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Lecture 7

PSYB10H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Facial Symmetry, Mydriasis, Reciprocal Liking

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June 23, 2012
Lecture 7 Initial Attraction and Close Relationships
- Propinquity effect (Proximity) the more we see and interact with other people, the more likely
we are to become our friends
- Occurs through the process of familiarity
- Mere exposure the more exposure you get to a neutral object, the more you will like it, does
not apply if the object has negative qualities - more GENERAL than proximity
- If your exposed to something you don’t like, you dislike it more as your exposed to it
- MIT Dorm Study (1950) married graduate student dorms - the location of your apartment
predicted who you became friends with
- You were much likely to be friends with your next door neighbor 41%, 2 doors apart 22%,
opposite hallways 10% and apartments 1 and 5 had more friends from 2nd floor
- We like things that are familiar to us things/people we see often
- Moreland and Beach (1992) method confederate sits in front row of class for 0-15 classes, at
the end of the semester, students rate liking of confederate
- Results the more that they see him, the more directed they were to say they liked him
- Mere exposure of your own faces we tend to prefer our mirror image way more than a
photograph image whereas friends prefer photography image
- This is because we are used to seeing ourselves in the mirror where as when friends see us they
see us like photographs
- Why does proximity promote attraction?
1. Availability/accessibility the number times you see someone and think of
2. Because it suggests similarity we like people who are like us (similar to us)
3. Mere exposure
- Complementarity (opposites attract)
- Similarity (birds of a feather flock together)
- Research supports the idea that similarity promotes liking
- Study (Newcob, 1961) method randomly assigned 1st year college roommates, measured all
sorts of personality traits, attitudes, etc and then looked at friendship formation after first year
- Traits of dominance and submissiveness tend to be better in relationships than both partners
being dominate or submissive thus in this cases opposite attract
- The study however showed that similarity wins, and was a better predictor of friendship
Reciprocal liking
- We don’t like to admit we like someone because we want to make sure the opposite person
feels the same before admitting it
- We like people better if they like us
- Basic cues of liking in a social interaction if people are making a lot of eye contact (is a
individual difference, some people are nervous thus they constantly look away), leaning in
(behavioral cue) and attentive listening (social capital)
- If people begin to mimic others, that means you may like them
- Less true for people with low esteem/negative self concept
- Reciprocity we like who like us
- Study (Curtis and Miller, 1986) method randomly pair participants, tell one participant that
their partner either does or does not like them, partner and participant interact and post
interaction liking is measured

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- People who were told that their partners did like them (before the interaction) they liked them
too after the interaction vise versa
- “Playing hard to get” – doesn’t actually work, it may work initially but not in the long run
- Study Physical attractiveness’ and liking (Walter, 1996) – method 752 freshmen met up at a
blind date dance, assigned to random rate, who wanted to go on a date again?
- Results desire for second dare driven mainly by partners attractiveness, independent of raters
attractiveness and no personality affects
- What makes people attractive features of the face that systemically get rated as attractive
- Men large eyes, strong cheekbones, large chin (dominance) and a big smile
- Women large eyes, small nose, prominent cheekbones and narrow cheeks, high eyebrows,
large pupils and a big smile
- Baby faced-ness features large eyes, rounder face and nose
- Outcomes more persuasive (sweet and innocent) , more trustworthy, evoke liking and care
giving behaviours
- Good health facial symmetry
- Sexual maturity cheekbones
- Dominance square jaw
- Submission and getting nurturing baby-faced
- Symmetry matters ( study Longlois and Roggman) shown 2 faces, and one merged pic
(composite pic) of the two faces
- Strangely, composite (merged picture of two faces) is rated more attractive than individual
- Composite faces will be more familiar and more prototypical
- Composite faces are also more symmetrical
- Composites of people are rated highly attractive are more attractive than composites of all
attractiveness levels
- Attractiveness and liking babies stare at attractive faces longer
- Cultures value and define attractiveness differently (e.g. Korean cultures Rounder faces)
Why does Beauty promote Attraction?
- Beautiful is good schema (Karen Dion) argues the reason we like people that are beautiful
because we have a bias in which we believe that beautiful people are actually good/better
- Tendency to associate attractiveness with goodness(related to what my culture thinks)
- Attractive people are rated as more social, extraverted, popular, happy and friendly
- Stereotypes across cultures :
Traits in US, Canada, and Korea
Trails only in US and Canada
Traits only in Korea
Well adjusted
- Defining Beautiful or attractive traits differs culturally
- Canada and US more independent while in Korea, people are more collective, thinking of the
group a whole
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