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Do you agree?. Stand up if you agree!. There exists ”The One” right person to be found and loved . R elationship is maintained if there exists balance between costs and rewards for both . The relationship can best be maintained if the most diffucult topics are not discussed .

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do you agree

Do you agree?

Stand up if you agree!

the relationship can best be maintained if the most diffucult topics are not discussed

The relationshipcanbestbemaintainedif the mostdiffuculttopicsarenotdiscussed.

economic theories
Economic theories
  • Thibaut & Kelley (1959) Social exchange theory: The relationship is maintained if both partners feel the benefits outweigh the costs
  • Comparison of a relationship with
    • Expectations
    • Alternatives

 A relationship is a dynamic, continuous process


Walster et al. (1978): Equity theory

    • Modification of social exchange theory
    • Focuses on what people see as fair (equitable) in a relationship

 People are happiest in relationships where benefits and costs are balanced so that both contribute and receive more or less the same

communal and exchange relationships
Communal and exchangerelationships
  • Mills & Clark (1982): Communal relationships:
    • More altruistic
    • More concerned with the needs of the other person
    • Study comparing communal and exchange relationships: Clark 1984 (AL p.221)
strategies in maintaining a relationship
Strategies in maintaining a relationship
  • Study by Dindia and Baxter (1987) (AL p.221)
  • Ayres (1983): Different strategies (AL p.222)
  • Rusbult et a. (1991): Patterns of accommodation: processes of repsonding to a partner’s negative behaviour
    • Constructive
    • Destructive

(see AL p.223)

dramas related to reactions to problems in a relationship
Dramasrelated to reactions to problems in a relationship


  • The couplecan’thave a child.
  • The couple is in a badfinancialsituationbecause of the investmentsone of themhas made.
  • One of themhasfallen in lovewithsomebodyelse.
  • One of themtravels a lotbecause of the work. The otherpart is exhaustedbecause of takingcare of the workload at home alone.

Factors affecting which accommodation one chooses:

    • Idealization
    • Feeling of commitment
    • Attachment style (see AL p.200-201!)

Flora & Segrin (2993): Gender difference in factors affecting well-being in the relationship:

    • Men: common interests, desire to be together, partners negative feelings
    • Women: own negative feelings with the partner
which of these alternatives describes you best
Which of these alternatives describes you best?

A. I am somewhatuncomfortablebeingclose to others; I finditdifficult to trustthemcompletely, difficult to allowmyself to depend on them. I am nervouswhenanyonegetstooclose, and often, otherswant me to bemoreintimatethan I feelcomfortablebeing.

B. I finditrelativelyeasy to getclose to others and am comfortabledepending on them and havingthemdepend on me. I don’tworryaboutbeingabandonedoraboutsomeonegettingtooclose to me.

C. I findthatothersarereluctant to get as close as I wouldlike. I oftenworrythat my partnerdoesn’treallylove me orwon’tstaywith me. I want to getveryclose to my partner and thissometimesscarespeopleaway.

the quiz is related to hazan and shaver s study 1987
The quiz is related to Hazan and Shaver’sstudy (1987)

Work with a pair:

  • Provide a brief description of the aim, procedure, and findings of Hazan and Shaver’s (1987) research.  make short notes

Consider how methodological and cultural considerations could affect the interpretation of the results.

  • Would it be possible to conduct a study like this cross-culturally? What considerations would have to be taken into account before embarking on such research?
effects of culture on relationships
Effects of culture on relationships
  • Research:
    • Yelsma and Athappilly (1990): Indian people in arrangedmarriagesweremoresatisfiedthanthoseIndians and Americanswhohadlovebasedmarriages why?
    • Simmons et al. (1986): Romanticlovemorevalued in USA and Germanythan in Japan.  Why?

Culturalnormsaffect the formation and maintenance of relationships

  • Passionate and romanticlove is morevalued in western societies
  • Traditional, morecollectivisticculturesseemarriagemore as a union and alliancebetweenfamilies aim of marriage is to getchildren and geteconomic and social support

One of the largestscross-culturalstudies on relationshipsbyBuss (1994):

    • 2 questionnaires
    • Over 10 000 respondents, from 37 cultures
    • Universal preferences: women: financialprospects, oldermates, men: youngermates  Why?
    • Differences: see CC p.279  explain!