The Stimulus-Value-Role Theory has three stages of development. Stimulus, the first stage, is the evaluation of the physical attractiveness of prospective partners. The first impression towards a person is determined by the physical features, such as appearance and social qualities. If both individuals are pleased with each other’s unspiritual characteristics, they might enter into the next stage.
What is significant in the second stage, Value, is the mutual understanding between two persons. In a developing relationship, it is of certain importance for partners to share their fundamental values and thoughts ranging from national issues to household affairs. This could give a general picture of one’s life to the mate. The more identical their attitudes are, the stronger their attraction becomes. When both members are compatible with each other’s beliefs in different fields, they could make the relationship to the third stage.
The noticeable trait of the final stage, Role, is the observation made by both individuals to see whether the partner’s values are verbalized in daily behaviour and real life situations. If both members of a couple walk the talk, they might recognize each other as mate. The couple might enter into marriage when they navigate the three stages successfully.
The SVR Model could be applied to a love story of mine. Back in the time when I was still in my secondary education, I was attracted by one of my schoolmates. He was a brilliant student and athlete in my school with his good-looking face, well-trained body, stylish outfit and cheerful personality. Before knowing him completely and thoroughly, I was attracted and impressed by his outstanding physical attributes. Owing to his friendliness and my talkativeness, we have become friends. Thereby, this fulfilled the first stage, Stimulus, of the SVR Theory that the first impression and attraction of a potential partner is primarily determined by physical characteristics.
When I was no longer an acquaintance to him, we talked to each other a lot and shared our values and thoughts ranging from studying methods to future prospect. Both of us believed that studying hard and actively at that moment was the only duty we should perform, in order to strive for a seat in university for a bright and fruitful future. The more we shared, the more similar our values were, and the more intense our attraction become. Hence, this applied to the second stage, Value, of the SVR Model that the more matching two persons’ values are, the stronger their fascination becomes.
After knowing his attitude towards future, I started to observe if the values were expressed in his behaviour. Unfortunately, his academic result was degrading gradually due to the distraction from a number of sport competitions. As he did not walk his talk, our relationship could not be further developed. My experience did not end aligning with the theory into marriage; however, it still showed that some roles can be perceived if the final stage is successfully navigated by a couple.
Murstein, B. I. (1987). A clarification and extension of the SVR theory of dyadic pairing. _Journal of Marriage and Family_, _49_(4), 929-933.
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