• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe and evaluate two or more theories of the formation of romantic relationships

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Describe and evaluate two or more theories of the formation of romantic relationships (24 marks) One theory of how romantic relationships are formed comes from Kerckhoff and Davis? filter model, which was introduced in 1962. The model proposes that relationships develop through three ?filters? and different factors are important at different times. According to this model, we start off with a ?field of availables? which are all the possible people we could have a relationship with, and then we filter out potential partners for different reasons at different times. So, the ?field of availables? soon becomes a ?field of desirables? and these are those people who we consider as potential partners. The first of the filters involves the social/demographic variables and this is where we tend to pick people with similar educational and economical background to us. Once two people have started going out together, the next filter is the similarity of attitudes and values. This involves filtering out people with different beliefs, values and attitudes to us. The third filter is the complementarity of emotional needs, and this is where we decide how well people fit together as a couple and meet each other?s needs. ...read more.


They may choose to start a relationship with someone who is different to them because they may want to learn new things that they didn?t know about, or maybe they may have fund it rather boring to date one type of person. However, the idea that we filter out people who are not similar to us may be true to an extent. For example, it does make sense that a person, who loves socialising with people, is likely not to start a relationship with someone who hates socialising because communication may prove to be difficult and the relationship may not be enjoyable. Another theory of the formation of relationships is the reward/need theory which was proposed by Byrne and Clore. According to this theory, long-term relationships are more likely to be formed if they meet the needs of the partners an if they provide rewards. Needs could include; sex and a feeling a sense of belonging. Rewards could include; having fun together and sharing activities. Relationships are more likely to be formed if two people enjoy time spent together and if they find each other?s company rewarding. Rusbult and Van Lange argue that rewards are important in determining if and how a relationship between two people will develop. ...read more.


For example, they may still form relationships even though they know that they may get abused in that relationships. Also, since this study was a lab experiment, the participants may have shown demand characteristics. For example, the participants may have guessed what the research was trying to find out, and so they may have deliberately rated the experimenter high in order to please the research, or in order to prove the researcher?s hypothesis. So, the results for this study may be challenged by some critics because they may say that it does not provide evidence that people like other people because they provide direct reinforcement. Another weakness of this theory is the fact that it only explores the receiving of rewards, whereas Hays (1985) found that we gain satisfaction from giving rewards as well as receiving. Also it does not take into account cultural differences as it is culturally biased. For example, in many cultures, women are more focused on the needs of others rather than receiving reinforcement, so this challenges the idea that both needs and rewards need to be met for long-term relationships to be formed. In addition to this, this theory fails to explain why some people in different cultures form relationships with someone they do not like. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Social Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Social Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Describe and evaluate research into the formation and maintenance of relationships

    3 star(s)

    It has been shown that in many cultures women of socialised into being more attentive to the needs of others, rather than being oriented towards the gratification of their own needs. Maintenance of a relationship There are two main theories relating to relationship maintenance.

  2. Relationship formation

    Walster et al (1966) tested the matching hypothesis in a dance study. In this study, 752 first-year undergraduates at the University of Minnesota were invited to attend a 'get acquainted' dance. They believe they had been 'matched' with their 'date' when in fact they were randomly assigned with partners.

  1. The formation of relationships.

    Duck points out, that you cannot obtain a comprehensive list of attitudes when you meet a person for the first time. The enjoyment of developing a friendship is based on both parties gradually revealing their true personality. Physical attractiveness - this is the single most important factor in who we are attracted to.

  2. Deindividuation theories.

    The theory states that in a crowd, and other 'deindividuating' settings, the person does not simply lose a sense of individuality, but makes a transition from a personal identity to a social identity (Reicher 1987). This is a key difference between the two approaches.

  1. Evaluate Theories of the Formation of Romantic Relationships

    But, Gruber-Baldini et al found that couples who were similar were more likely to still be together 20 years later, suggesting that similarity continues to be important, going against the filter model. Another weakness is that the filter model is a stage model and divides relationships into stages which makes it reductionist.

  2. Outline and evaluate one theory of the formation of romantic relationships. (4+8 marks)

    However, as the relationship develops the third filter starts becoming more important as you?re starting to enrol in a long term relationship. Each partner will have to complement each other?s needs if not the relationship will inevitably end, so this is why after about 18 months filter 3 does become more important.

  1. Describe and evaluate two or more theories of the formation of romantic relationships. (24 ...

    This FM theory is supported by various studies, for example, one researcher tested the model and found that in the initial stages of a relationship filter 2 was the most important, but after 18 months filter 3 was more important.

  2. Describe and Evaluate two theories of the formation of romantic relationships

    In 1962 Kerckoff and Davis presented another form of relationship formation theory known as the filter model. They believed that we have three filters that are important at different times before we can enter a relationship. We start with a field of availables, those who are free for relationships and

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work