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Psychology   >   Relationships – The Relationship Trajectory

Partner Selection

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Relationships – The Relationship Trajectory

In this course, Dr Veronica Lamarche (University of Essex) explores relationships, focusing on partner selection, attraction, romantic theories, and Duck’s relationship breakdown model. In the first lecture, we think about partner selection and its evolutionary basis. In the second lecture, we think about models of attraction, as well as types of competition and criticisms of these models. In the third lecture, we think about filter theory, which explains how the breadth of potential partners is narrowed. Next, we think about romance theories and how they serve to explain why relationships are maintained even after an individual’s reproductive fitness fades. In the fifth and final lecture, we think about the four phases of Duck’s relationship breakdown module: intrapsychic, dyadic, social, and grave dressing.

Partner Selection

In this lecture, we think about partner selection, focusing in particular on: (i) the evolutionary explanation for why partner selection is so important to humans, primarily relating to our biological function to reproduce; (ii) the perception of productive fitness that, from an evolutionary perspective, humans seek out in a partner; (iii) intersexual competition, which is the process of making oneself appealing to a potential or existing partner; (iv) intrasexual competition, which is the process of competing for partners with other members of the same sex; (v) the consequences of certain evolutionary behaviours in social contexts, including intrasexual competition behaviours; (vi) the biological differences between the value of each sex cell type influencing the psychology of each sex in their intersexual and intrasexual behaviours; (vii) criticisms of these models, including their inapplicability to same-sex or infertile couples, as well as cross-cultural differences.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Lamarche, V. (2022, May 24). Relationships – The Relationship Trajectory - Partner Selection [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Lamarche, V. "Relationships – The Relationship Trajectory – Partner Selection." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 24 May 2022,

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Dr Veronica Lamarche

Dr Veronica Lamarche

Essex University