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

Discuss research (theories and/orstudies) relating to the formation of relationships.

Extracts from this document...


Discuss research (theories and/or studies) relating to the formation of relationships. As many different studies have proved, physical attractiveness seems to be top of the list in the formation of relationships. This is supported by a study conducted by Brigham (1971), who found that physical attraction is generalised to other attractive characteristics such as being sociable, independent, exciting and sexually warm - this is known as the "halo effect". According to the "matching hypothesis" we are attracted to those who resemble our own physical attraction. Walster et al (1966) conducted a study using 376 male and 376 female volunteers. He advertised a "computer dance" for students during fresher's week at college. ...read more.


Further support for the matching hypothesis is evident from Murstein (1972) who suggested that there was a definite tendency for two people in a couple to be similar in terms of physical attractiveness when he studied the physical attractiveness of engaged couples and those going out together when judged from photographs. The second most important factor in the formation of relationships is proximity. Strong evidence for this was found by Festinger et al (1950). The proximity may be physical or psychological. Increased contact has been shown to increase the likelihood of friendships and romantic relationships. Another important factor is attitude similarity. Byrne (1968) found that attitude similarity had much more of an effect on interpersonal relationships when the attitudes were of importance to the individual. ...read more.


According to the reinforcement and need satisfaction theory, we are attracted to people who provide us with reward or reinforcement. This is similar to the equity theory which states that we expect there to be an association between equity and future quality of a relationship, this takes into account the other person's rewards and costs. Finally, the filter theory proposed by Kerckhoff & Davis (1962) suggests that different factors progressively filter out individuals as prospective partners or friends. The final filter which is emotional needs is the deciding factor. The filter theory emphasises that factors which are considered important in the early part of a relationship differ from those that are consider important later in the relationship. The main limitation of this theory is that it may only apply to romantic relationships. ?? ?? ?? ?? Zainab Rahman ...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. The matching hypothesis

    Mean per person Mode per person Median per person Range per person 1. Male 4.05 2 3 5 1. Female 5.35 6 6 7 2. Male 3.78 3 3 5 2. Female 3.88 3 3 5 3. Male 3.76 2 3 5 3.

  2. A Replication of the Study by Murstein Investigating the Matching Hypothesis

    Correlational analysis was employed. The researcher was the author of this report. I conducted this research individually. Participants used were AS Level psychology students whom were all aged 16 to 17. Participants were recruited using opportunity sampling. In total, they numbered 20; comprising of 13 female and 7 male individuals.

  1. Relationship formation

    Murstein 1972, Silverman 1971). In these studies the attractiveness level is measured for each partner for actual couples. This supported the matching hypothesis showing significantly similarity between partner's levels of physical attractiveness. Also it was found that long-term couples tend to be better matched than short-term couples (Caviar and Boblett 1972).

  2. Deindividuation theories.

    inhibiting and disinhibiting tasks, as well as making statements which could be one or the other. Results showed that subjects exposed to the deindividuation manipulation scored significantly higher than the other two groups, demonstrating the validity of the deindividuation construct.

  1. The Matching Hypothesis

    In this sense it shows that the findings of the study cannot be generalised as the process to gain the findings is not representative of normal actions. The sample they used was also a problem. University students made the sample up and for this reason it means it is not

  2. Describe and evaluate research relating to the formation and/or maintenance of relationships

    Profits include companionship, being cared for and sex, and costs include effort, financial investment and missed opportunities. Thibaut & Kelly produced a four-stage model of long-term relationships. The first stage was sampling, where the couple explore the rewards and costs in a variety of relationships.

  1. The formation of relationships.

    Also, would either partner be happy, if there wasn't any similarity in attractiveness? Would one person always feel inferior? Research into physical attractiveness - one theory by Dion et all (1972), revealed that people believed that physically attractive individuals, were also more sociable, intelligent, outgoing, sexual, happy, and assertive, than others.

  2. Discuss research (theories and/orstudies) relating to the dissolution of relationships.

    To give an answer to this question, Duck (1992) suggested that risk factors may be the cause of the dissolution of relationships. He identified several factors which are classified as predisposing (internal factors such as the personalities of the two people) and precipitating (external factors such as job loss) factors.

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