Outline and Evaluate One Theory of the Formation of Romantic Relationships (4+8 Marks)

688 WordsOct 24, 20133 Pages
The reward/ need satisfaction theory (RNS) was devised by Byron & Clore (1970) to explain the formation of romantic relationships, based on the principles of behavioral psychology. According to the theory, people form relationships with those who are most rewarding/ satisfying to be with which happens through conditioning. The elements of Skinner's operant conditioning proposes that we repeat behaviors with positive outcomes (rewards) and avoid those with negative outcomes (punishments). Relationships positively reinforce by our partner satisfying our needs/rewarding us (through love or attention), but negative reinforcement also plays a part in the likelihood of formation as a relationship avoid us feeling lonely which both result in us…show more content…
To begin the experiment, participants answered a questionnaire rating how intensely in love they were then they were shown photos of their partner during an MRI scan. It was found that dophamine-rich areas of the brain (area associated with rewards) had higher activity when shown their partner than when shown an image of their friend. These findings show that we form relationships with those who are rewarding. High temporal validity is a strength to this study because it was conducted recently. This means the couples used in the experiment have a higher ability to reflect modern day relationships therefore the findings are more generalisable to modern relationships. Along with that the study is strong physical, empirical evidence because of the use of MRI scans. Brain scans produce reliable, physical, solid evidence therefore have scientific proof for the link between relationships and rewards. The importance of reward level in determining relationship satisfaction was also demonstrated by Carte et al (1982) in which he asked 337 participants to asses their current relationship in terms of reward level and satisfaction and found that reward level was superior to all other factors in determining relationship satisfaction concluding that rewards are a greater factor than any when it comes to relationship formation. However a criticism of these findings is that the reward/need satisfaction theory only explores

More about Outline and Evaluate One Theory of the Formation of Romantic Relationships (4+8 Marks)

Open Document