2 What can you remember from last week? This week we will be focusing on maintenance
3 Reward/Need Satisfaction Model RECAP So what are the five factors influencing relationship formation that are rewarding to us?ProximityExposure and FamiliarityPhysical AttractivenessSimilarityReciprocal Liking
4 Need satisfaction (argyle, 1994) There are seven basic motives or needs, each of which can be satisfied at least in part by interpersonal relationships : When our needs are satisfied it is rewarding and we learn = feeling goodBiological = Eating togetherDependency = Being comforted/nurturedAffiliation = Seeking company/approvalDominance = Establishing social orderSex = ReproductionAggression = Interpersonal hostilitySelf-esteem = Being valued by others.
5 evidenceEVIDENCESchachter, 1959 looked at the need to affiliate and how long could people go deprived of human contact. He found individual differences, one person felt the uncontrollable urge to leave after 20 minutes, but another managed 8 days. However, all of them admitted to feeling nervous and uneasy, were apathetic and withdrawn, reporting that they constantly thought and dreamed of other people.EVALUATIONPresents a one-sided picture, omitting the behaviour of other people. Does it not take two to make a relationship? Is stalking a relationship?
6 Reward/Need Satisfaction - through conditioning: Clore and Byrne, 1974) This is the Learning Theory account of relationship formation, based on the concept of reinforcement. Some people may reward us directly e.g. sex, (operant conditioning) or indirectly by being associated with pleasant circumstances (classical conditioning) EVIDENCE Veitch and Griffitt (1976) placed participants in a waiting room where they listened to either good or bad news with a stranger present. When they were asked to rate the stranger the degree of liking was related to the kind of news they had been listening to. EVALUATION DUCK (1992) criticises such bogus stranger methods for being artificial –
7 Classical Conditioning (learning by association) leads us to like people who indirectly reward us by being nearby when we feel good. Even if they were not involved in making us feel good, after a while we will associate them with the good feeling such that whenever we see them we feel good.(so people who are around when we are doing something we enjoy e.g. ‘ when we are on holiday!’ we are more prone to be attracted to and to form a relationship with.)Operant Conditioning (learning by consequences) leads us to like people who directly reward us.Rewards can include being friendly towards us, smiling and generally acting positively towards us.
8 EvaluationThe theory assumes that people are selfish and only concerned about the reinforcements they receive. Hays, 1995 found that in student relationships as much value was attached to rewarding others as gaining rewards.Gender differences; there is evidence of gender differences as well as cultural differences. It has been shown that in may cultures, women are socialized into being more attentive to the needs of others than their own (Lott 1994)It does not account for ‘unrewarding’ relationshipsHowever there is much research evidence that supports the model Schochter, Affiliation study, and Veitch and Griffitt (1976) waiting room good news/bad news study. (though these rely heavily on bogus stranger studies which are criticised for their lack of ecological validity.The theory has face validity: is supported by everyday experiences i.e. happy, warm people with a good sense of humour have more friends.Accounts for research findings: The theory explains why factors such as proximity, similarity and physical attractiveness are important factors.
10 MaintenanceThe matching hypothesis and reward/need satisfaction theories explain why two people would choose each other as partners, other theories go beyond this and explain how relationships are maintained.The two most influential are Social Exchange Theory and Equity Theory. These are referred to as ‘Economic’ theories as they assume that couples calculate ‘costs and benefits’ and ‘investment’ during the relationship.
11 Social exchange theory (thibaut and Kelly, 1959) Satisfaction (profit) is determined by exchange of rewards (sex, affection, support) and costs(providing support & not always having your own way).SUPPORTING RESEARCH EVIDENCERusbult (1983) found that costs are only calculated after the honeymoon phase.Simpson (1990) found that participants who were dating rated members of the opposite sex as less attractive, showing they close themselves off from attractive alternatives.EVALUATIONMechanistic approach (how do you define costs and rewards exactly?)Cannot quantify the point of dissatisfaction.Clark & Mills (1979) argued that romantic relationships are communal rather than exchange relationships.
12 SOCIAL EXCHANGE THEORY Model of long term relationships Thibaut and Kelley’(1959) “There are four stages that long-term relationships go through they are…..” All these ‘stage’ theories can be criticised for being to rigid – individual differences are not considered. Will everyone go through all the stages
13 Why does a social exchange relationship breakdown? Theories referred to in terms of investment, profit, loss, costs & rewards etc.So if relationship is showing a profit then….It will continueBut if showing a loss (low amounts of positive satisfaction - few rewards) & High number of attractive alternatives.It will likely fail.Thibaut & Kelly stated that people in a relationship constantly compare their relationships with previous relationships and possible alternatives.If the present relationship compares well with others then the motivation is to maintain the current relationship.
14 Equity theory (Walster et al, 1978) Balance is achieved more through perceived fairness, as in the matching hypothesis. Inequity results in striving to restore balance or in dissolution. This theory is similar to Social exchange but attempts to quantify what makes a relationship fair.EVIDENCEHatfield et al (1972) interviewed over 500 students about equity in their relationships. Three months later the inequitable relationships were more likely to have ended.EVALUATIONEquity may be maintained by matching any attractivecharacteristics, such as looks, money or status. (Links to matching hypothesis)Individual differences, - Individuals low in exchange orientation don’t bother about equity (Buunk & VanYperen, 1991)Cultural Differences – equity is not a norm for all cultures.These two theories are called ‘economic theories’ because they explain relationships in terms of rewards & costs.
15 Why does an equity type relationship breakdown? People try to maximise their rewards and minimize negative experiences within a relationship.The distribution of rewards is negotiated to ensure fairness. This may be achieved through trade-offs or compensations (i.e. a favour or privilege for one person is paid back by an equivalent favour or privilege.)Unfair (inequitable) relationships produce dissatisfaction.As long as the ‘loser’ feels there is a chance of restoring the balance (equity) they are motivated to save the relationship.This idea of restoring the balance has also been noticed by the advertising industry!