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Filter Theory

 

Explanations > Theories > Filter Theory

Description | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

We make some choices through a series of selection filters. The more important, the more effort and filtration. One of the most important selections is of our friends and partners.

Relationships go though stages whereby different criteria are used at successive stages. It starts with social variables, such as class and religion. Then it moves to internal values. Finally, it moves to personality traits. Note that we seek similarity in social variables and values, but personality traits may be complementary.

Example

Men often seek female partners initially on looks. Other compatibility factors are considered after the initial advance (or even much later in the relationship).

So what?

Using it

Be aware of the social, values and trait stages and be ready to match the other person at each stage. Point out how rivals do not fit the current filter.

Defending

Watch out for too-close matching. If someone fits all of your criteria all of the time, check whether they are like this with other people.

See also

Friendship, Multi-Attribute Choice, Stimulus-Value-Role Model, Stage Theory

References

Kerckhoff and Davis (1962)

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