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The Psychology

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the psychology
Welcome & Introduction
If your reading this your studying for AQA A Psychology Psya3 and the Relationship topic is one of the ones you have chosen. Its a wise move I think as its one of the easier ones to learn. I generally advise picking something you can relate to because you have some grounding for it as opposed to learning whole new concepts or ways of thinking on subject matter thats completely foreign. It tends to save you time in getting your head around things.
A bit about me - My name is Sajan Devshi and I self-taught myself
AQA A A Level Psychology between 2011-2012 achieving an A* grade and 100% in both Psya3 & Psya4. You can check out my certificate on my website at as well as get my other model answers too for the other topics in Psya3 and
But enough about me - you can learn about me in more depth on my website - lets get on with the show and onto the the overview of this topic, structuring and the model answers themselves too.


Memorising Your Model Answers
This is going to be pretty much your hardest task and with the help of this book hopefully it becomes more manageable.
People have various ways they memorise things and it is entirely up to you.

Memorising Essays
The method of memorising the essays is the same across all my model essay answers. I employ the concept of “chunking” alongside the use of
“acronyms”. Combined this helped me memorise all the essay answers for every possible question.
If you haven’t read my previous books the following extract explains how the method works but you should do what works for you ultimately.
Practice and constantly re-writing the essays is unfortunately part of it and theres nothing that can be done to avoid this - theres no magic cure to skip hard work.

For myself; I personally employed 2 methods;
One was through the use of Acronyms and made up words to memorise all the various studies;
For example for the question on How Genes Affect Aggression - I remembered the phrase “MHBC”.
Each letter would stand for a researchers name and study related to the question.
M=Mcguffin H=Hutchings B=Brunner C=Caspi et al.
It is in essence a form of “chunking” that we learnt about for paper 1 in AS.
With enough practice I found this worked quite well and in the exam I was able to learn and master all the topics this way by simply remembering certain letters and words which I write at the top of the paper once I see the question.
I created my model essay answers starting with the theory first followed by evaluation. The theory should be something you should know from the top of your head really as its just a
“concept”. There are times when the theory is complicated

and therefore you need to add additional acronyms to memorise that too.

fully evaluate something you don’t understand hence make sure you understand the theory for each question.

Using the example mentioned previously “MHBC” - Once you have your model essay answer; you then need to remember it somehow. “MHBC” - Each letter is a marker and guide. In essence you only have to remember firstly what each letter stands for like this:

As mentioned the second method I found that helped was practice, practice and practice writing and re-writing the model answers over and over again.

M= McGuffin, H= Hutchings, B=Brunner, C=Caspi
Once you recall the researchers names this then makes it easier to recall their studies. If you have practiced writing the essays over and over you will find this is actually quite easy once you have the names in front of you.
This has given us 4 huge evaluation points already based on the researchers above which once expanded will add additional marks. Expanding each one well will easily score you
12 marks alone (3 each). You will find that after practicing writing and re-writing the essays it will start to click. It takes time.
It took me about 2-3 months to master paper 3 and begin to feel confident and that was only after I had re-written the answers probably no less than 100 times each.

This may sound overly simple but it has proved to be by far the most effective way to memorise the model essay answers considering the huge amount of content you will need to learn. It is very boring I know and by the end of it my arm was about to drop off but achieving a good grade comes at a price.
I spent every available moment I had constantly going over the model answers until I could do them from memory.
Eventually I found I was able to recall all the essay answers through simply remembering the acronyms which in turn would trigger my memory for the model answers themselves.

Once you’ve expanded what the letters stand for you go straight into the Theory element which as mentioned you should really know. I will give you the theory in this exam but its up to yourself to put it in a way you remember that. The evaluation is the hardest bit to remember and plus - You can’t

Issues, Debates and Approaches are absolutely crucial in hitting an A or A* grade as it wont matter how much evaluation you put, even if its all relevant, you will not score in the top band if there isn’t any IDA’s included. Therefore this must be factored in your essays as part of the evaluation.

Structure & Reaching
The Top Band Of Marks

A good way of remembering most if not all the IDA’s is remembering the word “GRENADE”.
G= Gender Bias
R = Reductionism (Oversimplifying something?)

Two things that I believe helped me achieve 100% is how you structure your essay and the use of Issues, Debates & Approaches.

E = Ethical issues ( Benefits vs Costs )

Structure is incredibly important- You have to understand, for an examiner to be sat there marking hundreds of essays, you want yours to make their life easier and also show them exactly where your theory and evaluation is. If he can see that you will pick up bonus marks for this but also it is far easier to remember something thats structured in a systematic way as opposed to mixing
Theory & Evaluation all over the place.

A = Animal Research? ( Again pro’s vs costs )

Issues, Debates & Approaches - (Also known as IDA’s)
The mark schemes and Specification for AQA A Psychology specifically state you CANNOT reach the top banding of marks unless you use appropriate IDA’s. Fact.

N = Nature vs Nurture Debate

D = Deterministic? Free Will?
E = Eurocentrism/ Ethnocentrism/ Cultural Bias
Whenever you need to add additional points for IDA’s or evaluation points - just throw a “grenade”. Use the acronym method and you will be able to recall each letter and therefore what to write for each too.


How to structure your essays
The way I recommend structuring your essays and how I have done it is like this:
Start with with 8 marks worth of theory followed by 16 marks worth of research, evaluation and IDA’s.
The way I answered questions is covered in this book and is as follows:
Outline Theory
Research Studies supporting theory/criticising theory
Evaluation (Strength/weakness of theory or research)

evaluation begins. He will likely have a fit of joy when he see’s your essay compared to the hundreds others and therefore more inclined to mark it better. He is human after all and you need to separate your essay from everyone else's. This is how you do it.
Zero Waffle Writing: When writing every sentence you must be concise and look to score marks. All my model answers have been geared this way so every sentence should score a point for theory or further marks for elaboration and evaluation. You must ensure you do the same in the exam to score well - The examiners know waffle when they see it so its best to keep it direct and to the point - do not bother with writing introductions or buildups to your answers as they wont score you anything. Go straight to direct explanations and evaluation points clarifying what your writing.
For example explain the concepts or theories - then provide the research for this either supporting or criticising it. Evaluate the strength and weakness of the theory itself as well as the research and its flaws. Finally add IDA’s.
When combined you should score enough and its not always about quantity but quality provided you write concise points.

I tend to stick to this format throughout although sometimes you may notice I deviate a little and that is usually due to the question itself making it difficult to make it clear unless I deviate. This method is clear throughout and the examiner has an easy job of seeing where your theory ends and where your


Looking at this we can see they can ask us numerous questions and therefore we have numerous essays we need to know. Lets break them down: 1.

Specification Overview
Below you have the overview of the Relationships topic taken from the 2014 AQA A Psychology Specification which can be found here: A-2180-W-SP-14.PDF
This is YOUR MAP. It tells you exactly what can come up in the exam. If its not listed below it cannot come up. Always be sure to double check the specification directly on the AQA
Website as they do change it now and then.

Theories of the formation of romantic relationships
Theories on the maintenance of romantic relationships


Theories on the breakdown of romantic relationships


The relationship between sexual selection and human reproductive behaviour


Sex differences in parental investment


The influence of childhood on adult relationships


The influence of culture on romantic relationships.

There you have it. 7 possible essay questions broken down based on the specification. The question may vary a little but the nuts and grit of it will be this.
Sometimes the questions ask you to “name one or more” in the question. This means you can give one set of answers in great detail or usually 2 sets of answers (2 sets of theories and evaluations) on less detailed essays. Having thought about this in great depth I highly recommend simply doing one as the essays we will remember will have a high level of detail to score near the top marks if not the top marks. Memorising more just makes our lives harder I think.
Thats it - Lets move onto the model answers themselves now as we should have an idea of how to go into this exam better now.



The formation, maintenance and breakdown of romantic relationships
In this section the possible questions as previously mentioned are:
• Theories of the formation of romantic relationships
• Theories on the maintenance of romantic relationships
• Theories on the breakdown of romantic relationships


Theories for the formation of romantic relationships
Two theories that attempt to explain the formation of romantic relationships are The reward/need satisfaction model by
Byrne et al and The matching hypothesis model by Walster et al. Byrne et als model proposes we find relationships rewarding in some form or that we may find life unpleasant and unrewarding when alone. This theory is based on the principles of
Operant and Classical conditioning. Through operant conditioning people may reward us directly by meeting psychological needs such as the need for love, sex and friendship. Individuals that are helpful, cheerful, attentive and supportive may also provide this direct reinforcement and therefore are liked more. Alternatively we may be rewarded indirectly through classical conditioning as relationships with some individuals may provide pleasant circumstances or pleasant events occur around them. This could be compliments they provide or other positives the individual brings with them re-

sulting in pleasant feelings becoming associated with the person themselves. Positive moods experienced when meeting individuals may become associated with them too (classical conditioning) according to this theory thus increasing the likelihood of attraction. Therefore this theory proposes that we are attracted to individuals who meet our needs and expectations.
Individuals that do meet our needs invariably induce positive feelings increasing attraction to them also. Byrne et al believed the balance of positive and negative feelings were crucial and relationships where the positive feelings outweighed the negatives were most likely to succeed.
Walster et al proposed in The matching hypothesis model that people who were similar in levels of attraction, intelligence and social standing were more inclined to form relationships with each other. This theory proposes that people pair themselves with others based on their own sense of value and they look for partners with similar qualities. Therefore the more socially desirable a person is in terms of physical attraction, social standing and intelligence etc, the more desirable they would expect their potential partner to be. This model also proposes that people who are matched well based on this theory also tend to have happier relationships compared to couples that are mismatched based on such social desirability.
Those looking for a partner are influenced by what they want and what they think they can actually get. Walster et al called this notion “Realistic choices” because individuals are influenced by the chances of having their feelings reciprocated back. 8

Hays et al’s research found students in friendships gave as much value to rewarding the other person as being rewarded themselves suggesting the reward/need theory is flawed. This research found friendships as well as student relationships revolved more around equity and fairness-suggesting people may not be as self-centred as the reward/need satisfaction model suggests and people gain satisfaction from giving rather than simply receiving. This suggests a more complicated dynamic in the formation of relationships and the implication is the reward/need model is reductionist in oversimplifying complex elements into simple processes such as operant and classical conditioning. The theory does not factor in the role of free will either portraying people as simple stimuli response machines rather than the complex individuals everyone really is. In addition the sample consisted only of students and and findings may lack ecological validity to wider generalisation.
Support for the theory comes from Griffitt et al. In one study participants were evaluated on a creative task by an experimenter and then asked how much they liked the experimenter. The rating was highest from participants who were evaluated positively suggesting some credibility into the theory and some of it may be applicable in the early stages and formation of a relationship. A huge criticism however is the study lacked external validity in real world settings and actual real world relationship formation. This is because although participants reported liking the experimenter more this does not give any indication as to whether this is sufficient enough

to warrant a relationship forming. Therefore most of the studies supporting the reward/need model lack mundane realism and internal validity as they do not necessarily show the principles of need satisfaction.
Gender differences and cultural bias appears evident in the reward need model. Lott et al found that in many cultures women are socialised to be more attentive to the needs of others such as husbands and children rather than being focused on their own rewards. Some others however may argue that this meeting of other peoples needs is rewarding in itself for the women and it is difficult to prove or disprove the theory for certain. Also in many cultures relationships form through arranged marriages where the reward/needs model or the matching hypothesis model does not apply at all as the choice is taken away from the individuals involved. The implication for the theory is it therefore suffers from cultural bias to western society and may have limited application to other cultures or societies.
Walster et al conducted the dance study to test the matching hypothesis. Students were led to believe they were meeting their dates based on being matched accordingly on similar social desirability factors but were in fact matched randomly. Results found when students were matched to dates that were physically attractive, regardless of their own level of attraction; they were more likely to pursue further dates with them after. Factors such as intelligence or personality did not affect this. This suggests that physical attraction is likely the most important component in the matching hypothesis model show9

ing some support. However a criticism is that people may not pursue individuals they deem to be of similar level but possibly those they deem more socially desirable or even possibly less. The study lacks vital information on whether students would rank their dates similarly in social desirability as themselves or not and whether subsequent relationships actually formed despite any differences or similarities. Therefore this study lacks internal validity as it may not actually be measuring students matching themselves according to their own social desirability weakening the theories credibility.
Mustein et al found strong evidence in the real world for the matching effect. His study measured couples and judges were independently assigned to score each partner on levels of attraction without knowing which people were actually partners. The research found strong evidence supporting the matching effect occurring as the scores for each partners level of physical attraction showed significant similarities. Bobblet et al also found evidence for a matching effect for more committed couples showing those matched similarly appeared to have stronger relationships (married, engaged or going steady). This suggests the matching hypothesis is reductionist and incomplete to account for such instances weakening the theory.
The matching hypothesis is also deterministic as it does not account for the role of free will that people have in determining their own choices. Many people pair up together despite being very different on percieved social desirability and this is due to free will, which is not accounted for in the theory.
Evolutionary explanations may also explain the formation of relationships better. People may ultimately look to form relationships with people that offer the most in terms of passing on their genes successfully i.e. be it through attraction indicating fidelity or wealth promoting the chances of a stable and secure future for themselves and children. Support for this and criticism of both matching hypothesis and reward/need models comes from research by Takeuchi who has shown a gender difference exists with men placing greater importance on physical beauty (fidelity) while women place less emphasis on this and being more open to other social desirability traits such as kindness and generosity (security).

A major flaw of the matching hypothesis is that it proposes people pair up with others of similar “social desirability”. Hatfield et al proposes complex matching occurs where those lacking in one area make up for it in others e.g. wealth, personality, physical attraction. An example of this is when a wealthy older man pairs up with a younger attractive woman.


Theories for the maintenance of romantic relationships
Two theories that explain the maintenance of romantic relationships are Social exchange theory and Equity theory.
Social exchange theory views relationship behaviour as a series of exchanges based on rewards, costs and profit. Each person attempts to maximise their rewards while minimising their costs. The exchange element occurs when individuals receive rewards and thus feel obliged to reciprocate. Rewards are seen as pleasurable and beneficial, which may include company, security, intimacy or sex. Costs are can be anything that occurs that is viewed as a loss to the individual due to being in the relationship e.g. effort, financial investment or time. This can also be problems, arguments, abuse, and loss of other relationship opportunities faced by the individual due to maintaining the current relationship. The costs subtracted from rewards equals in a loss or profit. This theory proposes relationships are maintained with further commitment as long as the individual perceives a profit occurring. This theory proposes

individuals use a comparison level to determine the value of exchanges. This comparison level is based on previous experiences of relationships, the person’s expectations of the relationship and a comparison of possible alternative relationships that may be available. This comparison may also look at the benefits of not being in a relationship compared to the current one and the gains of that (e.g. less arguments, more time with friends, freedom etc) If a person judges the current relationship offers poor value based on this comparison level they may be motivated to end it or maintain it provided the profits exceed this comparison level.
Equity theory is similar in that it sees behaviour within relationships as a series of exchanges with people trying to maximise their rewards and minimise costs however the goal is not for profit but to achieve perceived fairness (equity). This theory proposes under-benefiting or over-benefiting both cause inequity within the relationship leading to dissatisfaction or possible dissolution. The greater the perceived inequity the greater the dissatisfaction and distress. Recognising inequity also provides a chance for the relationship to be saved by making adjustments to re-establish equity. This is provided the
“loser” feels there is a chance of restoring fairness and is motivated to attempt to save the relationship. This can be done by changing the amount put into the relationship (Input), changing the amount taken from the relationship (Output) or changing their perception of Inputs and Outputs. (Practical applications in counselling)


Equity does not necessarily mean equality and both people can put in different amounts within the relationship and it can still be deemed equitable. If someone puts in little they may get little while those who put in more may get more in return.
Equity theory is therefore dependent on input/output ratios.
People may still compare the relationship to their comparison level for other relationships to determine whether it is worth them continuing to invest or start a new relationship.
Mills & Clark found there was a lack of consistent support for
Social exchange theory and there were two types of couples.
The communal couple where each partner gave out of concern for the other and the exchange couple where each kept a mental record of “point scoring”. This shows there are different types of relationships and that SET may lack external validity applying to some but not all relationships.
Rusbult et al studied relationship maintenance over a 7 month period and found Social Exchange Theory could not explain the “honeymoon” period however later relationship satisfaction related to costs suggesting the theory is better suited to explaining longer term maintenance. Rusbult also found support for Social exchange theory and the existence of a comparison level with people gauging the costs and rewards of their relationship in comparison to alternative potential relationships. This lends support to people viewing and maintaining relationships on the basis of benefits and costs supporting such social exchange theories.

Hatfield et al looked at people who felt they over-benefited or under-benefitted from their relationships. Those underbenefiting felt angry while those over-benefiting felt guilty with neither wishing to maintain a relationship that is not balanced or fair supporting both Social Exchange Theory and Equity Theory.
Yum et al looked at various heterosexual relationships in 6 different cultures and found people in perceived equitable relationships engaging in the most maintenance strategies. Cultural factors had little effect lending support to Equity theory and its ecological validity and wider generalisation across cultures. The main criticism for this study was that it focused only on heterosexual relationships and findings may not be consistent across homosexual relationships. Also the study can still be argued to suffer from cultural bias as 6 different cultures is still a small sample and may not apply across a wider scale.
Canary et al found a link between the degree of perceived equity and the prevalence of maintenance strategies suggesting equitable relationships are maintained supporting equity theory.
Dainton et als studied 219 romantic relationships and found those in inequitable relationships to be unhappy but wanting to return to an equitable state suggesting equity was important in maintenance.
Such economic theories are reductionist as they assume maintenance is purely down to profit or equity. Relationships are

far more complex with women who are abused by husbands still choosing to remain in the relationship despite high losses or inequity and these economic theories cannot account for this. The role of “love” is also not factored in either theory and therefore these theories are too simplistic, over-simplified and incomplete in their explanations.
Such theories and research has focused primarily on heterosexual relationships only and does not consider homosexual relationships. Therefore neither theories have universal application and external validity beyond the context of heterosexual relationships.

ever the results and findings from this study may limit the results to younger adults and students rather than long-term relationships as is common with older individuals.
Mills and Clark stated it was not possible to quantify emotional investment which played a huge role in relationship maintenance. Such theories are unable to quantify or explain how “love” fits in although this is widely accepted as a huge factor in maintaining relationships.

Social exchange and equity theory suffer from cultural bias as they are based mainly on the assumption of western cultures.
For example in cultures where arranged marriages bring together families and communities, the maintenance of relationships may not be down purely to selfish desire or equity which the theory does not adequately explain.
Kahn et als study showed gender bias from such theories that is not accounted. Females were more concerned with equality and receiving equal amounts regardless of input while men were more concerned with equity and benefits proportionate to input. Therefore neither theory appropriately applies to both genders showing a preference over one.
Moghaddam found evidence for cultural bias with US students in relationships prefering equity while europeans preferred equality suggesting further cultural differences and limited application of each theory dependant on cultures. How13


tion. If this is not resolved the breakdown progresses to the next stage.
Social stage – The breakdown is made public to friends and family. There is negotiation over assets, support is sought from social networks and alliances are made.

Theories for the breakdown of romantic relationships
Two theories for relationship breakdown are Ducks 4 stage model and Lee’s 5 stage model.
Ducks 4-stage model saw breakdown as a process rather than a single event. Duck proposed some factors which can cause a breakdown: The lack of skills such as poor interpersonal skills, the lack of stimulation may lead to boredom or feeling the relationship is not progressing or developing and the lack of maintenance can be caused due to circumstances with partners not spending enough time together due to work commitments leading to strain. The stages of breakdown in ducks model are:
Intrapsyhic – Social withdrawal, resentment and feelings of being under-benefitted occur.
Dyadic – Partners discuss problems and provided it is constructive rather than destructive this could lead to reconcilia-

Grave-dressing – A post view of the relationship breakdown is established for why it occurred with each person having their own account. The rebuilding of self-esteem for future relationships occurs here to show trust and loyalty, two important qualities which are under question.
Lees 5 stage model is similar in that it views breakdown as a process of stages:
Dissatisfaction – An individual becomes dissatisfied within the relationship
Exposure – Dissatisfaction is revealed to ones partner
Negotiation – Discussion occurs over the nature of the unhappiness
Resolution – Attempts are made to resolve the dissatisfaction
Termination – If the dissatisfaction is not resolved the relationship ends.
Tashiro et al found evidence supporting Ducks model in a study involving students. After breakups they reported not only feeling distress but also personal growth and better in14

sight into themselves and what they wanted from future relationships. Through grave-dressing and resurrection processes they could move on with their lives showing Ducks theory has some credibility. The limitation here is that this study focused only on students meaning the sample was biased, as student social relationship breakdown may be different to that of adults and the wider population therefore lacking external validity.
The model does however have face validity as the process of breakup put forward by Ducks and Lee’s models are ones many people can relate their own or other peoples experiences too. citing a lack of emotional support while men blamed a lack of fun on breakups. The models cannot account for such gender differences suggesting the theories are reductionist and oversimplified with more complex processes factoring in.
Akert et al found individual differences with the person who instigated the breakup suffering less negative consequences than the non-instigator and neither models can explain these individual differences. It is possible those initiating the breakup have already come to terms with the relationship ending on some level hence the less negatives and these processes are not factored in.

Boekhout et al found supporting evidence for Ducks theory and how lack of skills or stimulation can lead to breakdown.
Studying extramarital affairs that occurred his evidence found the reasons given for affairs was a direct reaction to perceived lack of skills or stimulation with men citing lack of sexual excitement, boredom and variety and women citing a lack of attention or emotional satisfaction. A criticism however is that in such cases the reasons given may not be genuine and purely an account created to portray those committing the affair as the victim.

Lee created his theory based on research and surveys of 112 breakups of non-marital romantic relationships and found the negotiation and exposure stages were the most distressing and emotional draining. Individuals who skipped stages tended to also have less intimate relationships. This shows
Lees model may have application for couples who may have longer closer relationships rather than those who have casual relationships. The main criticism of Lee’s research is that it was based on non-marital relationships and this process of breakup may not fully apply to married couples involving children and shared assets.

Gender differences are also apparent in both Ducks and Lee’s models. Kassin et al found women stress unhappiness and incompatibility while men blame a lack of sex. Women want to remain friends while men want a clean break. Argyle et al found further support for gender differences with women also

The models do provide practical implications for counseling and assessing which stage a couple are in can help devise ways to resolve and save the relationship with intervention showing the theories do provide benefits. The criticism of this is that the phases of breakdown are not always universal and not all

couples go through them or in the same order as the models propose, some people simply walk away from a relationship.
The models do not help us understand fully why breakup occurs either with both models beginning when unhappiness has set in and thus limiting its application. Again this may not apply to homosexual relationships as the studies were based only on heterosexuals limiting its external validity and application across relationships.
The main problem for both models is they are based heavily on western society and therefore suffer from cultural bias. In some cultures arranged marriages tend to be more permanent and involve families in crisis, which these models cannot fully explain. Therefore the models can be argued to be ethnocentric and lacking external validity to wider generalisation across different cultures.
Neither model factors in love and how that may play a mitigating role in relationship breakdown yet it is universally accepted as a key component within relationships. In addition neither theory can explain abusive relationships where an abused partner may not initiate the stages of dissolution but instead walk away completely.
Also there is great ethical issues and concern carrying out research of this sensitive nature. This raises the issue of vulnerability of participants and discussing and reliving breakups may cause distress. Privacy is also a concern due to the intensely personal nature of discussing breakups.



Evolutionary explanations of human reproductive behaviour:
In this section the possible questions as previously mentioned are:
• The relationship between sexual selection and human reproductive behaviour
• Sex differences between parental investment


The relationship between sexual selection and human reproductive behaviour
Darwin proposed that species do not just evolve through Natural selection but also “Sexual Selection”– A view that competition for mates between individuals of the same sex affects the evolution of certain traits.
Any physical trait that enhances reproductive success will gradually be passed down and enhanced over evolutionary time. Darwin proposed that animals possess features that make them attractive to members of the opposite sex and allow them to compete better with members of the same sex.
An example of this in humans is the relative hairlessness of human beings compared with other great apes; Such a feature allowed our ancestors to not only keep cool but to advertise to others good hygiene (Pagel et al).

This trait therefore becomes desirable in a mate and is the result of sexual selection. The greater loss of body hair in women would have been through greater pressures on women from sexual selection in comparison to men.
The strange case of the peacocks tail seems to go against this however as it offers no advantage; it is heavier, more noticeable by predators and does not help the peacock fly any better.
Zahavi also proposed the “handicap principle” in support of sexual selection stating if any indicator is too costly to produce and is still displayed – it must be a sign of strong genes and health. As peacocks are able to display such bright, heavy features and still survive - this may make them more attractive to females and such “rules” may apply to humans.
Different sexual selection pressure occurs between the genders due to differences in gametes (Eggs & Sperms).
Males have millions of sperms however can never be certain of paternity and suffer little cost to reproduction therefore natural selection favors them maximising their mating opportunities.
Females however have a limited number of eggs with each representing a huge investment during and after pregnancy but are certain of paternity. Due to this they must be more choosy in finding strong, healthy and committed males with resources.


There are then two types of sexual selection that take place in relation to human reproductive behaviour:
Intra-sexual selection in males and Intersexual selection in females.
Intra-sexual selection occurs in males who compete with each other for access to females. As a consequence of this men for example have evolved indicators such as strong jaw lines, high cheekbones triangular backs and wide shoulders as these are signs of strength and testosterone which women will seek.
High levels of testosterone can damage immune systems however and they would only be able to be displayed in strong males (Handicap principle). Thornhill et al also found that women tended to prefer men with such traits suggesting these are indicators within sexual selection theory for humans. Men on the other hand look for signs of fertility through youth and physical attraction as this maximises reproductive success for them. Intersexual selection occurs between women who then go on to select men who show the best indicators of providing good genes for offspring, the ability to protect her and her child, provide status and resources.
Psychologists propose it is this evolutionary behaviour that then shapes mate selection in males and females. Males should in theory look for females showing signs of fertility, youth and physical attraction and females should seek males showing signs of genetic strength, masculine features and the ability to provide and protect.

Buss et al conducted a cross-cultural study over 37 cultures with over 10’000 people on mate preference. Males reported to prefer younger physically attractive females while females sought physically strong and athletic males with an emphasis on resources. Both are therefore engaging in behaviour that increases reproductive success supporting sexual selection theory. The main issue with this research was that questionnaires were used which can be easily mis-understood across cultures.
Also self-reports may be inaccurate as well as translation problems occurring through the use of third party translators. Also mate preference may not be indicative of what actually happens either in real life.
Dunbar et al conducted a study looking at 4 american newspapers with over 900 personal ads reviewing mate preference.
Women offered youth and physical attraction while men offered financial status and resources. Each sought what the other wanted supporting sexual selection theory. The issue here was this study was based only on americans which would mean it suffers from cultural bias. In addition kindness and intelligence was rated higher in importance from both sexes which was doesn't fully fit in with sexual selection theory.
Singh et al found men preferred waist to hip ratio of 0.7 across cultures. This is typical of the hourglass figure and a sign of fertility which would support sexual selection theory.
Thornhill et al found that symmetrical faces were sought by both genders and that symmetry was a sign of strong genetic fitness and strong resistance supporting sexual selection the19

ory. Women also sought men with masculine features while men preferred women with childlike features such as large eyes, small nose, good teeth and full lips - all indicators of youth and fertility. Again both genders engage in behaviors in these studies that increase reproductive success.
Although such studies outline the preferences individuals have they are not representative of what actually happens in real life. Many variables play a role such as social or cultural factors as well as the opportunities available for both genders within their social circle that are not factored in.
The theory is beneficial in that it helps us better understand human behaviour as some things may be biologically programmed due to “nature” rather then “nurture” and this sheds some light on mate preference.
A big criticism of the theory is that it is not scientific and based almost completely on post-hoc evidence. Sexual selection theory cannot be proven or disproven either way and Popper argued that unscientific theories are purely speculative.
Such theories also show gender bias as they assume men are more likely to cheat on their partners and points to genetic programming as the cause. This is not possible for men without “willing” females nor do all men cheat either despite this being their most ideal strategy. The theory cannot also explain why some women actually then cheat on their partners as this goes against their ideal mating strategy involving securing a single mate who can provide support and security over the

long-term. “Cuckoldy” is provided as a possible reason for this but again this is post-hoc and difficult to prove/disprove.
Evolutionary theories such as this can be argued to be reductionist as they simply put down mate choice due to our genetic makeup. In truth partner choice is much more complex involving cultural and social elements which are not fully considered and this theory portrays us as driven purely by nature which is clearly not true.
The theory is also deterministic as it suggests human sexual preferences are genetically programmed and we are at their mercy. The theory does not take into account our ability of conscious thought which gives us free will to make choices for ourselves. Even in Buss et als study across cultures “Kindness” and “intelligence” was ranked higher than physical attraction.
Sexual selection theory cannot also explain homosexuality and why this exists. No children are produced and such behaviour goes against the theory. This raises serious ethical issues as people may use sexual selection theory to highlight the “abnormality” of homosexuality and create prejudice through homophobia.
Arranged marriages have also existed for centuries yet such behaviour goes against the theory. This also shows how cultural factors also play a role in human reproduction.



tainty. This is made more difficult in more promiscuous mating arrangements where there is a risk of Cuckoldry.
This results in a huge difference in the potential maximum reproductive success of each sex making random mating far too costly for human females.

Sex differences in parental investment The most evident sex difference is that males can opt out of parental investment in a way that females cannot. Through expending a large effort on courtship and mating, males in most species can afford to devote little in parental care.
Human females need to invest more in response to adaptive pressures. As brain size increased this resulted in more difficult childbirths due to skull size increases. To compensate children are born relatively immature at 9 months compared to other animals. Females are therefore required to make a large investment pre-natal and post-natal. This is because females are required to care for the child during pregnancy for 9 months followed by years of care after in infancy. This investment is much higher in comparison to males who can invest a few moments of copulation and a teaspoonful of semen (Symons). Evolutionists explain this difference due to females being certain of being the mothers of the children due to internal fertilization where as men do not have the same degree of cer-

When males do invest in their children and females they are under pressure from protecting themselves from cuckoldry which is the risk of investing in children that are not their own. This is because males cannot be sure of paternity while females can. Due to this males have a greater concern about fidelity in their mating partners than their mates (Miller).
Buss et all even suggested that sexual jealousy may have evolved as a possible solution to this problem. Men are more jealous of the sexual act itself while women are jealous of the shift in emotional focus and the loss of resources and investment into another woman.
There are two consequences due to the high cost of maternal investment. Infant dependency would mean females want male providers but also the expense of childrearing means females want to ensure good quality children too so their efforts are not wasted. One way to achieve this is to marry a man with good resources and who is caring yet “shop around” for men with good genes through extra-marital affairs with “studs” and attractive men who may not have resources. Baker et al found results from one magazine survey of over 2700 uk women, 14% of the population could be due to extra-marital affairs supporting this theory of sex differences and parental

investment. The issue here however is that the sample is very small in comparison to the population of the UK which is over
60 million and it is difficult to extrapolate such data to wider generalization. Also the sample suffered from cultural bias with it focused only on UK women meaning results may be ethnocentric and not across other populations. Also the results being from particular types of magazines may in fact attract a certain demographic of readership - the content about extramarital affairs may actually attract those that engage in such behaviour further biasing the results. Therefore it is hard to establish cause and effect from such survey results.
Buss et al found that male US students indicated more concern about sexual infidelity where as female students expressed a greater concern over emotional infidelity. This was also supported by physiological responses when respondents were asked to imagine scenes of sexual or emotional infidelity.
Men showed more distress with sexual rather than emotional infidelity. Again this supports the theory however the results here were only from US students suggesting cultural bias and making cross-cultural application difficult. The age group may also not be indicative of the whole population as they were simply young adults and the results given may simply be more indicative of that age group rather than the wider population.
In humans joint parental care may actually be more desirable because of the high costs of successful reproduction. In any situation where males can increase the success of childrearing it would be in their benefit to do so and this is for the most part what appears to happen in most human populations.

Men do restrict their reproductive opportunities investing more heavily in each individual offspring.
Gross & Shine reported that with internal fertilization parental care is carried out by 86% of females while with external fertilization parental care is carried out by males in 70% of species supporting such predictions based on paternal certainty.
Andersson et al looked at investments by fathers in the college education of biological and step-children finding they were highest when the biological father lived with the mother of his children. This would initially support such an evolutionary theory however in all other instances investments were equal which does not appear to support the theory overall.
Such a theory in explaining sex differences is reductionist as it attempts to explain human behaviour down to simple evolutionary explanations with us governed by “nature” rather than
“nurture” negating social and cultural influences completely.
In truth human behaviour is far more complex with all elements likely playing a role in some form rather than one (nature).
The theory is also deterministic as it does not factor in peoples ability for conscious thought and free-will. Many females care for children that are not her own in relationships as do men.
Couples even adopt putting in equal amounts of energy despite there being no biological link either highlighting this ability to break away from our genetic programming.


As with most evolutionary theories, attempting to explain differences in investment between the sexes is heavily based on post-hoc evidence that is difficult to conclusively prove or disprove. Popper argued theories that cannot be scientifically proven remain speculative and this is one big criticism of such an evolutionary explanation for differences.
Such a parental investment theory also suffers from gender bias as it portrays men to be more susceptible to cheating and infidelity. In truth this is not the case and there are cases of both genders behaving this way as a man cannot mate without a willing female either.



Effects of early experience and culture on adult relationships
In this section the possible questions as previously mentioned are:
• The influence of childhood on adult relationships
• The influence of culture on romantic relationships


The influence of childhood on adult relationships
Shaver proposed that our experiences of love in adulthood is an integration of three behavioral systems acquired in early infancy and childhood: attachment, caregiving and sexuality systems. The attachment system is related to the concept of the internal working model proposed by Bowlby. Bowlby theorised that later relationships are likely to be a continuation of early attachment styles (secure or insecure) as the primary attachment figure promotes an internal working model of relationships which will set the standard for later relationships.
The caregiving system is the knowledge about how one cares for others which is learned through the modeling behaviour of the primary attachment figure. The sexuality system is also learn’t through early attachment e.g. those who suffered from an avoidant attachment may then see sex without love is pleasurable. Qualter et al have shown how children also learn from other children and interactions with peers. The way a child thinks about himself is determined by specific experiences that become internalised and as a result develops a sense of

their own value which then determines how they approach adult relationships. Nangle et al proposed that children's friendships are in fact a training ground for important adult relationships. Through this close friendships could play a significant role in developing social skills as they are characterised by affection, a sense of alliance and intimacy, These are all important qualities in later adult relationships.
Fraley et al conducted a meta-analysis of studies finding positive correlations between early attachment type and later relationships supporting the the theory. The possible implication here is greater support is likely needed in the childhood stage to encourage social interaction (playgroups, placing in nursary more often) as this could affect the child's life significantly later on into adulthood with difficulties in adult relationships. The problem with this however is many studies in this area have been conducted with US participants and the results from such samples may not adequately represent other areas or cultures due to cultural bias. Therefore the theory may be limited to US children and adults for the most part.
Gender differences have been found between children from a number of studies. Schneider et al found that girls have more intimate friendships while boys tend to be more competitive.
This could affect how both genders develop in their ability to interact with peers in later life too and sexual selection theories “intra-sexual competition” amongst males may offer a reason for this gender difference. Therefore this theory may be flawed in its assumption that it is early attachment styles alone shaping later relationships but differences in gender

also due to socialisation (nurture) or “nature” due to males competitive streak to attract females. Erwin et al claimed any gender differences are overemphasized and many similarities are actually overlooked also.
Simpson et al conducted a longitudinal study spanning more than 25 years involving 78 participants at 4 key points: Infancy, early childhood, adolescence and adulthood. The findings of this study supported the claim that expressions of emotions in adult romantic relationships could be related back to a persons early attachment experience. This is useful as it allows researchers to observe changes in behaviour first hand as opposed to asking people to rely on memory which may be biased or affected. The weakness here is that other unknown variables can still be affecting the participants later adult relationships such as cultural or social factors.
Belsky et al cited studies showing that secure women experienced less conflict with their husbands than insecure women.
Secure women were also found to be more likely to manage conflict in a mutually focused way which may explain why they experience less conflict in the first place and this applied to both dating and married couples. Secure indviduals were also seen to be more committed to relationships and feel greater love for their partners. Such findings are consistent with Shaver et als theory that early attachment styles may translate later into adult relationships. Hamilton et al however found in other studies that securely attached children became insecure later on as a result of negative life events. Rutter et al also found that insecure attachments in childhood did

not always translate into poor quality adult relationships either as many went on to form secure stable adult relationships. This suggests a bigger role for “nurture” and the environment shaping ones behaviour possibly far more than that of early attachment styles.
Such theories that propose our early childhood experiences and attachment styles shape our later relationships are reductionist as they do not factor in other complex cultural or social influences in later life that may lead us to adapt and improve on any deficiencies from childhood. This theory states our early experiences set in stone our later relationships and this is clearly not the case. Adult relationships are far more complex and shaped by more than simply early attachment styles and experiences. This is because we have free will which allows us to break away from early experiences through conscious thought and self-awareness thus allowing us to address problem areas. Due to this such theories like this are deterministic as they assume our fate is sealed from early childhood experiences but in truth we are constantly learning and adapting our behaviour and our attachment styles may change over time. Studies that find such correlations between early attachment styles the success of later adult relationships can never be conclusively proven either. It is impossible to establish cause and effect and early attachment styles that are insecure may rather be down to innate temperament or other factors. Also any problems in later adulthood can be caused by a number of other variables along a persons life and not necessarily down

to early childhood experiences. This poses big methodological problems for such longitudinal studies.
Such studies into attachment and relationship types such as
Ainsworth’s strange situation are culturally specific and not applicable to non-western cultures. Therefore any findings can be seen to be culturally biased when applied to nonwestern cultures.



The influence of culture on romantic relationships
In western cultures people typically choose their own partners on the basis of romantic attraction and individual choice. This is usually before making decisions such as living together or making long term commitments like marriage. Some may even simply choose to live together without getting married and the rate of marriages in western cultures has steadily decreased. Due to greater social mobility western cultures are generally characterised by a greater pool of potential relationships and choice due to many living in urban settings meaning we regularly interact with a large number of people and acquaintances. Non-western cultures have fewer large urban centres and less geographical and social mobility translating to less choice about whom they interact with on a daily basis. Relationships are therefore tied stronger to other factors such as family or economic resources.
Western cultures place a greater importance on the rights and freedoms of the individual and are seen as “individualistic” as

they focus on the individual making their own choices. Therefore relationships are seen as voluntary by those involved. In non-western cultures the group tends to be the main unit of concern and these are known as “collectivist” cultures. Here individuals are encouraged to be interdependent and rely on one another rather than be independent. Where as individualist western cultures may promote freedom of choice in relationships, collectivist cultures may greatly shape relationship choice through the family, group or community (Moghaddam et al). Here relationships may in turn be involuntary in many cases where arranged marriages have factored in. With such arranged marriages, parents play a significant role in who their children's should consider to marry and such unions are generally a joining of communities and extended families.
This is commonly based on the assumption that marrying for love would be a recipe for disaster and “parents know best” for their children. The fact that this is backed up by research showing voluntary marriages from individualistic cultures actually have lower levels of satisfaction in the longterm appears to lend some credit to such assumptions. The other argument is that such cultures may also see divorce as therefore bringing “shame” on the whole family which in turn discourages unhappy couples to consider divorce due to the stigma attached.
It is therefore possible the strong influence culture plays on relationships may not be as beneficial as it seems.
Therefore love appears more important in individualistic cultures while other group based values appear to take priority in collectivist cultures.

Hsu compared Chinese and North american societies and demonstrated how different values can shape relationship choices.
The Chinese regard heritage and ancestry as important and relationships there tended to be dominated by more permanent relationships. Western cultures that emphasize progress and discontinuity tended to favour more temporary relationships showing how different cultural values can shape relationships.
Norms and rules between cultures may also affect relationships due to what is considered appropriate behaviour. One such norm is reciprocity where if someone receives a benefit from someone an equivalent benefit must be returned. Ting
Toomey et al found that individualist cultures treated reciprocity in personal relationships as voluntary while in collectivist cultures it is seen as more of a moral duty. In Japanese cultures for example there are specific rules around gift giving which would affect relationships.
In societies with low social mobility or opportunities to interact with others arranged “non-voluntary” marriages make sense and also appear to work well. Divorce rates are low and in 50% of cases the spouses have even reported to have fallen in love with one another (Epstein et al). No differences in marital satisfaction was found when comparing to nonarranged marriages in the US. Therefore although frowned upon by western societies such traditional match-making through families appears to have some value. However fast developing cultures like China have now seen a noticeable increase in “love” relationships with a move away from arranged marriages. Parents dictating partner choice has decreases

from 70% in 1949 to less than 10% in 1990s. Whyte et al found that women in Chengdu who married for love actually felt better about their marriages than women who had had arranged marriages showing partner choice appears to be an important element in sustainable relationships regardless of culture. The main issue here was the sample was based only on women from Chengdu and therefore the likelihood of cultural bias may still exist as there may be a unique culture that exists only within that area that may not apply across China. Also this research has gender bias as the men were not asked on how happy they were - even though women may have reported to be happy this may not necessarily have been the case for men.
For those advocating arranged marriages where parents control the process of choice, the case here is generally that parents are in a better position to judge compatibility in the longterm as young people may be infatuated and “blinded by love” to see longer-term problems in their partner choices. Whyte et als study of mate choice found the freedom to choose one’s partner was a key determinant of marital stability.
The wests shift to more discontinuous and non-permanent relationships is also a relatively new cultural shift. 50 years ago divorce was very rare and extended family groups much more common. Divorce according to the Statistical Office of the
European Communities saw 2 per 1000 women divorcing in
1960 while it was 12 per 1000 in 2007. This shift may again be related to greater urbanisation, social mobility and linked to the development of a nation rather than western or non29

western or individualistic or collectivist cultures. In fact it could be argued the whole collectivist or individualistic approach may be down to how developed a country is. In india for example as the country experiences a boom much like china and an improving economy with greater opportunities for everyone - this has seen love as a growing component in relationships across such traditional cultures.

nant. Also the fact that much of the research into relationships uses data from self-reports and questionnaires poses the potential risk of bias. This could be through participants giving answers that their respective cultures would expect them to rather than give true feelings about relationship satisfaction. For example writing about being unhappy in a marriage is not likely to make things any better for them.

McKenry et al found that in cultures where females have become more independent and influential, divorce rates have risen considerably. This suggests that the lower divorce rates in collectivist cultures is not an indication of happy marriages but male dominance.

Also even in arranged marriages the potential couple still tend to have a say with no control being a rare occurrence even in traditional cultures. Most partners in arranged marriages have the right to consent and couples meet through functions or third party so there is an element of choice still.

Gupta & Singhs research contradicted this when studying 100 indian marriages of professionally educated couples. 50 were arranged marriages while 50 were love marriages and couples were assessed after 1, 5 and 10 years of marriage. Love marriages reported initial feelings of love and liking as initially high but this decreased over time. This is in contrast to arranged marriages reporting low feelings of love initially which grew and actually exceeded those of love marriages after 10 years suggesting in some cultures arranged marriages can become more successful over time.
It could well be that western cultures also tend to have a higher divorce rate due to media influence and everyone constantly seeking to find the “ideal” partner and thus never being satisfied. Therefore the strong role of “nurture” and the environment in shaping relationships may also be a key determi30

My Psya4 Media Psychology Model Answers are available here:

Thank You!
And thats everything in Relationships covered! I want to say a big thank you to all those that have purchased this book as well as my others. I never thought that me writing one book for Psychology would translate to 4 other books later on. If you have any questions or queries you can contact me on my email address at: If this book helps please leave a review on my website to help other students! I would be very grateful!
You can also follow me on twitter under the username: Sajdevshi and contact me there too.
And of course you can get my other books and contact me at my website here: My Psya4 Schizophrenia Model Answers are available here: a-psychology-model-essay-answers/ And my Psya3 Aggression Model answers available here: ession-model-essay-answers/
The books referenced for my model essay answers are below You can click on them to take you to amazon for purchase if you wish.
The Complete Companion A2 by Mike Cardwell and Cara
Psychology A2 for AQA (A) by Jean-Marc Lawton, Richard
Gross and Geoff Rolls
And the Collins Psychology for A2 For AQA A by Cardwell,
Clark, Meldrum and Wadeley.
All 3 are great books and worthy of purchasing to understand the theory elements.- you can find the links on my website also for them.
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...Assessment 3.1 Psychology Research and Presentation Motivational Interviewing Part 1 Kristeen Pearson Introduction. Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative, goal oriented style of communication with particular attention to the language of change, It is designed to strengthen personal motivation for and commitment to a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion.’ Miller & Rollnick (2013 p. 29) The main idea of motivational interviewing is to purposefully create a conversation around change, without attempting to convince the person of the need to change or instructing them about how to change. Motivational interviewing (MI) is a therapeutic approach that was originally developed in the alcohol and other drug field by William Miller and Stephen Rollnick (Miller 1983 Miller & Rollnick, 1991). This approach was influenced by the principles and practices of a......

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...The term "Psychology" consists of two Greek words — Psyche and Logos. The former means "soul" and the latter means "Science". Psychology thus means science of soul. But the term "soul" cannot be easily explained and understood. This led to the meaning of psychology as the "science of mind". This also raised a number of questions. What is mind? Where is mind? What it does? The answers to these questions are not clear and acceptable to all. Such confusion led to the definition of psychology as "the science of consciousness". But it was contended that man's thought and action are not limited to the stage of "consciousness" alone. Man is active even when he is unconscious. That is why; psychology is called the "science of behavior" which means the study of human nature and activities. Thus the definition of psychology as the "Science of behavior" has been accepted by the majority. What does the term "behavior" mean? According to J.B. Watson, "By behavior" we mean an action which can be seen and observed in an objective way." Behavior is a broad concept. It includes all kinds of activities and experience of an individual. It refers to not only motor or physical activities like walking, talking, writing, but also mental activities like thinking, remembering, imagining and emotional activities, like love, anger and fear. Life manifests through all these activities and behavior is a collective name for all kinds of activities. Behavior is universal. Every living objects......

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...OF PSYCOLOGY* 1.GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY- field of psychology that explais the underline principles of human behavior-the study of how and why people behave this way or that way. 2.COMPARATIVE PSYCHOLOGY- traits of the behavior & mental processes of the different species. 3.DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-is concern itself with the study of human behavior in all its aspects of growth & development. 4.CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY-is concern with the investigation of the varied facts of marketing & buying behavior affects of advertising studies of mass media & other problems arising from the relationshipbetween the buyer & the seller. 5.EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-deals with observation and experiments in a psychological laboratory. 6.DIFFERENTIAL PSYCHOLOGY-is a branch of study which deals investigates differences & similarities existing among individuals groups and races. 7. PSYCHOLOGY-applied in medicine it concerned with the treatment of mental diseases. 8.CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGICAL-pertains to the diagnosis of psycho therapy of the milder behavior disorder. 9.EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY-deals with learning motivation & other subject in the actual eductional process. 10.SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY-is the study of the behavior of groups & individuals in their relationship to other group. 11.PERSONALITY PSYCHOLOGY-study between personality and behavior. 12.ADOLESCENE PSYCHOLOGY- study of behavior of man from poverty to later life approximately from 12-20 yrs.old. 13.SENESCENT PSYCHOLOGY- is the scientific......

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