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Discuss formation and/or maintainanse of relationship

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Discuss Formation and/or maintenance of relationships. Use research to support your arguments. The social exchange theory assumes relationships provide both rewards (e.g. sex, affection, intimacy) and costs (e.g. time, energy, money). Everyone tries to max reward for min costs. If a relationship is to continue, people expect the partner to reward them as much as they do. Therefore, the greater the rewards and lower the costs, the more attractive the relationship is. How to judge whether the rewards worth more than costs or vice versa depend on the Comparison Level (CL). CL is the overview of what to expect in the "exchange" from our past experience. If the person has a bad relationship before, he/she will expect little from the current partner; How satisfactory a person feels depends on the rewards (e.g. ...read more.


children) and the alternatives are low (e.g. no money) and so people tend to stay (Rusbult). However, the claim that people constantly strive for rewards as motivation to maintain relationship has suggested people are selfish and self-centred in relationships. Yet it may be true to the Western individualistic cultures which emphasises on personal interests, but may not apply to non-western collectivistic cultures. This is because they emphasise on group values and so personal selfish concerns become socially undesirable. Therefore these theories are only relevant to Western cultures (Moghadamm et al). Another theory, the socio-biological theories, states that our behaviours are the result of evolution in order to max the chance of passing on the genes. ...read more.


parents &children) are willing to sacrifice to protect each other for their survival, thus support kin-selection. Therefore, this theory has made the specific nature of family worldwide- the enormous resources and energy devoted to children- explainable. This means it appears to gain validity. However, such validity is limited because it cannot explain other common relationships such as homosexuals and close friendships. If the claim that relationships are to reproduce successfully is true, it will not apply to homosexuals as they cannot pass on genes. Furthermore, Grajek found that women love their best friend more than their partners. This cannot be explained by this theory as friends outside relatives cannot help pass on genes and so should be as important as their partner. Grajek's contradictory findings have made this theory insufficient to explain most relationships. ...read more.

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