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Outline and evaluate 2 theories of relationship formation

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´╗┐Outline and evaluate 2 theories of relationship formation 8 +16 One theory explaining a relationship formation is the match hypothesis, this theory assumes that you will form a relationship on the basis of physical attraction, and that we tend to find those who are more attractive desirable but because we fear rejection ( which gives us motivation to avoid it) we rule them out as potential partners, also we believe those who are less physically attractive than ourselves may hinder our own reproductive success therefore aim to form relationships with people of the same attraction ratings as ourselves. Aroson et al (1966) lends support to the match hypothesis as he claims it can also be applied to homosexual couples, which is a good thing because it means the theory is universal and can be applied to any gender. One research study that supports this theory was conducted by walster et al (1966) which aimed to discover whether students are more likely to date someone of similar attractiveness to themselves. The procedure involved 752 students whom were paired randomly, also judges rated them in terms of physical attractiveness and gave them questionnaires about each other. ...read more.


However, it could be argued that the couples with similar attraction scores were not ?happier? and the experimenter?s judgment of ?happier? may not be accurate, instead entirely subjective (experimenter bias). Another limitation of this research is that the halo effect may have reduced external validity of the experiment as the halo from one individual might have influenced the other, for example the experimenter may assume they are both ?happy? due to the association of positive traits to an attractive individual. In addition to this, a reduction in internal validity may have occurred because of experimenter bias and subjectivity of the attractiveness ratings. Another issue with the research is that it is culturally specific (western society) which means findings cannot be generalised to a wider population. Another second theory explaining relationship formation is the filter model developed by Kerckhoff and Davies (1962). This theory argues that relationships develop through three separate filters and different factors are significant at different times. It assumes that we have a ?field of availables? which are the people we could have a relationship, later on this is filtered and narrowed down into the ?field of desirables? (those we believe to be potential partners). ...read more.


This will determine whether the relationship continues or is filtered out. The filter model offers a good explanation as to what factors are influential in a relationship and when they might come into play, for example having similar attitudes may be less important in the later stages of a relationship or social demographic values may not be an issue later on. In addition to this the model explains how a relationship develops over time and what we most specifically look for at these moments in time, this is clearly evident in daily life which gives us the impression that the model makes logical sense. However, due to the model being broken up into stages it simply fails to reflect the fluidity and dynamic nature of a relationship and almost assumes humans develop relationships with a checklist- manner. Furthermore, in real life some relationships can develop a lot faster than others and this is not reflected at all in the filter model. Another limitation of this model is that it does not reflect the more modern day and can be argued to be outdated as more people are developing relationships with people they never knew through new forms of communication, for example the internet, online dating or even blind dating. ...read more.

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