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Brock University
Applied Computing
Daniel Glenday

Interpersonal attraction – refers to a person’s desire to approach another individual. To get to know them better. Not necessarily physically, but socially. This is a process that occurs very quickly, not uncommon to meet someone and talk to them for less than 5 minutes and form a opinion about them. are they well educated? Interesting? We make a lot of inferences from a little bit of information, how they dress, how they talk, what they talk about. We are inference making machines. Turns out that there is one thing that is very important – physical attractiveness. We act more positively, favorable to better looking people. Why do we consider physical attractiveness to such a degree?? a. Aesthetic appeal – one idea is that we enjoy being with good looking people, because their physical beauty gives up aesthetic enjoyment. People consistently spend longer looking at a person if they are physically attractive. b. Social rewards – another reason we are attracted to physically attractive people is because we benefit from how they are treated. We treat good looking people a lot better than average looking people. Indirect social rewards. There are also direct social rewards. Either way you benefit from being associated with a good looking person. c. Positive stereotypes – what is beautiful is good stereotype. Refers to the fact that there are a lot of stereotypes of good looking people that are thought to be good in every way. An example would be attractive people would be more kind, sexually warm, stronger, outgoing, poised, better character, ect. Especially when men and women are rating people of the same or different sex. More prestige, happier marriage, more social and professional success, more fulfilling life are also some stereotypes that are thought of good looking people. d. Self-fulfilling prophecies – general definition: occur when someone believes something is true and then they act in such a way to make it true. e. Have better social skills – there is evidence that good looking people have better social skills than most people. The idea is that you have been good looking for your whole life and have more positive social interactions. They are experienced. They are given the benefit of the doubt more often. They have a lot of smooth interactions and are extremely confident in meeting new people. Especially true when there are social awkward moments. More social rewards. The downside to being physically attractive – in many ways, good looking people have a social advantage over most of us. Good looking people have more same sex friends than average, and more opposite sex friends, better sex lives, more romantic partners, ect. When you ask for one’s optimism for living a fulfilling life: there is often a negative relationship for this between good looking people and optimism. Meaning despite all the advantages, good looking people are less confident and optimistic to accomplish what they want. Why is this the case? a. Flattery must be discounted – general idea is how attractive people interpret the social rewards that they receive. How do they interpret that? They become sensitive to how their attractiveness affects how they are treated and their kinds of friends. b. Negative stereotypes – there are some negative components to the stereotypes that are made. Men- not sure how dedicated, smart, dependable. women – egotistical, conceited, undeserving. People think that everything is handed to goodlooking people, think they are obsessed with their beauty, shallow. c. Pressure to maintain appearance – attractive people often feel under tremendous pressure to maintain their appearance. Fearfull of rejection if their beauty is lost. What would happen if I lost my beauty?? Their physical beauty comes the central part of their self. Everything is true for men and women. Much more true for women then men. When people are making judgments of attractiveness, people use cues related to face and body to rate attractiveness. Men are concerned about their hair, and how buff they are. Men are more comfortable with their body. Women are much more concerned with slimness, more critical of own body, more likely to diet. More likely than men to gain substantial amounts of weight. Why is this true? Women are so critical that they put themselves on diets that are way too strict. Much more prone to eating disorders. 95% of all anorexics are females. Cosmetic surgery – primarily a female endeavor, breast enlargement ect. All women are responding to messages that say that your beauty is really important. There is no relationship at all between attractiveness an happiness with one’s life. Complementarity- we are attracted to people who are similar to us. Interactions are a lot smoother. Birds of feather flock together. They keep us on our toes, keep the relationship exciting. Interpersonal attraction – theory – timothy leary – dominance, hate, submission, love. Similarity drives attractions, but also complementary drives attraction as well. Primary: dominance- submission is complementary, because they are behavioral styles. You are going to be attracted to the opposite. In this case if you are dominant, you are going to be attracted to someone who is submissive. True for the short term, and partially the long term. These are dimensions, so there is a strength element to these ideas. What this means is that if you are a little dominant, you are attracted to someone who is a little submissive. Love- hate similarity. You are attracted to someone like you. If you are on the love end of the dimension, then you will seek someone else who has the love dimension. Same on the hate dimension. It is same with the strength element, as in you will seek someone who is similar in your level of love or hate. A. Behavioral – styles that each of us have. Personality variable – nurturance – metaphorical mother role, they like to take care of everyone. You will be most attracted to people who want to be taken care of. Opposites attract, complement each other. B. Abilities or areas of achievement – the self evaluation maintainance model – each of us has an identity that is tied up in certain areas or abilities. According to the model, all else being equal, we would be most attracted to other people whose own success does not undermine our identity as a successful competent good person. Would be more attracted to people who can achieve in areas that have no implications to what I do, or my abilities. C. Resources offered- the most beautiful women are expected to marry rich powerful men. And vice versa for men. Men and women write different kinds of ads when advertising themselves. When women write- physical attractiveness and a good sense of humor. Men write - consistently emphasize stability and success, emotional maturity. Members of the same species compete for resources that will enhance their reproductive success. Men compete with other men, and women compete with other women. From evolutionary perspective men need a healthy women and many years of fertility left and they use youth and beauty as cues to fertility. What women need most from evolutionary perspective women need a man who is emotionally stable and will stick around when the child is born and is successful with a lot of resources. Women use age and social status in determining this. There is a distinct tendency for older men to be with younger women, this is a good match from a evolutionary point of view. There is good evidence that this tendency is due to discrimination. Because of discrimination, women are denied economic and social power. Women married older men because of the benefits from their association. The reaction that men and women have to news of their spouse having an affair are really different. Women don’t like it, men are furious. Women are terrified of the emotional betrayal, physical betrayal is not as big. Men are terrified of the physical betrayal, emotional betrayal is not as big. After a person gets engaged, but before they get married they might have doubts. Men and women have different doubts. Women have doubts that are target specific, they are thinking about their fiancé. When men have doubts, they are not target specific, they are thinking about the whole concept of marriage and idea. Similarity – even though complementarity is important, similarity is much more important. All relationships run into rough spots and disagreements. You need something to get through the difficult times, ie similarity. A. Demographics – you end up marrying people with similar backgrounds and education. Age, religion, education, race. College students: age, urban-rural, race, intellectual interests, recreational interests, parental $. 30 years ago religion was a big deal, but now a days its not a big deal. When you are 20 its not a big deal, when you are 40 it is. B.
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