Rusbult's (1980) Investment Model

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  • Created on: 10-06-22 12:52
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  • Rusbult's (1980) Investment Model
    • Satisfaction
      • Partners will have a higher level of satisfaction with their relationship if they receive more rewards (e.g. companionship, attention, emotional support) and incur fewer costs
    • Comparison with Alternatives
      • Judgement that is made by one, or both, of the partners in a romantic relationship concerning whether or not they could receive greater satisfaction by terminating the current partnership.
    • Investment
      • anything a person puts into a relationship that will be lost if they leave
      • most important factor that maintains commitment to a relationship is investment
    • Commitment
      • the partner’s desire to remain in a couple and reflects their intention to have a long-term future together
      • acts as a maintenance factor in romantic relationships
      • P -Cultural bias doesn't seem to be an issue
        • E - Le and Agnew’s (2003) met analysis of 52 studies found support for the Investment Model across individualist and collectivist cultures, such as in the USA and in Taiwan
          • E -Furthermore, the Investment Model is also shown to be valid for different sub-groups, such as friendships, homosexual relationships, cohabiting couples
            • L - This suggests the universality of the Investment Model
      • P -The Investment Model provides an explanation for why people stay in abusive relationships
        • E - According to the model, if a partner feels that the investment they made into relationships will be lost if they leave, they are more likely to stay in a relationship even when the costs are high (such as physical or emotional abuse) and rewards are few.
          • E - Rusbult and Maltz (1995), in their study of 'battered' women, found that women were more likely to return to an abusive partner if they felt they had invested in the relationship and they did not have any appealing alternatives
            • L - This shows that the Investment Model can be applied to a wide range of relationships experiences that other theories fail to explain
      • P - The Investment model still assumes that satisfaction is the result of ‘profit’ rather than equity
        • E - According to Equity Theory, if one partner perceives a relationship as unfair, they are going to be dissatisfied with it regardless of whether they are over-benefitting or under-benefitting.
          • E - Research findings suggest that it is not a balance of rewards and costs, but rather perceived fairness of relationships, that keeps partners happy and committed to the relationships.
            • L -This means that Equity Theory may be a more suitable theory of romantic relationships than Investment Model.
      • P - There are potential methodological issues with studying the Investment Model.
        • E - Some psychologists point out that most evidence for the Investment Model comes from interviews and questionnaires, which are known to be subjective and unreliable.
          • E - Furthermore, the majority of research into the Investment Model is correlational. This is a problem because psychologists are unable to conclude that investment causes commitment in relationships.
            • L - These methodological issues limit the validity of the model, as it would fail to predict how much investment, is needed for a long-term commitment to a relationship to develop.


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