Describe and Evaluate two theories of the formation of romantic relationships

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Describe and Evaluate two theories of the formation of romantic relationships

In 1970 Byrne and Clore introduced the reward/ need satisfaction theory for the formation of relationships. They suggested that we are attracted to individuals whose presence is rewarding for us, and that naturally we find stimuli rewarding if it meets an unmet need; the more rewards someone provides for us, the more we should be attracted to them. They believed that the formation if relationships was linked with the idea of classical and operant conditioning, with operant conditioning we are likely to repeat behaviours that leads to a desirable outcome and avoid behaviours that lead to undesirable ones, so we enter the relationships because the presence of some individuals is directly associated with reinforcement, making us have positive feelings, which makes them more attractive to us.

For classical conditioning, we tend to prefer people who we associate with pleasant event, so for example if we meet someone somewhere where we are having a good time, then we will associate this person with this good time and find them more attractive in the long run. Byrne and Clore believed that the balance between positive and negative feelings in a relationship was crucial as relationships where the positive outweigh negative feelings were more likely to develop and succeed.

Griffitt and Guay (1969), participants were evaluated on a creative task by an experimenter and then asked to rate how much they liked the experimenter. The rating was highest when the experimenter had positively evaluated the participant’s performance on the task. This study supports the claim that we like people who are associated with pleasant events. This provides strong support that similarity is important in attraction, but also highlights reciprocal liking also is factor in the formation of relationships; however this may not be the only factor influencing this. The experiment was only of an imaginary

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