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

Explain using evidence from studies why some relationships seem to prosper while others fail. How useful is the research that focuses on this issue?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explain using evidence from studies why some relationships seem to prosper while others fail. How useful is the research that focuses on this issue? Why is it that some relationships last for decades, whereas some fail within weeks? There are a variety of different explanations for why relationships may succeed while others don't, including Levinger's stage theory of maintenance, the social penetration theory and cognitive factors. One explanation into why some relationships fail and others succeed is Levinger's stage theory of maintenance. He suggested that over time, relationships become progressively more intimate, and they go through five stages. The first one is acquaintance where the relationship starts with mutual attraction. Next is build up, where self-disclosure happens and the couples become more dependent on each other. The third stage is continuation where their routines start to fit in together and they meet friends and family. ...read more.

Middle

If someone reveals personal information about themselves too early, it can make the other person feel threatened. Archer (1979) stated that in an intimate relationship it is more likely for the other person to respond with sympathy rather than disclosing something further about themselves. Problems with the relationship start if depenetration happens. This is when one person either refuses to reveal intimate information about themselves or only talks intimately about a few topics which are chosen to hurt the other person. Cognitive factors also influence whether a relationship is maintained or not. Murray and Holmes argue that an important way of maintaining a relationship is whether a person regards their partner's faults in a positive way. They conducted research where they studied individuals who claimed there was little conflict in their relationships as it was harmful. Half of them were then told conflict was beneficial. ...read more.

Conclusion

This study is good because it has a large sample group. Therefore it was high reliability. The couples had also been together for a minimum of 15 years, which shows that it's not a snapshot view of a relationship but an insight of what happens over time. Other reasons for relationships failing are the lack or choice of repair strategies. Rusbult, Zembrodt and Iwaniszek (1986) said there were four strategies that people use to deal with conflicts. Your relationship is most likely to succeed if you use voice, because it is active and constructive. Other strategies are loyalty (passive and constructive), neglect (passive and destructive) and exit (active and destructive) where you end the relationship. Rusbult et al found that those with high psychological femininity were more likely to react actively and constructively to problems than those with high masculinity. This study is good because it had a broad sample group, as it studied heterosexual, lesbian and gay couples, which suggests it has high reliability. ...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
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work