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Chapter 10

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PSYC 215
John Lydon

Bona Kim PSYC215 Chapter Summary CHAPTER 10 - Relationships and Attraction (pgs. 355-403) CHARACTERIZING RELATIONSHIPS - investigators use longitudinal methods to examine the dynamics that unfold over time in preexisting relationships - what factors early in a relationship make for happier or more problematic bonds - this kind of research faces the challenging methodological problem of self-selection (occurs whenever investigators cannot assign participants to the conditions that are to be compared) - when participants “select” their own condition, we can’t know whether an observed difference between two conditions is a reflection of the different experiences of the people in those conditions is a reflection of the different experiences of the people in those conditions or is simply a result of different types of people tending to gravitate to each of the two conditions - for example: couples who make special efforts to celebrate their anniversaries may be less likely to get divorced than couples who don’t The Importance of Relationships - relationships come into being when individuals depend on one another for help in meeting life’s demands - there is a biologically based need to belong, evident in the evolutionary benefits and universality of different relationships and in the negative consequences that accompany the absence of relationships Arguments for the Need to Belong - Baumeister & Leary: point out the likely evolutionary basis of our tendency to seek out social relationships - Relationships help individuals and offspring survive, thus contributing to the increased likelihood of the replication of the individual’s genes - Long-term romantic bonds evolved, to facilitate reproduction and to raise human offspring, who are especially vulnerable and dependent for many years - Parent-offspring attachments help ensure that infants and children are protected and will survive until they can function independently - Friendship evolved as a means for non-kin to cooperate and to avoid the costs and perils of competition and aggression - Relationships have universal features (because they have an evolutionary basis) o Similar kinds of dynamics should exist between romantic partners, parents and children, between siblings, and between friends in different cultures around the world - B & L also note that if the need to belong is truly a need, it should be satiable o In western European cultures, college students tend to restrict their meaningful interactions to, on average about 6 friends o We satisfy our need for friendship with a limited number of close friends, and once that need is satisfied, we no longer seek it in others o But if the need to belong is not satisfied in existing relationships, people will seek to satisfy it in other relationships o Observational studies in prisons, find that prisoners suffer great anguish at the loss of contact with their family. They often form substitute families based on kinship-like ties with other prisoners Evidence for the Need to Belong - relationships are vital to our physical and mental well-being; When the need to belong is not met over a long period of time, people tend to suffer profoundly negative consequences - Harry Harlow baby rhesus monkeys o Raised them without contact with other rhesus monkeys but with access to two “mother surrogates” - props vaguely resembling monkeys o The monkeys raised in isolation were not normal when they reached adolescence - they were highly fearful, couldn’t interact with their peers and engaged in inappropriate sexual behaviours - like attacking potential mates or failing to display typical sexual positions during copulation Bona Kim PSYC215 Chapter Summary - Elephant natural experiment (involves an accidentally produced set of conditions, rather than conditions created by an experimenter, that largely avoids self-selection problems o elephants in some areas of Africa have been slaughtered for the ivory in their tusks, leaving young elephants to grow up on their own o these adolescent elephants prove to be quite antisocial and aggressive toward members of their own species as well as others; they kill rhinoceroses for sport o african gamekeepers have solved the problem of the wild elephants by importing adult elephants to show the adolescents how to be elephants - in humans, mortality rates are higher for divorced, unmarried and widowed individuals o admissions to hospitals for psychological problems are 3-23x higher for divorced than for married individuals o suicide rates and crime rates are higher for single and divorced individuals o having support from others also strengthens out cardiovascular, immune and endocrine systems Relationships and the Sense of Self - Susan Andersen, Serena Chen et al. explored one important way that relationships are central to our identities by examining what they call our relational selves - the beliefs, feelings, and expectations about ourselves that derive from our relationships with significant others in our lives o when we encounter someone who reminds us of a significant other, the specific “self” we tend to be when we’re around this significant other is activated, including associated beliefs, feelings and expectations that then shape our interactions with the new individual, often outside of our awareness o for example: your mom criticizing your efforts and accomplishments. Around her, your relational self would be defined by a sense of inadequacy and feelings of shame  when you encounter someone who reminds you of your mother, you’re likely to transfer these beliefs, feelings and interaction patterns to that person, and they will shape the content of the new relationship - Hinkley and Anderson o Had participants write down 14 descriptive sentences about a positive significant other and a negative significant other o Participants then wrote 20 sentences that described what they were like with that person o 2 weeks later, participants were given a description of another person who either resembled the participant’s own positive or negative significant other or, in a control condition, the positive or negative significant other of another participant o they then wrote 14 statements describing themselves at that moment o participants exposed to a new person similar to their significant othe were more likely to describe themselves in terms that resembled what they are like with that significant other than were participants in the control condition  for example, if a participant listed traits like “silly” and “irrelevant” when describing what she was like with her father, these traits were more likely to appear in her self-description 2 weeks later after simply encountering someone who reminded her of her father  encountering people who remind us of significant others changes how we think about ourselves in the current situation, often at an automatic level, and shapes the more immediate, accessible thoughts we have about ourselves - the relational self also shapes out current interactions o in one study, participants interacted with a target person who resembled a positive or negative significant other of that participant o participants liked the target who resembled a positive significant other more than the target who resembled the negative significant other, and the well-liked target was more likely to show positive emotion toward the participant Bona Kim PSYC215 Chapter Summary o the process seems to be that  1. The target reminds me of good old X  2. I therefore like the target  3. So I express positive affect toward the target  4. As a consequence, the target expresses positive affect toward me * relationships shape the sense of self and how social events are remembered and explained. People have certain relational selves, or beliefs, feelings, and expectations that derive from their relationships with particular other people. When one of these is activated by a particular person, that person is seen in light of the relevant relational self Different Ways of Relating to Others Communal and Exchange Relationships - Margaret Clark and Judson Mills: argue that 2 fundamentally different types of relationships - communal relationships and exchange relationships arise in different contexts and are governed by different norms o Communal relationships: those in which the individuals feel a special responsibility for one another and often expect that their relationship will be LONG TERM  based on a sense of “oneness” and family-like sharing of common identity  people in communal relationships come to resemble one another in the timing of their laughter and their specific emotional experiences  individuals five and receive according to the principle of need - that is, according to who had the most pressing need at any given time  prototypical examples of communal relationships are relations between family members and between close friends - the kinds of relationships that are the social fabric of communal life in small villages o exchange relationships: trade-based relationships, often SHORT TERM, in which individuals feel no special responsibility toward one another  giving and receiving are governed by concerns about equity (you get what you put into the relationship) and reciprocity (what you give is returned in kind)  examples of exchange relationships include interactions with salespeople and bureaucrats, or with workers and supervisors in a business organization - The distinction between communal and exchange relationships highlights notable cultural differences in patterns of relationships o first, societies differ widely in which approach they generally prefer o people in East Asian and Latin American societies are inclined to take a communal approach to many situations in which people in European and Commonwealth countries would be inclined to take an exchange approach o consider the question of how businesspeople would treat an employee who had put in 15 yrs of service but over the past year had fallen down on the job and showed little chance of getting back on track  east Asians tended to feel that the company had an obligation to treat the employee as family and keep him on the payroll  western businesspeople were more likely to feel that the relationship was purely contractual, or exchange based, and that the employee should be let go  there are differences among Western nations: people from Catholic countries are more likely to take a communal stance than people from protestant countries  indeed, even within the US, Catholics are more likely than protestants to take a communal stance in relationship matters Bona Kim PSYC215 Chapter Summary Reward and Social Exchange Theories of Interpersonal Relationships - even the most intimate relationships are based to some extent on exchange - people tend to like and gravitate toward those who provide them with rewards (positive exchange) - the rewards don’t have to be tangible or immediate, and they don’t have to come from direct interaction - we tend to like those who provide us with the greatest rewards (those who make us feel good) - what can you do to get others to like you? According to the exchange perspective, reward them - the reward framework is a variant of a broader theory that views much of human interaction as social exchange o social exchange theory: people pursue those interactions that provide the most favourable difference between rewards and costs  starts with the assumption that people are motivated to maximize their own feelings of satisfaction  people seek out rewards in their interactions with others, and they are willing to pay certain costs to obtain them  people desire interactions of relationships in which the rewards exceed the costs. Such interactions yield a net gain  if rewarding interactions are unavailable, an indivdl is likely to seek out those interactions in which the costs exceed the rewards by the smallest amount  cental to the theory is the notion of “shopping around”: social exchange theorists see people as shopping around for the interactions that offer the most favourable trade-offs of costs and benefits  the combination of too many rewards and too few costs is not good either o equity theory: people are also motivated to pursue fairness, or equity, in which individuals have an equal share of rewards and costs Attachment Styles - John Bowlby’s attachment theory: our early attachments with our parents and other caregivers shape our relationships for the rest of our lives o Early in development, children rely on their parents for a sense of security which allows them to explore the environment and to learn  Evolution has given infants a variety of traits that promote parent-offspring attachments and led to a variety of parental love and protective instincts toward their infants o A child’s confidence in the secure base that the parents provide stems in part from the parents’ availability and responsiveness to the child’s ever-shifting emotions o Over time, children develop internal “working models” of themselves and of how relationships function based on their parents’ availability and responsiveness o Internal working models of the self include individuals’ beliefs about their lovability and competence, while internal working models of how relationships work reflect individuals’ beliefs about other people’s availability, warmth and ability to provide security o These working models, Bowlby claimed, originate early in life and shape our relationships , giving rise to distinct styles of attachment - Mary Ainsworth classified the attachment patterns of infants according to how the children responded to reparations and reunions with their caregivers, both in lab and in the home o Using an experimental procedure aka the “strange situation”, Ainsworth had infants and their caregivers enter an unfamiliar room containing many interesting toys o As the infant explored the room and began to play with some of the toys, a stranger walked in and remained in the room and the caregiver quietly left o The caregiver returns after 3 mins and picks up the infant and comforts him if he is upset that she has left the room o The mother puts the infant down and the infant is free to return to playing with the toys or he might react by crying and protesting the separation Bona Kim PSYC215 Chapter Summary o The separation typically caused infants to feel distressed o Infants whose caregivers responded quickly and reliably to their distress cries, as assessed by outside observers, were typically securely attached  Such infants were comfortable in moving away from their caregivers to explore a novel environment - with the occasional glance back at the caregiver to make sure things were okay  These kids feel safe even though they weren’t in contact with the caregiver o Caregivers who were not so reliable in their responses to their infants - sometimes intruding on the child’s activities and sometimes rejecting the child - tended to have infants who showed anxious attachment  Likely to cry or show anger when placed in novel environments and were less comforted by contact with their caregiver when it occurred o Caregivers who rejected their infants frequently tended to produce children with an avoidant attachment style  In a strange situation, the avoidant child might not seek out the caregiver and might even reject attention when it was offered Classifying Attachment Styles - Attachment styles vary along the two dimensions of: o anxiety (amount of anxiety a person feels about rejection and abandonment within close relationships) and o avoidance (refers to whether a person is comfortable with or avoids intimacy in primary adult relationships) - where a person falls on these two dimensions yields four specific attachment styles: o 1. Secure attachment style: individuals who are neither anxious nor avoidant  confident about their relationship, are comfortable with intimacy, and want to be close to others during times of threat and uncertainty  only attachment pattern that does not have any degree of insecurity o 2. Anxious-preoccupied attachment style: those who are anxious but not avoidant  comfortable with and seek out intimacy but do so mainly for a fear of rejection and abandonment  can lead to a type of “clinginess” that is not associated with a great deal of satisfaction for either member of the relationship  several studies have documented especially high rates of depression, eating disorders, maladaptive drinking, and substance abuse in those with an anxious attachment style o 3. Dismissive-avoidant attachment style: those who are avoidant but not anxious  exhibit compulsive self-reliance, prefer distance from others, and react to rejection by being quick to distance themselves even further from the source of the rejection o 4. Fearful-avoidant attachment style: those who are both anxious and avoidant  tend to have mixed feelings about close relationships, wanting very badly to have close connections with others, but feeling uncertain and unworthy of others’ affection and therefore uncomfortable with intimacy Stability of Attachment Styles - attachment styles are established early and are stable throughout a person’s life; the attachments you form as a child shape the way you relate as an adult to your romantic partners, your children and your friends - important early life events are associated with later attachment styles - Brennan and Shaver: found that anxious individuals were more likely to have experienced the death of a parent, abuse during childhood, or the divorce of their parents - Klohen and Bera: found that women who classified themselves as avoidant at age 52 had also reported greater conflict in the home 30 years earlier at age 21 o 40 yr longitudinal study of women who graduated from Mills College in Oakland, Callifornia in 1960 Bona Kim PSYC215 Chapter Summary - individuals who classified as secure, avoidant, or anxious at age 1 tend to be similarly classified in early adulthood o a 4 yr longitudinal study found that 70% of adults reported the same attachment style across all 4 yrs of the study o secure individuals were particularly likely to remain secure - securely attached individuals o report the greatest relationship satisfaction o less likely to have experienced a romantic breakup over the period under study than avoidant or anxious individuals (4 year longitudinal study) o more likely to be married at age 52 than were avoidant individuals and to report fewer marital problems (Mills College study) - although attachment theorists assume that people’s early experiences shape their relationships throughout life, the amount and nature of the stability to be expected is rather complex o first, there is the question of whether people tend to have the same attachment style across all of their relationships - with parents, friends, siblings, and romantic partners o Mark Baldwin et al  Asked undergrads to list 10 important relationships in their lives and then had them indicate the attachment style that best characterized them in each of these relationships  More than 50% of participants characterized themselves as having all three attachment styles across 10 relationships  Consistent with the idea that people have multiple kinds of attachment working models stored in their memories, Baldwin et al found that different attachment styles can be momentarily primed or activated - in effect, leading a person to respond in, say, a securely attached manner even if she is typically avoidant in most of her relationships o second, there is whether a person’s attachment style within a given relationship is stable across time  moderate stability at most  given that most people appear to have different attachment styles with different relationship partners, and given that the stability of attachment style within any particular relationship is a matter of degree, it would be safe to conclude that there is room for change in a person’s attachment style even within a specific relationship - the findings here about attachment apply most readily to modern Western cultures o in cultures that place less value on autonomy, infants who are left in a room without their mothers may be more fearful about exploring the environment, and the reunion with their mother may be much more turbulent o this observation doesn’t imply that such children are insecurely attached - it means they are being socialized to be interdependent with others, especially with family Box 10.1: Focus on Culture - Building an Independent Baby in the Bedroom - the sleeping arrangements predict how independent and individualistic a given culture is - in Japan: most children sleep with their parents until they are adolescents - in the non-Western, nonindustrial world: almost all young children sleep with their parents (if they did not, it was regarded as a form of child abuse) - in the U.S: 55% of African-American children <1yr of age sleep with a parent every night o 25% of African-American children 1-5 yrs old sleeps with a parent - In a white, predominantly blue-collar community in Appalachian Kentucky: o 71% of children between the ages of 2mnths - 2 yrs were found to sleep with their parents as well as 47% of children between 2-4 yrs - in more interdependent cultures, young children are much more likely to sleep beside their parents than independent cultures - expect secure attachments in the independent cultures defined by greater independence and autonomy than secure patterns in interdependent cultures Bona Kim PSYC215 Chapter Summary ATTRACTION - 3 determinants of attraction: o 1. Proximity (propinquity), 2. Similarity, 3. Physical Attractiveness Proximity (propinquity): physical proximity Studies of Proximity and Attraction - study of propinquity conducted at MIT in the 1940s in a married student housing project known as Westgate West (built to house returning American servicemen and their families after WWII) o the housing project consisted of 17 ten-unit apartment buildings that were isolated from other residential areas of the city o the incoming students were randomly assigned to their residences, and few of them knew one another beforehand o investigators conducted a sociometric survey asking each resident to name the three people they saw socially most often in the entire housing project o the effect of proximity is striking: 2/3rds of those listed as friends lived in the same building as the respondent, even though those in the same building represented only 5% of the residents of Westgate West o greater proximity led to more friendships o 41% of those living in adjacent apartments listed one another as friends, compared with only 10% of those living at opposite ends of the hallway - proximity leads to friendships because it facilitates chance encounters o then pure physical distance should matter less than what might be called functional distance, the tendency of an architectural layout to encourage contact between certain people and discourage it between others  MIT study shows how important functional distance is (Figure 10.3)  the stairs are positioned such that upstairs residents will encounter the occupants of apartments 1 and 5 much more often than the occupants of the middle apartments  the residents of apartments 1 and 5 formed twice as many friendships with their upstairs neighbors as did those living in the middle apartments  the residents of apartments 1 and 6 and apartments 2 and 7 are equally distant from one another physically (they reside directly above one another)  but the stairs that pass the door of apartment 1 make it and apartment 6 vastly closer from a functional perspective  the residents of apartment 1 and 6 are more likely to become friends that the residents of apartment 2 and 7. They were 2.5x more likely to become friends than were the residents of apartments 2 and 7  it is functional distance more than physical distance that is decisive  proximity promotes friendship because it literally brings them closer - in studies involving more diverse populations, the largest effects of proximity of friendship formation have been found between people of different races, ages or social classes o one study examined the patterns of friendship in Manhattan housing oroject in which half the residents were black, 1/3 white, and the rest were Puerto rican  each ethnic group contained people of all ages  both proximity and similarity had strong effects on who became friends  88% of those designated as a “best friend” lived in the same building as the respondent and nearly half lived on the same floor  the effect of proximity was especially pronounced in friendships that developed across age and racial groups  70% of the friendships between people of different ages and races involved people who lived on the same floor as each other, compared with only 40% of the same-age and same-sex friendships Bona Kim PSYC215 Chapter Summary  it appears that people are willing to look beyond the immediate environment to find friends of their own age and race  their friendships with people of a different age or race, on the other hand, tended to be those that fell in their laps - proximity, or sheer closeness of contact leads to attraction - three reasons for the power of proximity: o 1. Availability o 2. Anticipation of interaction o 3. Mere exposure effect Proximity, Availability, and Anticipating Interaction - anticipating interaction o simply knowing that we will interact with someone makes us like that person more o study demonstrating this effect at the University of Minnesota  women were given information about the personalities of 2 other students: one who would later join them in a discussion of student dating habits and another with whom they would have no contact  the 2 personality profiles were made equivalent through counterbalancing: half the participants were told they would meet one student, and the other half were told they would meet the other student  the participants liked the person they expected to meet significantly more o the powerful effects of proximity on friendship are one result o because we know we must occasionally interact with those next door, we make an effort to have our initial encounters go well o as a result, more initial interactions are rewarding and help advance friendships The Mere Exposure Effect - Robert Zajonc offered the simplest explanation of why proximity, and the frequent contact that comes with proximity, leads to liking: o The mere exposure effect: The more you are exposed to something, the more you tend to like it - there is a remarkable correlation between how frequently people are exposed to various items (words, fruits, cities, chemical elements) and how much they like those items o for example, there is a strong correlation between people’s preference for various letters in the English alphabet and how often they appear in the language - study by Zajonc o created a stimulus set of Turkish words that were utterly unfamiliar to his participants (for example, kadirga, afworbu, and lokanta) o different words within this set were then shown to his participants 0, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25x o the participants were then asked to indicate the extent to which they thought each word referred to something good or bad o more times they saw a word = the more they assumed it referred to something good o same effect seen with Chinese pictographs and college yearbook photos as stimuli - the image each of us has of our own face is not the same as the image our friends have of us o if simple exposure induces liking, we should prefer out mirror image, and our friends should prefer our true image o this happened when an experiment showing participants’ mirror-image and true- image photographs was conducted - study on Albino rats o G1: rats were raised in an environment where selections of Mozart’s music were played for 12 hrs each day o G2: exposed to an analogous schedule of music by Schoenberg o The rats were then placed individually in a test cage that was rigged so that the rat’s presence on one side of the cage would trip a switch that caused previously unheard selections of Mozart to be played, whereas the rats presence on the other side would generate new selections of Schoenberg Bona Kim PSYC215 Chapter Summary o The rats were able to express a preference for Mozart or Schoenberg o Rats who listened to Mozart moved to the Mozart side of the cage and vice versa - why does mere repeated exposure lead to liking? o 1. People find it easier to perceive and cognitively process familiar stimuli - the processing of familiar stimuli is more “fluent”  because people find the experience of fluency inherently pleasurable, those positive feelings make the stimuli more appealing o 2. (Zajonc) involved with classical conditioning  upon repeated exposure to a thing or a person with no negative consequences, we learn to associate the stimulus with the absence of anything negative and form a comfortable, pleasant attachment to the stimulus  mere repeated exposure thus leads to attraction because it’s reinforcing  this conditioning process helps organisms distinguish stimuli that are “safe” from those that aren’t Box 10.2: Focus on Positive Psychology - The Basis of Beauty - those who have taken the objectivist view (esp the Ancient Greeks), argue that beauty is inherent in the properties of objects that produce pleasant sensations in the perceiver o their goal has been to identify the stimulus features that have such effects - balance, proportion, symmetry, contrast (these = important elements of beauty) o these features tend to increase perceptual fluency - others who have the subjectivist view argue that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and therefore the search for general laws of beauty is futile - psychologist’s view: the Fluency perspective (middle ground) o beauty lies in the processing experience of the beholder - strongly determined by how objective stimulus properties influence perceptual & cognitive fluency o attributes aesthetic pleasure to perceptual and cognitive fluency, or how easily information can be processed o some objects are more easily identified than others (perceptual fluency) and some are more easily interpreted, defined, and integrated into existing semantic knowledge (cognitive fluency) o the more fluently an object is processed, the more positive the aesthetic experience o people experience pleasure when processing fluent stimuli  electromyography (EMG) recordings of people’s faces reveal more activation of the zygomaticus major (the “smiling muscle”) when they’re exposed to fluent stimuli rather than disfluent stimuli - symmetrical patterns are processed efficiently; symmetrical faces and structures are considered particularly good looking - objects characterized by high contrast can be recognized especially quickly, and lab studies have found that such stimuli are judged especially attractive - anything that increases the fluent processing of an object ought to increase its aesthetic appeal o previous exposure to a stimulus makes it easier to process, and mere repeated exposure leads to greater liking - prototypical members of a category are processed fluently, and people find “average” faces attractive (also average cars, birds, and fish) - simple stimuli are processed more fluently than complex stimuli, but the simplest things are not always the most pleasing o people seem to like those things that are processed more easily than one might expect given their overall complexity o processing a simple image fluently is often unsatisfying, but a complex image or sound pattern that is made accessible by some underlying structure often yields the greatest sensation of aesthetic pleasure Bona Kim PSYC215 Chapter Summary Similarity - people tend to like other people who are similar to themselves Studies of Similarity and Attraction - members of 1000 engaged couples - 850 of whom eventually married - were asked to provide information about themselves on 88 characteristics o investigators compared the average similarity of the couples with the similarity of random “couples” created by pairing individual members of one couple with individual members of another couple o this analysis revealed that members of engaged couples were significantly more similar to one another than members of random couples on 66 of the 88 characteristics o for none of the characteristics were the members of engaged couples more dissimilar than the randomly created “coupled” o the similarity of engaged couples was strongest for demographic characteristics (such as social class and religion) and physical characteristics (such as health and physical attractiveness) and was less strong for personality characteristics (such as leadership and sensitivity) - subsequent research has shown that married couples exhibit considerable similarity in the behaviours indicative of such core personality characteristics as extraversion and genuineness - interracial and interethnic couples tend to be more similar to each other in terms of their personality traits than are couples of the same race and ethnicity - people may compensate for dissimilarity on one dimension by seeking out greater similarity on others - Theodore Newcomb study of male students of University of Michigan transfer studnets to live for a year in a large house in exchange for filling out questionnaires a few hours each week o None of the students knew one another beforehand o Among the questionnaires they filled our were several that asked them to indicate how much they liked each of their housemates o To an increasing degree over the course of the 15 week study, as students got to know one another better and better, the students’ liking of one another was predictable from how similar they were - the “bogus stranger” paradigm o participants are given the responses to attitude or personality questionnaires supposedly filled out by someone else (but the experimenter created it to show a level of similarity to the participants’ own responses) o after reading the responses, the participants rate him or her on several dimensions, including their liking of the person o in these studies, the more similar the stranger is to the participant, the more the participant likes him or her But Don’t Opposites Attract? - theory of complementarity: opposites attract o individuals with different characteristics should complement e ach other and get along o unlike similarity, for example, there is no reason to expect that complementarity of attitudes, beliefs, or physical characteristics will lead to attraction o the complementarity hypothesis makes sense only for those traits for which one person’s needs can be met by the other o someone who is dependent can like someone who is nurturing o but someone who is hard working may not like someone who’s lazy o find complementarity in such traits as dependence-nurturance or introversion- extroversion, but not in traits like honesty optimism or conscientiousness o although a few studies have supported the hypothesis, many have been criticized for their methodological problems and many more studies have failed to provide evidence for the hypothesis o similarity appears to be the rule and complementarity the exception Bona Kim PSYC215 Chapter Summary Why Does Similarity Promote Attraction? - interactions with people who share our beliefs, values and personal characteristics tend to be rewarding and thus tend to increase our attraction toward them o interactions with similar others ate often rewarding b/c they tend to go smoothly o i.e. people who share a religious faith often find common ground when they do things - people who share our beliefs and values validate those beliefs and values o we enjoy interacting with similar others b/c they reinforce our beliefs, outlooks, ideologies and goals - they don’t make us question it o if we find someone who’s really different, we tend to associate the person with those unsettling feelings - experiment using a polygraph to monitor people’s physiological reactions o participants were confronted by a confederate who disagreed with them o the amount of arousal the participants experienced while listening to the confederate predicted the strength of their affective reactions o the more aroused they were while hearing the confederate agree with them, the more they liked the confederate o the more aroused they were while hearing the confederate disagree with them, the ore they disliked the confederate - people think that most of their beliefs, values, tastes and habits are the “right” ones to have o we think that people who are similar to us have the right qualities, just like we do o in contrast, someone who disagrees with us will strike us as “unreasonable” Box 10.3: Focus on Daily Life - Do Couples Look More Alike Over Time? - people who live together may adopt similar styles of dress and grooming - they have similar diets, which may make them look more alike over time - couples experience many of the same emotions o the death of a child devastates both parents o winning the lottery brings elation to both o a downbeat house = both members are unhappy (upbeat house = members are happy) o eventually, a lifetime of experiencing the same emotions may have similar effects on the face and physical bearing of each member of the couple o a happy life = crow’s feet around the eyes, unhappy life = creases around mouth  people who live together and expe
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