Describe and Evaluate Two Theories of the Formation of Relationships

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The first of the two theories was put forward by Byrne and Clore in 1970. They named this theory about the formation of relationships the Reward/Need Satisfaction Theory. Their theory suggests that we are attracted to people we find satisfying to be with. This can be demonstrated by asking people why they are attracted to their partner, the usual answers are: caring, supportive, affectionate or just good fun. We, as humans, are motivated to seek stimuli that are rewarding to us. We are equally motivated to avoid unpleasant or punishing stimuli. The things that we find rewarding are unique to each individual and often reflect our unmet needs. Mutual attracting happens when the needs of each partner are fulfilled by the other. If a rewarding stimulus creates a happy feeling and a punishing stimulus evokes an unhappy feeling then it follows that people who make us happy are rewarding stimuli and vice versa. The learning method of operant conditioning means that we are likely to repeat behaviour that provides us with or leads to a desirable outcome. Byrne and Clore use this in their theory to suggest why we enter into relationships. The presence of some individuals is directly linked to a reinforcement of some sort, the person makes us feel good for example, and they are therefore more attractive to us. It is also possible for a person to be more attractive to us because we associate them with a pleasing experience. This follows the idea of classical conditioning in which we learn through association. For example, if you meet someone for the first time when you are happy then there is more of a chance that you will like them. Relationships can work in this way too; however the balance of positive and negative feelings is vital. If the positive out way the negative then the relationship is likely to develop and succeed. If the negative out way the positive then the chances are any relationship will fail. The second theory on the formation of relationships was brought...
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