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PSYB10H3 Study Guide - Equity Theory, Attachment Theory, Social Exchange Theory


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB10H3
Professor
Ingrid L.Stefanovic

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Chapter 9: Interpersonal Attraction
Major Antecedents of Attraction
A central human motivation is self expansion – the desire to overlap or blend with another person,
so that you have access to that persons knowledge, insights, and experiences
By incorporating the other into yourself, you acquire new resources and deepen you own
experience of life
The absence of meaningful relationships with other people makes people feel lonely, worthless,
hopeless, helpless, powerless, and alienated
The Propinquity Effect
One of the determinants of interpersonal attraction is proximity so the people who we see and
interact with most often are most likely to become our friends and lovers
The thing about proximity and attraction, or propinquity effect as social psychologists call it, is
that it works on a micro level
Propinquity effect: the finding that the more we see and interact with people, the more likely
they are to become our friends
in a study with people in an apartment:
ojust like the propinquity effect predicted, 65% of the residents mentions people who lived
in the same building even though the other building werent far away
oit was found that 41% of the next door neighbours indicated that they were close friends,
22% of those who lived 2 doors apart did so, and only 10% of those who lived on
opposite ends of the hall did so
attraction and propinquity rely not only on actual physical distance but also on the more
psychological, functional distance
ofunctional distance is the certain aspects of architectural design that make it likely that
some people will come into contact with each other more often than with others
othose living at the foot of the stairs saw a lot of upstairs residents
oresidents in apartments 1 and 5 had more friends upstairs than did those just in the first
floor
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the propinquity effect works because of familiarity, or the mere exposure effect
mere exposure effect: the finding that the more exposure we have to a stimulus, the more we like
it
if you feel negatively toward the person then the more exposure you have to him/her, the greater
your dislike
unless our feelings towards someone are negative, familiarity generally breeds attraction and
liking
ex. of propinquity and mere exposure effect in your classroom:
owhen you see the same people throughout the semester does it increase your liking for
them? – yes
othis was tested by putting a female confederate in a classroom
othe girl did not interact with the professor or other students; she just walked in and sat in
the first row where everyone could see her
othe students were shown slides of her at the end of the semester and asked to rate on many
measures of liking and attraction
oeven though they never interacted, the more often the students seen her in class, the more
they liked her
familiarity can occur without physical exposure because of internet where you can get to know a
stranger through chat room on the computer
its been shown that people report being more comfortable revealing their true self to a partner
over the internet compared with face-to-face interaction
people also tended to report more liking for an internet partner than a partner they met in person,
even though without them knowing, they were the same person
research is showing that relationships formed over the internet resemble those developed face-to-
face in terms of quality and depth
Also, the break up rates were similar for relationships formed over the internet and face-to-face
All these research was done on people who interacted were not setting out with the intention of
forming a relationship
Therefore, because of computers, propinquity may soon no longer be a prerequisite for the
formation of relationships
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Similarity
Although propinquity does affect friendship choices, its also the case that we dont become good
friends with everyone who is near us in physical space
The fuel is similarity: attraction to people who are like us
Complementary: attraction to people who are opposite to us
Our common sense might suggest that opposites attract but research evidence shows that
similarity is the things that gets people together and not complementary
Ex. if all you know about a person whom youve never met is their opinions on several issues, the
more similar those opinions are to yours, the more youll like them
In an experiment, male students were randomly assigned to a roommate
oSo would similarity predict friendship? – yes
oThe men become friends with those who were demographically similar (eg. Shared
background) and with those who were similar in attitudes and values
Similarity in terms of attitudes and values is an important predictor of attraction in both
friendships and romantic relationships but similarity in other domains also matter
oFor ex. we are more likely to be attracted to someone who enjoys the same kinds of
leisure activities that we do
oFor some people, similarity in terms of activity preferences is a strong predictor of
attraction than is similarity of attitudes
oWere also attraction to people who are similar to us in terms of interpersonal style and
communications skills
Why is similarity so important?:
oWe tend to think that people who are similar to us will be inclined to like us
So with this assumption, we take the first steps and initiate a relationship
oPeople who are similar provide us with important social validation for our characteristics
and beliefs so they provide us with the feeling that we are right
in contrast, when someone disagrees with us on important issues, we tend not to
like the person
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