ProfessorGeoffrey Mac Donald
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Lecture 2: Passion and Attraction
•Increased energy and focused attention on a preferred mating partner; feelings of exhilaration,
intrusive thought about the love object, and a craving for emotional union with this partner
•High levels of arousal, a physical and sexual rush, idealization of the partner
oIn early stage of love, people could still list negative traits of their partners, but they just
uncorrelated with information processing
•Cultural meanings of passion
oNorth America: highly positive
oAsia: ambivalent (family influences over marriage could be sad as well if the family is
oAncient Greece: madness
•Positive assessment of the physical relationship
•Interpersonal process: unique dynamics emerge from the combination of two personalities
•Feeling out of control: very unpredictable; hard to control falling in love, but could control
falling OUT of love
What leads to attraction?
•Situational factors: STRONGEST PREDICTOR of who falls in love with whom!
B)Familiarity : even just a mere exposure works!
A)Similarity: SES, religion etc.
oObjective vs. subjective similarities: perceived similarity more important than actual
similarity for long-term relationships
B)Humor and complimentarity
oNo gender difference in value placed on sense of humor, but what it means to be
humorous is different
oGood sense of humor
Men: producing jokes (only men were rated more attractive when using humor
Women: appreciating jokes (degree of women’s laughter predicts interest in
C)Universal personality features
oKind, understanding, intelligent, dependable, emotionally stable, mutual attraction
D)Universal facial features
oSymmetry (evolutionary perspective), averageness (more representative of broader
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