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PSYC 2310 Lecture Notes - Sukha, Physical Attractiveness, Classical Conditioning

Course Code
PSYC 2310
Anneke Olthof

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Attraction & Intimacy
Nov. 22nd, 2012
Facts about Attraction!
- Basic facts about attraction:
o Physical proximity plays a large role in attraction and relationship formation
o We like those who are physically attractive
o We like other who are similar to us
Physical characteristics, psychological characteristics (attitudes, education, age, cultural
(1) Classical Conditioning
o No conditioning involved; this happens automatically. (Food and salivating)
- CS nothing (ringing bell.. nothing happens)
o Dog starts salivating for food when ringing the bell AND showing food.
o This continues to happen.
- CS CR (conditioned stimulus to conditioned response)
- Nice meal Pleasant feeling
- Ronaldo nothing (Ronaldo not associated with anything; but every time you have food and Ronaldo is
present you will associate it with the pleasant feeling)
- Ronaldo + Nice meal Pleasant feeling
- Ronaldo Pleasant feeling
Empirical Evidence
- Study by Griffit: attraction to strangers and difference of room temperature. Had participants sit in lab,
two conditions: one condition is room temperature; other condition the room is hot and humid (makes you
uncomfortable). Participants given two types of questions; one group received a questionnaire that was
similar to them on 25% of the attitudes. Other group more similar. Asked who do you like more? Liked the
group who was MORE than 25% similar.
- Found participants who were sitting in room temperature liked both groups more than the other. They
associated positive feeling with the person that they were reading about. They’re more forgiving when
they’re reading about someone who is dissimilar to them. They still like someone who is more similar to
them MORE than they like someone who isn’t.
Conditioning & Attraction
- Reinforcement theorists and the three facts regarding attraction:
o Proximity increases the chances of classical conditioning
People you go to university with/are in closer to you are more likely to be compared to
other experiences (conditioned)
o It is pleasant to look at attractive people. We associate the pleasant feeling with the attractive
o Similar people confirm our views. That makes us feel good and those feelings become associated
with the person.
Someone who has the same attitude, we are less likely to have conflict with that person
because we like them.
(2) Social Norms
- There are two different sets of rules that govern giving and receiving benefits in relationships (Clark &
Mills, 1993):
o Exchange relationships
Benefits are given with expectation of receiving comparable benefits in return
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