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Outline and evaluate study into the breakdown of intimate relationships. (24 marks) A single piece of exploration into the breakdown of intimate relationships executed by Thibaut and Kelly, can describe why a relationship may possibly breakdown making use of the Social Exchange Theory. A relationship may breakdown due to the ‘profits’ and ‘losses’ inside the relationship, among the participants in the relationship might compare the current relationship into a previous one particular and understand they are not getting what they should be out of it.

However , Hatfield’s Equity Theory suggests that individuals in a romantic relationship are not looking to maximise the benefits and lower the costs, however the happiest people were the methods where the rewards for each party were equivalent. Therefore , a relationship may well not breakdown just because a person can be under-benefitting but because there is an imbalance in the rewards. This research is maintained further research carried out by Hatfield which demonstrates the most happy newlyweds had been the ones who seemed they equally inputted evenly into the marriage and had the same rewards.

People under-benefitted got feelings of anger, animosity and starvation, and those more than benefitted believed guilty and uncomfortable. Yet , this may not mean that a relationship will break down. Karney and Bradbury (1995) found that significant other unhappiness would not strong predict a future divorce. A problem with both of the ideas is that they cannot explain how come people remain in unhappy human relationships, where the costs are obviously outweighing the rewards, or where rewards happen to be unequal.

For example in an violent relationship, various partners live in the relationship although they are devoid of any benefits from it. One other criticism with the social exchange theory is they imply that people are extremely selfish and underestimates the role of commitment. There are also problems when aiming to quantify the cost and benefits in a romance. A problem with the equity theory is that you will discover strong individual differences about how much collateral people expect from a relationship or romance.

These two theories focus on individualist cultures, where there is a great emphasis on personal freedom. They could not affect collectivist cultures where there can be an emphasis more in what is best for society. Another researcher, Sweet (1992) looked at findings from several longitudinal studies into the breakdown of relationships. He found that you have many predisposing factors that can influence the dissolution of any relationship. These factors can either be inside, which is in which the risk is based on the companions background and character, or external where it really is events outside the relationship that may threaten that.

Graziano ainsi que al (1996) supports the fact that personality has shown being an important factor in the breakdown of relationships and says that people who will be high in agreeableness (co-operative, encouraging and non-confrontational ) often be in human relationships which stay longer and there is much less conflict. In addition they believe that relationships where one of both of the couple is high in neuroticism may end in the divorce. Duck’s predisposing factors provide reasonable details for for what reason some partnerships may are unsuccessful.

However just some of the marriages that fulfill most of all in the criteria will actually end in a divorce, many divorce cases will involve couples that do not really meet any of the criteria. This kind of then suggests that the predisposing factors oversimplify the sophisticated behaviour. This will make the theory reductionist and for that reason is bad in explaining the malfunction of associations. Another problem with the research is that a lot than it can be bothered by numerous factors such as individual distinctions with the persons involved in the human relationships.

Many of the lovers interviewed were often white-colored and middle section class, this really is culturally prejudiced and therefore ensures that the effects found through the studies cannot be generalised for the cultures in the rest of the globe. The data gathered from the research is often largely retrospective self report, this is negative because the retrospective means seeking back following the event offers happened and for that reason may be hard to rely on as it relies on the memory of the people meaning that it is not reliable, the self-reports can also lack in validity because it is possible for the participants to lie.

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Topic: Human relationships,

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