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Lecture 3

PSYCH 354 - Lecture 3.doc

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University of Waterloo
Denise Marigold

LECTURE 3: FILTER MODELS White’s Experiment: How partner felt when they felt they were the more attractive one in the relationship 1. men  stronger desire for alternative relationships. This was less true for woman 2. how available woman felt they were in starting alternative relationships. Attractive man felt they were more in demand. Woman felt MUCH more demand. 3. how people actually felt in their anxiety: people who were less attractive worried if the relationships will endure over time - filter models continue to have impact on relationships, even after dating after a long time Possible explanations for the findings from White's study #1 - In our society, people really do value superficial social commodities and continue to judge their partners on these assets even when relationships have reached a serious stage - One can't easily just assume that appearances are used as a cognitive shortcut to estimate other qualities (What-is-beautiful-is-good-stereotype), because over time, individuals should be able to directly learn about these qualities. #2 - Perhaps attractive individuals are more often the targets of others' interest in a competitive marketplace - If you have an attractive partner, he or she is a target of other people and he or she has more choice in prospective partners - You have to compete more to retain person’s affections - Physical attractiveness is very important for first impressions, because they leads other people to approach, does not assume attractiveness is something you continuously judge about you partner later on - Thus their relationships would break up more often because they have more opportunities and alternatives - This explanation would not require an assumption that commodities affect people's choices much beyond first impressions. GENDER AND SOCIAL COMMODITIES 1. In our culture, women's social commodities tend to peak in their twenties and then decline over time. Social skills might increase to compensate. Social status remains over time. Men's commodities tend to rise until they reach their mid-late forties. Thus large discrepancies in husbands' and wives' commodities often exist during the period when men supposedly experience their "mid-life crisis." Also, the decline in women's commodities tends to reduce their alternatives, their access to other relationships, leaving them more dependent on their current relationships. - during people’s exp in their 20s, women probably have more social commodities to social assets than men of similar age, esp if they are attractive - as time passes, the largest gap between men and women should occur when they’re in their 40s - divorce rate rises during this period - our culture is very kind to man - Social commodities are important because they give u access to alternative relationships. If you are in a relationship that is not satisfactory, you will depend more on this relationship if your social commodity is low because they will not provide you chance to start new relationships - quality of relationships have available to them: comparison level for alternatives (CLalt) - dependency of relationship is defined technically by outcome you receive in present relationship compared to outcome you may receive in other relationships - CLalt is low  dependent on relationship - CLalt is high + many options  independent of relationship, even if you’re satisfied with it - This tends to predict divorce rates much better than satisfaction - The greater the economics status of men, the more satisfied they were and less likely to divorce. Opposite for woman, working women tended to divorce more often o What does this mean? Women adapt new set of values where divorce is not negative and they’re breaking down traditional values of society. They are simply more demanding and more critical of man and less satisfying in relationship o Working woman tend to be more satisfied. Then why do they experience divorce more often? When working woman are less satisfied with relationship, they have higher CLalt, they have alternative to leave relationship and support themselves o Thus CLalt is important to determine whether the relationship will endure or not ** Physical attractiveness has no obvious impact on people’s life satisfaction or satisfaction that they feel over time in their relationships - High self monitors are more prone to pay attention to people’s social commodities and more narcissistic, tend to choose more attractive partners and ignore their values and personality - Results in negative consequences  less committed, break up more often, less satisfied with relationship. 2. Are women more "mercenary" than men in selecting partners? - Women are indeed more cautious and slower to fall in love, and they do tend to have more stringent requirements. - They have longer “shopping list” of qualities that they demand in partne
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