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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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