Interpersonal Attraction Textbook Notes
Forming Close Relationships
Interpersonal attraction based mostly on first impressions, as long-term
(close) relationships are more difficult to study than first impressions.
Zick Rubin(1970,1973) defined love as feelings of intimacy, attachment,
and passion; argued love is distinct from liking
According to Ellen Berscheid(2010) there are four basic types of love:
o Passionate/romantic love
o Compassionate (friendship-based) love
o Compassionate love
o Attachment Love
Compassionate vs. Passionate Love
Ellen Berscheid and Elaine Walster
o Attempted to capture the difference between the two major
kinds of love: compassionate and passionate.
o Compassionate Love:
The feelings of intimacy and affection toward someone
with whom our lives are deeply intertwined.
Can experience this type of live in non-sexual
o Passionate Love:
The feelings of intense longing, accompanied by
physiological arousal; we feel for another person; when
our love is reciprocated, we feel great fulfillment and
ecstacy; but, when it is not, we feel sadness and despair.
This kind of love is heightened physiological arousal as
well as obsessive thoughts about loved one.
Experiment: Researchers recruited uni students in NY who described
themselves as “intensely in love”
o asked participants to bring 2 photos to the experimental
one of their beloved and one of an acquaintance of the
same age and sex as their beloved
o also asked to fill out questionnaires
o slid into a functional MRI (fMRI) scanner, which records
increases and decreases in blood flow in the brain.
These changes in blood flow show which parts of the
brain have neural activity at any given time. o Researchers found 2 specific areas deep within the brain were
activated when participants looked at photos of their romantic
o NOT activated when they looked at photos of their
o Those participants who reported higher levels of passionate
love showed greater activation in these areas.
o These two brain areas were the ventral tegmental area
(VTA) and the ca