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Outline and evaluate one theory of the formation of romantic relationships. (4+8 marks)

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Introduction

´╗┐Outline and evaluate one theory of the formation of romantic relationships. (4+8 marks) Jan ?13 One of the theories that helps explain why some people choose one person over the other or some relationships just don?t work is the ?Filter Model? (FM) which was proposed by Kerchoff and Davis in 1962. The FM argues that relationships develop through 3 filters, so therefore, different factors are important at different times. There are many potential partners but slowly we narrow them down to potential partners that we could realistically form a romantic relationship with, through the process of filtering. The first filter looks at demographic or social variables. So we discard those people who we will never come into contact during our lives. Therefore this leaves us with the people who we tend to mix with: go to school/ work, live in the same area or do the same activities or sports. As we can?t meet everyone in the world, billions are automatically filtered out as it would be impossible to establish a relationship with them. The second filter is that of ?Similarities of Attitudes and Values?. If couples share ideas, values and beliefs then communication will be easy but if they don?t then they would hardly have anything to talk about, so their relationship wouldn?t be able to progress. ...read more.

Middle

By explaining relationship formation in stages it fails to capture their fluid and dynamic nature. Some relationships flow at a slower or faster rate than the model suggest. It may not take a couple 18 months for the third filter to become most important and the evidence suggests. Alongside to this, the FM doesn?t account for individual differences as it has only dealt with similarities of personality and attitudes. There are some couples who have nothing in common but their relationship is as strong as others who have everything in common. Sometimes it?s better to have fewer things in common than everything because couples can get bored of each other when everything they do is the same. Lastly, the FM is too reductionist as they have put complex terms such as the formation of relationships and deconstructed them into 3 filters. There are many other factors which will cause a relationship to form. Their personality isn?t all that is considered, women will seek for economic security at an early stage to ensure they will have financial support whilst bringing up their children. Men on the other hand will look for physical attractiveness and women who are young, which indicated they are healthy and fertile. Discuss research into the influence of childhood experiences on adult relationships (4+8 marks) ...read more.

Conclusion

However there is contradictory evidence that fails to confirm a link between early attachment experiences and later adult relationships. Zimmerman (2000) found that children attachment types didn?t predict adult attachment type. Events such as parental divorce or illness, i.e. life changing events had much more of an influence on later security. This was confirmed by Hamilton (1994) who found that children could move from being classed as secure to insecure when a major life changing event occurs. Many other studies also show that people who experienced parental divorce during childhood have more negative attitudes towards relationships than those who didn?t experience this. Silvestri (1991) found that having divorced parents significantly increases an individual?s chances of getting divorced themselves. Johnston and Thomas (1996) suggested that this could be because individuals model their adult relationship on their parents. Due to this psychologists have come up with other possible alternative explanations for the continuity between childhood attachment and later attachments. Some researchers have suggested that children may learn relationship skills from their parents, i.e. Social Learning Theory (SLT). Children will observe their parent?s behaviour and will then imitate it. If the father cheats on the mother and causes a divorce then the mother will be hurt, the child will see her through this pain, causing her not to trust men in relationships. This in turn means that their relationships will be shorter and therefore will become insecurely attached in their adult attachment type whereas with their main caregiver they will be securely attached. ...read more.

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