Attraction and Close Relationships
Attraction, close relationships and the thrill of affiliation
• In our culture we tend to like things that are romantic and love stories like Romeo and Juliet and others.
• Need for affiliation: The desire to establish and maintain many rewarding interpersonal relationships (It is
often measured as trait (people differ in dispositional. I.e. someone might have high and other have low
rewarding relationship. What is clear that most people fall in the middle i.e. we need to have at least 34
good relationships that helps us out.). we also want an optimal level of human being social contact in that
( we don’t want too much but neither do we want way too low of this)
• A “sociostat” (social thermostat: just like thermostat regulates a temperature and our body keep
homeostatic this sociostat regulates our social interaction.
• RAT’s research: Research has shown that rat that has been with the conspecific for a long time, they want
a long time now, they don’t want to be with other any longer. Also if no interaction with other conspecific,
they want interactions now. Human beings do the same thing)
• Study: when the thing beeps tell us if you are with other people and if wants or don’t want to be other
people. Results: if at one time they were with someone and the thing beeped, and the next time the thing
beeped they indicated the desire for being alone. Same result as the rat results (OPTIMAL LEVEL OF
• Variables that affect affiliation
• 1) Celebration: i.e. if we did really well in school/job promotion etc we want to be with other people.
Sporting events as well calls for this.
• 2) Stress also brings people together. This is because we do better ingroup.
o Study: you will receive shock if you did get something wrong. What they wanted to see if they want
to wait with other or wait alone before starting the study. Thus it showed that their was need for
increase affiliation. But not all stress situation will increase group affiliation
o Study: do some embarrassing things. In these cases, embarrassing feeling were initiated, in this cases
they instead wanted to be alone.
o The idea is that UTILITY: (utile mean practical or useful). Usually when you are uncertain about
what was going to happen, so just like the informational normative cases, you want to conform with
other. But at the same time, if something embarrassing happens to us, we don’t want to share this
experience with other so we move away from the group. It was NOT useful in this case to wait with
• Loneliness: A feeling of deprivation about existing social relations (i.e. the ideal vs. actual self
discrepancies usually create this. you think about your ideal social contact and compare that to actual social
contact. If we see a larger discrepancy, the bigger the loneliness.)
o Loneliness usually Occurs during times of transition or disruption (i.e. when interpersonal relationship
are effected like when a good friend moves way. Or when a romantic relationship end. This is usally
one of the biggest predictors.)
o **Research shows that people who have never been married are sadder. BUT if people become
widow, or divorce reports that they are lonelier then people who have never been married.
o Most lonely: Young adults between 1830 years old report being the loneliest. Intimacy and isolation
stage of life. This is because they need the most amount of intimacy. If people are not getting this this
creates problem. After age 30, it began to decline. Until old age where the health problems began to
kick in which prevents having a social interactions create problems (2nd most lonely)
The Initial Attraction
• The proximity (nearness) effect: people who are more close to other then these are the people that you
tend to like/attracted to. Proximity increase likely.
o Study: first year collage student were participants so they are very interested in making friends.
They randomly assign participant to sit in the same sport through entire term. They wanted to see if
they would become friend. DV: how much do you like the classmates
o Results: not near them ▯ low friendship. As in the same row ▯ more friend. If neighbor ▯ more friends. Attraction and Close Relationships
• The mere exposure effect: the more you are exposed to a stimuli the more positively they evaluate the
stimuli ( doesn’t matter whatever the stimuli is. This could be object or human being. Whatever it is the
more oyu are exposed to it the more you like it. Often time you realize that well its not chanign so you
began liking it to decrease dissonance)
• Research evidence: Participants first viewed unfamiliar stimuli like Chinese writing. IV: They manipulated
how many times the stimuli was seen ( the exposure). DV: Favorability toward target stimuli.
• Results: Positive correlation between the exposure level(X) and favorability rating (Y). the more you saw
it the more you like.
Physical Attractiveness and Beauty
• Do standards of beauty emerge early in life? (Objective questions of beauty. Objective in that we are
hardwire and ready to detect the cues to the beauty▯evolutionary psychology).
• Study to answer this: Do infants make similar judgments in attractiveness as adults?
– Procedure: Adult evaluated white and black female faces for their attractiveness.
– Infants 23 months and 68 months see the same faces as the adults.
– Measure: the amount of time the baby looked at the photos. If our brains are hardwire, we expect that
– Results: the infants in both groups looked more at the attractive faces.
– Another study: 1 year old children: also play more with the attractive ( thus beauty is objective and
• There is evidence that Standards of Beauty are Consistent Across Cultures
• When people of different races judge the facial attractiveness of people of different races there are strong
positive correlation among the ratings (STRONG INTERNAL CONSISTANCY. Doesn’t matter if you are
Asian, you are able to recognize attractive person from many different cultures. Thus beauty is objective
and NOT cultural. It generalizes to many different cultural groups)
Beauty and the Brain
• Heterosexual male participants were exposed to four sets of faces
– Procedure: Attractive females vs. attractive males vs. average females vs. average males.
– Repeated measure design (all participant are exposed to more then one condition or that ALL
participant are exposed to ALL of these images)
– Results: When men viewed the attractive female faces the nucleus acumbuns area of the brain
increase in activity. This area is the know pleasure Centre of the brain. It activates when we have the
approach motivations. Perhaps beauty is objective….
Cues to Attractive Faces
• Men’s faces differ from women’s faces primarily from hormones such as testosterone ( gives it manly
• During development, baby is female and then after hormones, it becomes male.
• Characteristic includes for men: Longer and broader LOWER jaws. Stronger brow ridges. More pronounce
cheekbones. The best looking also includes having a baby faces (warm faces and rounder faces).
• Females faces: fuller lips, larger eyes, smaller nose and having a thinner jaw and a smaller chin and higher
Beauty is Subjective
• Beauty is culturally defined. Certain cultures accentuate certain bodily features for instance…Ethiopian
woman who have a huge lips (that suggests physical attraction in her culture).
• Standards for female bodily attractiveness vary from culture to culture (less food, then plumper and tubles
body is more attractive like the hunter and gatherers tribes. Thus in this culture, this shows wealth, healthy
person etc. in places where the food in abundant then slander and small body is preferred as healthy ▯
subjectivity/relative to on’s environment changes perceptions)
• Some research shows that the more in love people are with their partners, the less attractive they find
others. Attraction and Close Relationships
o This might be to increase parental bonding. Evolutionary speaking this is way better. If a parents
thinks others are attractive then you might not concentrate on raising the baby together so one
parents has to raise the baby.
o WHEN men’s are in committed relationships, the level of testosterone actually goes down. Thus,
men are less likely to look for other sexual partner.
• “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”
Blinded by Beauty?
• When average looking men and women are seen alongside someone else of the same sex, they are rated as
more attractive when the other person is good looking and less attractive when he or she is plan looking
(the hall pass movie is WRONG and not supported by research which states that if you are avg. looking
around ugly, you become hot. This is not true.)
• When we evaluate individuals in a group, we cannot focus on one person and we take into account the
whole group/picture into account ( the assimilation effect. Attractive+ other attractive ▯ assimilates to
become more attractive)
• What is beautiful is good stereotype: The belief (since it is a stereotypes) that physically attractive
individuals also possess a desirable personality characteristics. Example is the Disney movie. Attractive
cartoons have good qualities.
• Research Evidence for beautiful is good stereotype…
• Two by two factorial design.
• IV #1: Film (Strong Link: i.e. beauty and having positive qualities go together. They were
conditioned/primed to get the beautiful is good stereotype accessible vs. Weak Link).
• IV #2: Photograph (rate Grad student attractive vs. Grad student unattractive)
• DV: Evaluation of applicant (everything was the same except the photograph)
• Results: strong link condition + the grad student was attractive( both needed) ▯ rated the grad stude