Interpersonal Attraction and Love
October 15, 2012
-1960‟s Dean of school spent 51 days on a boat across Atlantic Ocean alone.
Found that life without people had no meaning.
-8 days max in a study of how long one can stay in a room alone with no contact
to the outside world.
Part One: Specific Factors (pg. 247-280)
a. In initial encounters: proximity, familiarity, and physical attractiveness
b. When getting acquainted: reciprocal liking, similarity
Part Two: General Theories of Attraction
1) The Reinforcement-Affect Model
a. Rewards leave to positive affect (feelings) and punishment leads to negative
b. We will like people who reward us and dislike people who punish us
c. We‟ll like/dislike people even when they don‟t cause our positive/negative
feelings. They simply have to be present when we experience positive or
negative affect. (hot rooms, bad news, unpleasant music)
2) Social Exchange Theories (relationships)
-Relationship: whenever people interact on a regular basis.
a. Satisfaction with a relationship depends on
>Rewards (what person “receives”) affection, respect, approval
>Costs (what person “contributes”) time, effort, compromise
b. Rewards and Costs can be expressed in a ratio: R/C & R-C
c. When rewards equal or exceed costs, we will be satisfied with the relationship
d. When costs exceed rewards, we will be dissatisfied
1. Equity Theory
a. Considers rewards and costs of both people in the relationship
b. “Equity” exists when one person‟s ratio of rewards to costs EQUALS the other
person‟s ratio of rewards to costs therefore satisfying. Does not mean equality,
not the same rewards and costs just the ratio. 10/10 DOES EQUAL 1/1.
c. “Inequity” exists when one person‟s ratio (of rewards to costs) does not equal
the other person‟s ratio. You are under-benefitted and partner over-benefitted.
d. Inequity makes the relationship unpleasant
>under-benefitted person feels angry and over-benefitted person feels guilty
e. So, people will attempt to restore equity. How?
>attempt to alter the actual rewards/costs (under ben person likely to suggest)
>psychologically alter the perceived rewards/costs (over ben likely to suggest)
f. What if equity cannot be restored?
>leave the relationship
2. Interdependence Theory
a. Satisfaction also depends on the ratio of rewards/costs that we expect to
b. Expectations can be based on: >our own past experiences in prior relationships
>what we know about others‟ relationships
“The Comparison Level” (CL)