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formation of relationships

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Discuss and research theories/ studies relating to the formation of relationships There are many theories relating to formation of relationships. These include the filter theory, the matching hypotheses, social-biological theory and the reinforcement-affect theory. Kerckhoff and Davis came up with the filter model of attraction. They believed that we rely on social and personal factors to filter potential relationships from the field of eligibles. There are five criteria; proximity, similarity, physical attractiveness, complementarity of needs and competence. We narrow down the people whom we may form a relationship with, through a series of selection filters. The criteria tend to be used a different stages. In initial attraction, proximity is the obvious filter; we form relationships with those who live close by, this is how we may become aware of the person. Similarity is important because the people who we share the same ethnicity, background and occupation we are more likely to talk and come in contact with. Once this stage of filtering has taken place, people then consider weather we share the same attitudes as the other person. ...read more.


The matching hypothesis has been supported by Murstien. In his study people were asked to rate photos of couples and rate them in terms of physical attractiveness. Murstien summarized his findings "individuals with equal market value for physical attractiveness are more likely to associate in an intimate relationship such as engagement, than individuals with disparate values.' However this is not always the case as some couples may be seen to be physically 'miss matched'. It is argued though that those who are miss matched balance out in other areas problems can occur in miss matched couples, the less attractive person might feel insecure or jealous of the attention given to their partner, this could also effect the less attractive person self-esteem; which could threaten the long term success of the relationship. Another theory in formation of relationships is the socio-biological theory. Wilson argued that human sexual attraction and behaviour may be explained through an understanding of 'survival efficiency.' The theory suggests that men like to impregnate many women as it increases there chances of there genes to be carried down to generations. ...read more.


A lot of the theories and studies in formation of relationships have been criticised. Much of the research is seen as artificial and 'leaves out most of the things people do in everyday life' Duck 1999. Another reason they have been criticised is research focuses on romantic relationships and leaves platonic friendships. Theories and studies also have not taken into count the influence of others such as family and friends as they can have an affect on relationships we form. Also in polygynous cultures, a man may have several wives at the same time. No characteristics are absolute, all are relative. We may like a characteristic in someone attractive at some point in relationship but find it negative at another time, for example; as fall in love someone we may like someone's unpredictability but as well fall out of love with them we may see it as irresponsibility. Other questions have also been raised; does familiarity always lead to liking? Do we like people more because we spend time with them? Or do we spend we spend more time with them because we like them? Frequency of interaction does not always result to greater liking. It was demonstrated by Warr that it can produce more disliking. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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