Evaluate Theories of the Formation of Romantic Relationships

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Formation of Romantic Relationships

Formation of romantic relationships can be explained in two theories. The theories include the reward, satisfaction theory which focusses on classical and operant conditioning. And another explanation is shown through the filter model which argues that relationships develop through three different filters.

The filter model was devised Kerchoff and Davis and suggests relationships from in three different filters. The first filter involves social, demographic variables.  This filters out all the people that are from different backgrounds and people who live in other places. It’s the people who you mix with who act as the field of available as they tend to be similar as you live in the same area or work or go to college together. With the small group of available a potential partner is chosen. Once two people have started to go out together the next filter is similarity of attitudes and values. If the couple share ideas and beliefs, communication should be easier and the relationship may progress. If they appear very different and think differently it is likely the relationship will not progress and they will be filtered out. Once the couple have become established in a relationship which is fairly long term it’s the last filter that comes into play. This is complementarity of emotional needs. If the couple fit together and meet each other they will stay in a relationship; if not, they will be filtered out.

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Supporting research was conducted by Sprecher. They found that couples who were in similar in social demographic background were more likely to develop a long term relationship which supports the importance of the first filter.

However, we have greater mobility and the ability to make contact and stay in touch electronically with people who live further away. Social networking and texting allows us to get to know and stay in touch with people from more diverse social backgrounds. Therefore, the social demographic filter may be less important today.

Nevertheless, Kerchoff and Davis completed further research to support their ...

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