Analyze why relationships may change or end

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Do Now…….
• In your notebook, write a couple of
sentences explaining why relationships end.
We know that the end of relationships
can be painful and scarring
1. Agree/Disagree
• Indicate whether you agree or disagree with
the 8 statements (or are in between).
Facts…
• Women end relationships more
often than men
• Marriages w/younger partners =
unstable
• Early parenthood may  divorce
• Marriages b/w couples from
lower economic groups = more
unstable
• Marriages b/w ppl w/divorced
parents or w/more sexual
partners before marriage = more
unstable
The BREAKUP!!!!!
IB Learning Objective:
Analyze why relationships may change or end
Triangular Theory of Love
by Robert Sternberg
Love has 3 components:
1. intimacy (feeling close,
connected, and bonded)
2. passion (romance and
physical and sexual
attraction)
3. commitment (desire to
maintain the
relationship in spite of
adversity and costs).
Analyze why relationships may change or end
Triangular Theory of Love
by Robert Sternberg
• Partners begin to develop
an interdependent
relationship from the
beginning of their
relationship and they
gradually increase their
mutual involvement.
• Successful couples tend to
develop more commitment
and intimacy over time
than less successful
couples.
Analyze why relationships may change or end
Analyze why relationships may change or end
Characteristics of happy and unhappy
couples
Buunk (1998)
Happy couples
• Express their feelings
openly and disclose their
thoughts.
• Show affection and
understanding of each
others’ feelings (empathy
and perspective taking).
Unhappy couples
• Show conflict-avoidance
(e.g. not wanting to discuss
problems).
• Demonstrate soothing
(ignoring or covering up
differences).
• Take part in destructive
communication (e.g.
criticizing, disagreeing,
complaining).
Analyze why relationships may change or end
Analyze why relationships may change or end
Equity theory
• According to equity theory
there must be a balance
between the two partners
in a relationship, i.e. the
relationship should be
perceived as fair.
• Inputs and outputs
• People compare their own
gains compared to that of
the partner’s and may look
for alternatives if they are
not satisfied.
Analyze why relationships may change or end
Investment model of commitment (theory)
Rusbult et al. (1991)
• Suggested that
accommodation is an
important strategy to
maintain a relationship (i.e.
ensure longevity of the
relationship).
• Accommodation means that
a person is willing to adopt a
constructive approach and
inhibit the impulse to react
destructively (i.e. retaliation)
when a partner displays
destructive behavior.
Analyze why relationships may change or end
Accommodation = Idealization
• Murray and Holmes (1997)
found that over time
partners in committed
relationships created
“positive illusions” of their
partners.
• The idealization of the
partner was positively
associated with relationship
satisfaction and fewer
conflicts.
Analyze why relationships may change or end
Accommodation = Idealization
• Confidence in the partner
seems to foster a sense of
trust and security (secure
attachment), which in turn
promotes accommodation
in conflicts.
• Idealization could also be a
potential threat to a
relationship if the partner
cannot live up to the high
expectations.
Analyze why relationships may change or end
Longitudinal study on development of
love over time
• Sprecher (1999)
Aim :
• To investigate whether
people in close
relationships reported
increased love over time.
• The second aim was to
study how beliefs about
relationships could
change.
Longitudinal study on development of
love over time
Procedure
• A self-selected sample of 101
romantic heterosexual student
couples was surveyed five times
over four years.
• Each time they completed
questionnaires to measure love,
commitment, and satisfaction.
• They were also asked to report
changes since previous surveys.
• Only 41% of the couples were
together at the end of the
study.
Longitudinal study on development of
love over time
Results
• Individuals in intact
relationships said they felt
an increase in love,
commitment, and
satisfaction over time but
this was not supported by
the data in the
questionnaires.
• This indicates that happy
couples wanted to see
increases in positive affect
(positive illusions).
Longitudinal study on development of
love over time
• Individuals in broken
relationships were likely
to say they felt a decrease
in commitment, love, and
satisfaction in the time
before the break-up.
• Satisfaction decreased
the most in this group.
This suggests that people
end their relationships
because of dissatisfaction
rather than the
disappearance of love.
Longitudinal study on development of
love over time
• The results support the
idea of “positive illusions”
as beneficial for a
relationship.
Evaluation
• The study was conducted
with a sample of young
students in the USA so it
may not be possible to
generalize the findings.
• Self-reports may be biased.
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