertisements in American newspapers. Men and women describe qualities they desire in potential partners and say what they have to offer. Women tended to offer physical attractiveness and indicators of youth. Men offered more resources and sought youth and physical attractiveness.