PSY BEH 173S Lecture 5: Week 3

9 Pages

Psychology and Social Behavior
Course Code
Christina Pedram

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Lecture 5 Chapter 3: Attraction The Fundamental Basis of Attraction ● We are attracted to those who are rewarding ○ Especially if their presence makes us feel good! ● 2 types of rewards ○ Direct rewards: Interest, approval ■ Ex: shower us with attention, makes us feel good, says nice things to us ○ Indirect rewards: subtle, not consciously aware of them ■ Likely to fall in love that has a name that resemble their own ■ First initial/last initial as us, but if there is something about them that’s similar to us, we like them even more! ■ If our partner is similar to us = gives us indirect reward Proximity: Liking Those Near Us ● Our relationship often grow out of interactions with those who are nearby ● Topics to be covered ○ Convenience ○ LDR ○ Familiarity ○ The Power of Proximity Convenience - why proximity leads to attraction ● Proximity is rewarding, distance is costly ● Those nearby have a big advantage over those far away; expense, effort ○ Gas prices, hours spent on the road = more costly of a relationship Long Distance Dating & Mating ● Dating websites: Your “best self” is not really your “real self” ● Idealized images of each other in LDR ○ In LDR, bc you’re not interacting w your partner if you were in person, partners tend to communicate more carefully - focusing on only the GOOD things ○ As a result, bc they are not regularly assertive & seeing the bad part/bad moods, they tend to create an idealized image of each other - which is great when apart, when they are reunited, they sometime do not live up to those expectations ● ⅓ of reunited LDRs break up within 3 months of reuniting ● Cameron & Ross (2007) article - posted on website ○ 91 couples (some long distance, some same-city) ○ Preidctors of who would break up and who would stay together ○ Examined gender as a moderator ○ Results: security (men & women), negative affectivity (men) ■ 1. Dispositional pessimism towards the future ■ 2. Low self-esteem ■ 3. Tendency to experience negative emotions (anxiety, depression) ■ All 3 that contribute to negative affectivity ○ Bottom line: best w/ high security and when man is low in NA Familiarity: Repeated Contact ● Proximity increases likelihood of repeated contact ● Familiarity and frequency of contact increase likability ● Mere Exposure Effect! The Power of Proximity ● Of course, the power of proximity to increase attraction has its limits ● Constant exposure to anything can be boring ● Obnoxious people actually get more obnoxious Who’s Attractive ● People tend to agree on who is attractive & who is not ● What kind of faces are attractive? ○ Women: baby face + signs of maturity ○ Men: strong & dominant vs. warm & friendly ○ Composite (average) face ■ We don’t like features that are too prominent, we like that average size ○ Symmetrical faces are attractive ● When women are ovulating, they are attracted to masculine feature & when they are not ovulating, they are attracted to baby faces ● Some bodies are more attractive than others ○ Women: 0.7 WHR (waist-to-hip), 0.75 Waist- to-bust ratio ○ Men: 0.9 WHR, broad shoulders, big muscles ○ Men taller than women ● Longer hair on women, less chest hair on men ● The color red: More attractive when wearing red Our Bias for Beauty: What is Beautiful is Good ● Desirable traits w/ desirable appearance ● We confuse beauty for talent ○ Attractive employees, earn on average, 5% more money than unattractive employees ○ The unattractive folks earn 9% less ○ Attractive professors get better teaching evaluations than unattractive professors ● Downside to beauty: perceived as promiscuous ○ More likely to sleep around than people who are less attractive ● What about us? ○ Do we agree on who is attractive? ○ Do we fall for the “what is beautiful is good” stereotype? ○ Do we judge attractive people are more promiscuous? ○ Analyze data! An Evolutionary Perspective on Physical Attractiveness ● People’s preferences for prettiness generally fit the assumptions of evolutionary psychology Lecture 6 Chapter 3: Attraction continued Culture Counts, Too ● When food is unreliable, being thin is less attractive ○ Slender women are actually judged as less desirable than heavy women ● However, since the US is not going through lack of food, ○ Slender women are more attractive ● Slender women are seen as healthy and can reproduce ● We’re going to be attractive to the person who is most likely to reproduce & care for our offspring ● Physical fitness is important! The Interactive Costs & Benefits of Beauty ● Attractive people tend to be less lonely, have better social skills bc they have more practice interacting with them and people like to talk to attractive people, and are happier ○ Although attractive are happier, we tend to overestimate the difference, which is where the bias part comes in ○ Of course, in general, there is a small difference between attractive vs. less attractive ● Downside of attractiveness: People lie to you ○ People are more likely to misrepresent themselves to attractive people than unattractive people ○ Super attractive people realize this and become mistrusting towards others ■ They’re used to hearing “oh you’re so smart, fun to hang out with,” people say these things to get a date or what not Matching in Physical Attractiveness ● Partners tend to have similar levels of attractiveness ● Unlikely to be serious w/ someone “out of your league” ○ May feel uncomfortable and not secure in the relationship; self-conscious ○ We get serious with people who are close to our own level of attraction Reciprocity: Liking Those Who Like Us ● Topics to be covered: ○ The Desirability Formula
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