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PSY220 LEC 6.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Emily Impett

LECTURE 6 October 24, 2013 ATTRACTION & RELATIONSHIPS PLAN FOR TODAY  Attraction: What sparks our initial interest in someone?  Close relationships: Do we need them (yes!) and why?  Romantic relationships: How do we make love last? ATTRACTION FOUR FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE ATTRACTION 1. Proximity 2. Similarity 3. Physical attractiveness 4. Physiological arousal 1. PROXIMITY “Contrary to popular belief, I do not believe that friends are necessarily the people you like best; they are merely the people who got there first.” –Sir Peter Ustinov Westgate Housing Study  Married MIT students randomly assigned to one of 17 buildings in a housing complex isolated from the rest of the city  Virtually no one knows anyone in the complex beforehand  Simple question: Who ends up liking whom?  RESULTS o 65% of the residents had at least one friend who lived in their own building o But those living in the same building represented only 5% of all residents How does it work? 1. We have an increased opportunity to meet people who live close to us 2. We tend to like novel stimuli more after we have been repeatedly exposed to them (mere exposure) Mere Exposure Effect  The tendency for novel (new) stimuli to be liked more after we have been repeatedly exposed to them Correlation Examples  Correlation btw frequency of exposure and how much we like items in a given domain o Apples > grapefruits; Broccoli > leeks o Venezuela > Honduras (among people from US)  Does exposure lead to Liking something?  Does liking lead to greater exposure to something? 1 LECTURE 6 October 24, 2013 Better Correlation Evidence  People prefer letters in the English alphabet that appear more often in words o Hard to imagine that there are so many Es & Rs because people like those letters  We tend to prefer letters in our own names o The name came first (from our parents), then the preference for the letters Experimental Evidence Kadirga Afworbu Dog Study Do we select dogs that look like us?  45 dogs and their owners photographed separately  Judges shown one owner, that owner’s dog, and one other dog  Task for participants: Pick the true match  RESULTS o Observers were better able than chance to match the owner with their dog o Observer correct 64% of the time o Results due to selection, not convergence not due to becoming more similar over time (ability to pair a person with their pet was not associated with length of dog ownership) 2. SIMILARITY Do opposites attract or do birds of a feather flock together? Empirical Evidence  1,000 married couples provided information about themselves on 88 characteristics  Average similarity of couples compared to similarity of random “couples”  Actual couples more similar on 66 out of 88  Most similarity for social class and religion  Interracial & interethnic couples are more similar to each other in personality traits than couples of the same race and ethnicity  Possible compensation for dissimilarity on one dimension by seeking out similarity on others How Does it Work?  Similarity facilitates smooth interaction (similar attitudes, less conflicts of interest)  We expect similar others to like us  Similar others have qualities we like; dissimilar others are “unreasonable” 3. PHYSICAL ATTRACTIVENESS  What is beautiful? Facial symmetry: preference for symmetrical faces (seen across cultures Women: Large eyes, small nose, small chin, prominent cheekbones, high eyebrows Men: Large eyes, small nose, large chin 2 LECTURE 6 October 24, 2013 Halo Effect  Halo effect = The common belief (accurate or not) that attractive people possess a host of positive qualities beyond their physical appearance We think attractive people…  Are happier  Are more extraverted and sociable  Are more popular  Are more intelligent  Make more money Kernel of Truth  Highly attractive people do develop good social interaction skills and report more satisfying interactions with others  They are treated differently (due to the beauty is good stereotype)  This creates a self-fulfilling prophecy Benefits of Attractiveness  School work evaluated more favorably  Earn more money (especially men)  Receive more help from others (especially women)  Receive lighter prison sentences Starts Early in Life  Nurses are more responsive to “cuter” babies  Attractive infants receive more playful attention from their mothers  Attractive children are more popular in nursery school Lady in Red: Power of the Situation Bar Study: The Beer Goggle Effect  103 women & men recruited from local bars near a university in the southern US  Asked to rate other people’s attractiveness at three time points o 9PM 10:30 PM Midnight  “Closing Time” Effect o It’s not actually about beer goggles (but I liked the picture) o It occurs even if people haven’t been drinking o Shows power of the situation influences our perceptions of other people’s attractiveness 3 LECTURE 6 October 24, 2013 4. PHYSIOLOGICAL AROUSAL Capilano Bridge Study  85 men visited 1 of 2 bridges over the Capilano River in Vancouver: 1. Scary bridge or 2. Safe bridge  Female experimenter asks him to fill out a survey  She gives him her phone number at the end and asks him to call her at home for a full debriefing  RESULTS  RECAP: How to Meet Your Next Partner 1. Proximity: You can’t meet someone if you stay at home 2. Similarity: Talk to like-minded people 3. Physical Attractivness: Go to bars late at night? Wear red? 4. Physiological Arousal: Go on a first date that gets your heart racing (not a boring restaurant) CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS Attachment bonds among family, friends, or romantic partners that tie together two or more people over an extended period of time Why Should You Care?  Relationships  Physical Health o Less likely to get sick and live longer o As important as smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, and low physical activity  Relationships  Psychological well-being (Happiness) Compared to unhappy people, the happiest people were highly social and had stronger romantic and other social relationships [Research Report: “Very Happy People”; Ed Diener & Martin Seligman] Close relationships are as important as the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe HARLOW (1959)  Baby rhesus monkeys were raised without contact with other rhesus monkeys  In their cage, they could choose from 2 different types of “mothers” o A cloth monkey o A wire contraption that could give milk Need to Belong  There is an evolutionary basis for relationships  Need to belong is universal  Our desire for belonging should be satiable  If unmet, we will suffer profound negative consequences 4 LECTURE 6 October 24, 2013 ATTACHMENT THEORY (John Bowlby)  Babies are vulnerable, and they survive by developing attachment to caregivers  Children rely on parents for sense of security which allows them to explore  But not all parents are available and responsive to their children’s needs ATTACHMENT STYLES  Secure: I can rely on my caregiver in times of need  Anxious: I can sometimes rely on my caregiver, but its kind of unpredictable  Avoi
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