Relationships: Formation
Filter Model, Kerckhoff and Davis
Field of available > Filter out potential partners > Field of Desirables
Social/ Demographic Variables= Similar economic/ social background. Characteristics
Similarity of At***udes and Values= Share ideas and beliefs.
Complementarity of Needs.
Longitudinal (drop out) study of students (generalizability) to complete a questionaire (demand characteristics) on simularity of partners. They found a higher similarity ment a longer relationship.
The study emphasizes importance of demographic factors and similarity. However, it fails to capture fluid and dynamic natures of some relationships.
Spreecher found that couples matching in all areas of similarity have longer, happier relationships.
Reward/Need Theory
Long-term relationships= meet each others needs and provide rewards (like enjoy each others company). People enter relationships based on biological needs (like sex and kids) and Psychological needs (like support and acceptance).
Rusbuilt= Rewards are important in determining if and how a relationship between 2 people will develop.
Clark and Mills= “*** for tat” reward system (cook today if you cook tomorrow). These are rewards for a long relationship. They called this exchange relationships.
Smith agreed that meeting the needs of each other in relationships are important factores in long-term relationships.
: Stay or Go? (Economic)
Interdependence Theory, Thibaut and Kelly.
Relationships are viewed alot like business transactions. It suggests that people keep an eye on the “balance sheet” of relationships, by comparison, which are:
Comparison Level (CL)- This compaires current relationships with an expectation of how rewarding the relationship should be. This is judged from previous relationships.
Comparison Level for Alternatives (CL Alt)- This compares current relationships with alternative relationships.
Thibaut and Kelly suggest break down of relationships are due to a better reward from alternative relationships or the rewards from the current relationship become unsatisfactory. (CL Alt Dlt).
Argle= argued that people only really begin to count the costs and monitor relationships after they have become dissatisfyed.
this theory veiws people as being self-centered and ignores individual differences like batterd wife’s syndrome.
Investment Model, Rusbult
This theory answers for investments as a reason for not leaving a partner.
The model argues 3 predictors in whether a relationship will continue or not. These are:
Satisfaction with the relationship- Are rewards being provided?
CL Alt- Is there a better offer?
Substantial investments- Children involved? Property involved? Time Involved?
Impett el al= LArge sample of married couples over 18 months. Found commitment by both partners made a stable relationship
Axsom et al= Women in refuge. Found three facots of investment contributed to the women staying with partners.
Jerstad= Found time and effort but into relationship were most important factors. Also found the more abuse in the relationship the longer it was due to investment of enduring the violence.

:End of a Relationship
Duck’s Four Stage Model Dissolution.
1st : Intra-psychic Phase- Focus on partners behaviour and how they are failing in the relationship (Cannot stand it anymore)
2nd : Dynamic Phase- Engage in “our relationship” talks and attempt to resolve issues (Justified in leaving)
3rd :Social Phase- Problems are aired as each tell friends and family. (I mean it)
4th :Grave-dressing phase- Officially split. Each try to voice their veiw of the split and argue it was the others fault.

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Key Points:
Factors including proximity, simularity and physical apperance are important in initial attraction.
Relationship formation has been explained by the filter model and reward/need theories
Economic theories explain how couples regulate and maintain their relationships through cost and reward.
Relationships may break down due to lack of rewards
Some people continue to stay in unrewarding relationships due to investment
the process of splitting up is Duck’s Four phase model.


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