Flashcards in Relationships Deck (69):
What are the basic premises of the evolutionary theory
Survival of the fittest
Competition with species over resources, food, shelter and mates
Through the process of natural collection individuals that inherit characteristics that enable them to compete are more likely to reproduce
How does the evolutionary explain partner preference
The evolutionary explanation emphasises the importance of sexual selection. The process of behaviours being 'selected' and passed on to the next generation because they increase reproductive success. Such characteristics make an individual more attractive to the opposite sex or they they may provide an advantage over competitions for reproductive rights.
What is anisogamy
The difference between male and female gametes.
Sperm are small, plentiful and do not require a great amount of energy to produce.
Ova are large, produced at intervals for a limited number of years and require huge investment of energy.
This influences partner preference and has resulted in two types of sexual selection
What is inter sexual selection
One sex chooses from available prospective mates according to attractiveness.
Biological market place where genes that confer attractive qualities are more saleable
Women invest more heavily in offspring than men do, the qualities that women find attractive will be selected and increase the population as their daughters will also a prefect, known as the runaway process
What is the runaway process
Women are choosy of the qualities they find attractive, their daughters will go on to show preference. This is a characteristic of the sexy sons hypothesis in which a female mates with a male who has a desirable characteristic and her son will inherit them to
What do males show a presence for when looking for a female partner
For qualities that indicate fertility and good genes. Including youthfulness, facial symmetry, and a low waist to hip ratio.
What is intra sexual selection
Competition between males to mate with females. This has given a rise to dimorphism that is seen in humans eg- men being bigger and stronger than females. Strengths enables men to acquire fertile females and then protect them from competing mates.
What kind of jealousy are men and women more likely to experience
Men - sexual jealously
Women- emotional jealously
What study would show that it's genetics that help us choose rare partner
Sign - across cultures there is a preference for a female waste hip ratio of 0.7. This presence seems to exist across cultures. Supporting the idea that we do attract through genetics if it was nurture we would see a cross culture difference.
Outline buss's 1989 research on mate preference
Large scale cross cultural study
37 cultures, 6 continents, 5 islands
Data collected by research collaborators who were. Active residents and blind with respects to the hypothesis.
They translated the questionnaires into the appropriate language for their sample using 3 bilingual speakers.
Two questionnaires were used.
One asked them to rate 18 characteristics on how important each would be in choosing a mate, the other asked them to rank 13 characteristics on its desirable mate.
What were the results of Buss 1989 study on mate preference
Cross culture similarities in mate preference
Males more than females preferred - good looks and psychical attraction and partners who were younger than them
Females preferred good financial earring and someone who is ambitious and partners who were older than them.
However there also similarities with both sex ranking kind understanding and intelligent higher than earning power and attractiveness in all samples studied.
How can the buss study on mate preference be evaluated
-Large sample of counties, continents and cultures = good validity
- evolved presence not learnt
- minimises culture bias - native collaborators who were biased to the hypothesis.
- native collaborators will handle mate preference conversations better
- native collaborators may try make their culture look better than it is
What did buss's study on actual marriages find
Actual marriages in 29 cultures
Men do go for younger women and that a man who divorced and remarried tended to choose increasing younger woman.
What does Nicolson 1999 say about evolutionary factors
That they are over emphasised. Suggesting that evolutionary influences are probably lost in today's social context.
What does Greiling and Buss argue that the evolutionary theory ignores
Ignores the possibility of short term mating for females.
How can the evolutionary theory be criticised generally
- can't be falsified (proven wrong)
- socially sensitive - over exaggerates the difference in men and women - alpha bias - reinforces stereotypes
What are the 3 theories effecting attraction
How does self disclosure effect attractiveness
When a individual reveals person info about themselves including there thoughts, feelings and experiences to another person. It is an important process in the development of romantic relationships with greater disclosure leading to greater feelings of intimacy. People tend to prefer those who disclose intimate detail to those who disclose themselves to a lesser extent.
Where does the idea of self disclosure come from
It's a central concept of social penetration theory which suggest that relationships develop through a gradual process of revealing your inner self to someone else. The exchange of information is reciprocal - so over time partners gain a deeper insight and gain a greater understanding of each other's lives.
Overtime the level of information becomes deeper and includes a wider range of topics.
What did these psychologists find about self disclosure:
Sprecher and Hendrick-1
Delega and Grzelak -2
1. Studied heterosexual couples and found a strong correlation between relationships satisfaction and self disclosure. Those who used self disclosure and believe there partner did were more committed to their rel. this was the same for men and women.
2. In the early stages of the rel people should only engage in moderately person disclosure. If they are too personal they may appear indiscriminate for disclosing them to relative strangers.
How may research into self disclosure had useful application
Why might research be culturally bias ?
Help with people who want to improve the communication and intimacy of there rel through couple therapy.
- different cultures communicate with their partners differently, a lot of research is based on western studies. Being open may be considered a western thing.
Tang et al - reviewed the research into self disclosure in USA and China and found that USA couples were more open about sexual thoughts and feelings than men and women in China. However both levels of self disclosure are linked to relationships satisfaction in them cultures. This shows that there are different types of satisfaction and the difference may come from the difference in an individualists and collectivists culture.
How would the evolutionary theory explain the important of physical attraction in deterring attraction in romantic relationships
Attractiveness leads to more attractive babies, leaving more change of those genes being passed down through generations.
Why may physical attraction be an important factor in influencing attraction
How does wheeler and Kim support this
We have preconceived ideas about other qualities that attractive people have - physical attractiveness stereotype. Dion et al found that attractive people were consistently rates as kind, strong, sociable and successful in contrast to unattractive people - this is known as the halo effect. Where one feature has a disproportionate effect on the judgement of other attributes.
- found that Korean and American judges attractive people as more trustworthy, concerned, mature and friendly.
What is the matching hypothesis
Walster et al
Chose partners on a similar level of attractiveness
Desire the most physically attractive but make realistic chooses based on the fear of rejection and the likelihood for the affection being reciprocated.
Theory suggests that these couples are more happy.
What study criticises the matching hypothesis....
How can this be challenged
Walster - matched 752 first year undergraduates with a date for a dance who they were told they'd matched them with via a questionnaire however they had be randomly matched. Regardless of their own physical attraction ps reacted more positively to physically attractive dates and were more likely to arrange further dates with them. The physically attractiveness effect predominated over a matching effect or any concern of rejection. Showing that people go for people who are attractive regardless of rejection.
- culturally bias
- population validity
Why is the matching hypothesis limited
Only considers attractiveness and not other wider complex qualities such as personality.
Give one strength and one weakness of the matching hypothesis
:)- realistic in terms of real life application - rare you find someone good looking with someone who is not good looking.
:(- different cultures may have different values of love. Some cultures have arranged marriages so don't value attractiveness and settle for anyone.see love as a companionship
What does the filter theory suggest
Kerchoff and Davis
That we use a series of filters to narrow down out filed of availability choices to a field of desirables.
Social democracy - geographical location, social class, level of education, religion and ethnicity - accessibility- more likely to come in contact with them. More likely to find them attractive if they similar to ourselves.
Similar attitudes - Important for couples who have been together for less than 18 months. Agreement over basic values, things which are important to them encourages deeper communication and more self disclosure. If they attitudes are dissimilar then they will filter out and the relationship terminated.
Complementarity - how well romantic partners meet each other's needs. People are attracted to others with different needs. ( needs to be a dominant and needs to be dependant) important in long term relationships. Together they make a whole
What did kerchoff and Davis find about the filter theory
Who would disagree
In short term relationships (less than 18 months) a similarity in attitudes was most significant.
In long term rels (longer than 18 months ) complementary of need was most important.
USA - culturally bias.
94 students - population validity.
- levinger et al- attempted to replicate the study and found no evidence that similarity in attitudes or complimentary of needs influenced progress toward permanence in rels. They also found no rel between length of rel and the influence of these variables.
Why might the theory be outdated
The questionnaire used in the initial research may be unsuitable as social va,use and relationships have change over time.
People may not value rels in the way they used to.
How can the filter theory be criticised
- based on indiduals interpretation and how they perceive relationships therefore it is subjective.
- doesn't account for arrange marriages.
What are the 4 theories of romantic relationships and how to be satisfied
Social exchange theory
Rusbolts investment model
Ducks phase model
How does social exchange theory explain relationships and how we remain satisfied
Blau suggests that social interaction is expensive as it takes energy, time and commitment, so what we get out of a relationship must at least pay us back an equal amount.
What are some general costs and relationships of rels
Costs - time, money, energy, sacrifices, arguments
Benefits - emotional stability, children, sexual intimacy, gain friends and family.
What kind of theory is social exchange theory
An economic theory of rels. - suggests that commitment of a rel depends on the profitability of it. If they rewards outweigh the costs than we will be satisfied with the rel and therefore it will be maintained.
What are comparisons levels and what influence them
Is a standard against which all are relationships are judges..what we expect from a rel.
influenced by parents rel, previous relationships, media and self esteem.
What are comparison levels for alternatives
Where the person ways up the potential rewards from different partners, minus any costs with ending current rel. If the alternative offers more then the current rel won't be maintained.
Duck says if we're satisfied with out rel we may not notice alternatives.
What did thibaut and Kelley suggest
A four stage model of long term rels with suggest that people see rels as a kind of social contract that involves bargaining for the best deal.
Sampling- exploring the costs and benefits o different people and trying out or observing different rels.
Bargaining - takes place at the start of the rel within the giving and receiving of various types of rewards, the individual begins to discuss whether the rel will be profitable.
Commitment - the individual devotes their attention to the rel, rewards and costs becomes predictable and the relationship stabilises.
Institutionalisation - the couple settle down and establish mutual norms and expectations.
What did homans say was the most powerful social reinforcements
What is one way to maintain our relationship
Self esteem or social approval. We are attracted to someone who can bring us this and in exchange we give them our approval.
- to reduce the attractiveness of alternative. Simpson found that ps already involved in a rel gave lower attractiveness ratings to photo of members of the opposite sex.
How does the social exchange theory have explanatory power
Non reproductive relationships, evolutionary theory is unable to do so. Can explain why women stay in abusive rels,
How did Marelich et al support the social exchange theory
Showed how sex was an exchange resource, 267 US students and found that men were more likely to use blatant lies to have sex whilst women had it to avoid confrontation and promote intimacy.
Why might the view present a selfish view of human behaviour
Why may it be accused of being culturally bias
No reference to what partners are doing.
The theory has also been accused to much on the individual's perspectives and ignores social aspect such as communication and interpret shared events.
- focus on individual - may not apply to relationships in collectivists cultures who place more value on what's best for the group.
How may it be difficult to carry out experimental research to SET
Difficult to operationalise risk and benefits could be difficult to measure and its open to interpretation. Theory may lack scientific credibility how do we quantify these benefits.
How does the equity theory explain relationship satisfaction
People strive to achieve fairness in their relationship and feel distressed if they perceive unfairness.
The distribution of reward is negotiated to ensure fairness eg- women does dishes, man takes the bin out.
It is possible for each partner to contribute and receive different amounts and for the relationship to still be equitable.
What is important is how a person perceives inputs and outputs.
Equity is when both partners level of profit is the same i.e. One partners benefits minus the costs is the other partners Benefit minus the costs.
Why would a partner become dissatisfied according to equity theory
If they are over benefiting or under benefitting. So getting more than we put in is just as frustrating as putting in more than we receive. The under benefitting partner is likely to feel the greatest dissatisfaction in the form or anger and resentment.
How does Stafford and canary support the equity theory
How may this study be criticised
Ask over 200 married couples to couple measures of equity and relationship satisfaction. Satisfaction was reported the highest in couple who's perceived there relationship to be equitable, followed by those who benefitted and lowest for under benefitted
-self reports ? Socially desirable answers.... demand characteristics may have acknowledged that their asking about equity.
How does Huseman et al challenge equity theory
Suggests that some people are less sensitive to equity than others.
Benevolents- prepared to contribute more than they get out
Entitleds- believe they deserve to be over benefitted and do so without guilt.
It is only equity sensitives to behave as predicated by the theory.
....therefore doesn't take individual differences into consideration
How do Clark and mills argue with equity theory
Distinguish between exchange relationships and communal relationships. Identify that we might keep track of rewards and costs in communal relationships there is some concern over equity but partners tend to believe that things will equal out Jun the long run.
What is rusbults investment model
Extension of social exchange theory.
Commitment depends on three factors:
Comparisons with alternatives
Investment - extent and importance of resources that have been placed in the relationship, anything that would be lost if the rel ended- greater investment more likely to stay in rel
Intrinsic investment - we put directly into the releg- energy and emotions
Extrinsic- that didn't previously feature eg- children
Therefore commitment is more important than satirisation
What does rusbults investment model say committed partners will engage in
A number of relationship maintenance mechanism including making sacrifices by putting there partners wishes first, showing forgiveness, having positive illusions of their partners and ridiculing alternatives
How do le and Agnew support rusbults investment model
Who criticises the model
52 studies - 11,000 participants from 5 counties.
Found satisfaction,comparisons for alternatives and investment size all predicted relationship commitment.
Relationships in which relationships were greatest were the most stable long lasting.
These findings were consistent in males and females across all cultures and for homosexual rels as well as heterosexual.
Goodfried and Agnew - suggest the concept of investment need to be broadened and should take into investment in future plans.
What does rusbults model help explain
Why someone may stay in a abusive relationship as they don't see any alternatives as better, may have low self esteem or don't think they'd be abused forever .
What's ducks phase model of relationship breakdown
Believe theres 6 stages to a break down.
1. One partner feels dissatisfied
2. intrapsychic processes - cognitive processes, partner mills over their thoughts privately and tells a trusted friend to way up pros and cons and evaluates it against alternatives and attempts to make future plans.
3. Dyadic processes- the two partners can't avoid talking about there issues and confront one another over a period of time, the rel is discussed and dissatisfaction is aired, complain about the lack of equity.
4. Social process - make the break up public, their mutual friends pick a side, friends provide reinforcement, blame partner and share secret info with friends.
5. Grave dressing process - after mass, bury the breakdown and make a story of why it ended for public consumption, showing the other partner in a bad light, creating a personal story so they can live with it. Tidying up memories for ex partner to just agree.
6. Resurrection process- use pervious experiences to form new relationships.
What factors does ducks phase model of relationship breakdown fail to consider
Do you think the model applies to all relationships ?
- assumes only one partner is dissatisfied when maybe both are.
- if you don't initiate the breakdown you may not go through the intrapsychic stage.
- if someone cheats you may call it off straight away so those processes don't happen.
Who supports ducks phase model of relationship breakdown
Tashiro and Frazier - surveyed undergraduates who had recently broken up with a romantic partner. They tended to report that they had experienced personal growth as a result by giving them insights into themselves and a clearer idea about there future partners. This supports the resurrection stage. However this sample could be considered as young and it may not apply to married couples, young and it's possible that they no they have many relationships a head and are just trying out new things.
How may ducks model have useful application
How does the research into breakdowns raise ethical issues
-involvement in research may make things worse, socially sensitive, the other partners confidentiality may effect there future relationships of information about them gets out.
What are virtual relationships
Relations formed over the internet as oppose to face to face
What does the hyperpersonal model suggest about the quality of virtual rels
Suggest that they can be more personal and involve greater self disclosure then face to face ones because of the:
Relative anonymity in virtual rels, people are more wary with self disclosing ftf as they worried it will be hared with mutual acquaintances. More likely to reveal intimate info to a stranger as oppose to a close friend or family member.
Can prevent self in a positive and idealised way through the info they send.
Why may virtual relations end quicker than ftf ones
Cooper and sportolari- referred to the boom and the bust phenomenon of online rels where self disclose happens earlier however the high level of self disclosure isn't necessarily matched by the level of trust between the partners.
How does Schouten et al support that virtual relationships maybe better for some people
Found that people high in social anxiety revealed greater self disclosure in virtual relationships due to the absence of non verbal cues.
What is their an absence of in virtual relationships
Why might this help rels form
What study supports that Facebook maybe used for shy people to form rels
Gating ( an obstacle from forming a rel eg- anxiety) virtual relationships focus on self disclosure and getting to know one another as oppose to focusing on specific features such as appearance.
Baker and Oswald - surveyed 207 male and female students about there shyness, Facebook usage and the quality of there friendships. They found those who scored high in shyness used Facebook more which was associated with a higher perception of friendship. This was not the case in those who scored low for shyness.
What a parasocial relationship
One in which an individual is attracted to another individual but the target individual is usually unaware of the existence of the person who has created the relationship. The relationship is one sided.
What are the levels of a parasocial relationship
Celebrity attitude scale developed by McCutcheon et al - used by Maltby et al in a large scale survey which identified the three levels
-(Lowest level) - entertainment social
Fans are attracted because they find them entertaining and they become a source of social interaction and gossip.
- intense-personal - this reflects intense and compulsive feelings about the celeb - believing there your soul mate.
-borderline- pathological - this is characterised by uncontrollable behaviours and fantasises about the celebrity, they may believe there in a real rel with the celeb, this may lead to stalking behaviour.
What is th absorption addiction model
McCutcheon et al
People of an introverted nature and those who lack meaningful rels are more likely to absorb in parasocial relationships to establish an identity and a sense of fulfilment that they lack in everyday life.
What are the two components of the absorption addiction model
Abortion - seeking fulfilment in celebrity workshop motivates the individual to focus all there attention the celebrity, they become preoccupied and identify with them.
Addiction- the individuals needs to sustain there commitment by feeling stronger and closer involvement with the celebrity. Leading to more extreme and delusional behaviours.
Who supports that different personalities come into different catogires on the levels of a parasocial rel
Maltby - used Eysencks personality questionnaire and that that entertainment social was linked with extraversion, intra person was linked with neuroticism and boarder line pathological was associated with psychotic personality traits.
Neuroticism is associated with anxiety and depression so therefore maybe more intense levels are indicated with poor mental health.
Who challanging the idea that parasocial relationships are formed by those who are lonely or dealing with loss
Asaad and Yanen - found no relationship between intensity of loneliness and parasocial relationship.
.... however the definition of parasocial may differ from interpretation.
How does attachment theory describe parasocial rels
Why might this be the case?
Cole and leets say individuals with an ambiguous attachment were most likely to form parasocial relationships whilst avoid indiuals were least likely.
If there distressed at separation they maybe incredible demanding and want high levels of intimacy but there expections are rarely met in reality. In a parasocial relationship you won't be rejected so maybe seen as an easy option.