How Relationships Are Formed

1241 Words Feb 22nd, 2018 5 Pages
This paper will be looking at 3 of them: Needs Satisfaction Theory, Matching Hypothesis and Sociobiological Theory.

The Needs Satisfaction Theory is based on the behaviourist approach. It states that we form relationships and friendships based on what we will get out of them. There are two strands to this: needs and rewards. Our social needs are things like self esteem, influence, belonging and dependency. The rewards can include love, sex, friendship, respect, status and support, but this list is not exhaustive. Being in the relationship is rewarding, so this is positive reinforcement through operant conditioning. Byrne and Clore's (1970) Reinforcement-Affect theory claims that relationships are affected by operant and classical conditioning. According to their theory, people associate others with positive or enjoyable circumstances even when they are not directly rewarded by them.
In short, having our needs met motivates us to stay in the relationship. Conversely, not having them met can lead to one or both partners looking for a new relationship.

Research carried out by Jennings (1950) studied 400 girls in an American correctional facility. He found that the most popular girls were the ones who helped others by protecting, supporting and encouraging them (Cardwell, Clarke, & Meldrum, 2002).

Griffitt and Guay (1969), observed participants in a study and found that those who…
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