Chapter 11: Attraction and Exclusion
The Need to Belong
Belongingness as a Basic Need
The need to be with others is evolutionarily beneficial.
Warren Jonesd: 1989: no one wants to have no friends.
Need to belong: the desire to form and maintain close, lasting relationships with
some other individuals. This drives people to affiliate, commit and remain together,
and it makes them reluctant to live alone.
o This is also why people are reluctant to end relationships.
Aside: testosterone is better for finding mates than for maintaining stable families.
Once men have families, their testosterone levels drop.
Two ingredients to belongingness
The need to belong has 2 parts:
o People want some sort of regular social contacts. These can be positive or
o People want the stable framework of ongoing relationship in which the
people share a mutual concern for each other.
Having one without the other leads to a partial satisfaction.
Some people want to make new friends constantly, but most think that having 4-6
close relationships is enough.
Not Belonging is Bad for You
Belonging is a need; something that we must have to stay healthy. Otherwise, not
belonging comes with serious health problems, such as higher death rate.
o Death rates from all sorts of diseases are higher among people who do not
have many close relationships.
o People who are alone also have more physical and mental problems.
o Loneliness impedes the immune system and the body’s ability to recover
from sickness or injury.
Best Friends, Lovers, and...
One can also belong to a group or an organization. Some people may find these
connections satisfying even if they do not form close relationships there.
Examples: university, being a fan of a sports team, etc.
o This seems to work better for men than for women.
1. In the reality TV show Average Joe, Melana based her choice of partners on
a. Personality b. Physical attractiveness
d. All of the above
2. What hormone has been linked with masculine traits such as aggressiveness and
3. The need to belong has two parts, ____ and _____.
a. Business contacts, pleasure contacts
b. Female contacts, male contacts
c. Regular social contacts, an ongoing relationship
d. All of the above
4. Most people seem to think that having about ____ close relationships is enough.
a. 1 to 3
b. 4 to 6
c. 7 to 9
d. 10 to 12
Attraction: Who Likes Whom?
Edward E. Jones studied what people do to make others like them (ingratiation). People
seem to have an intuitive knowledge of what fosters attraction, and they use that knowledge
to get other people to like them. People like good looking, friendly people who are similar to
them in important ways, and they like people who are nice to them.
Similarity, Complementarity, Oppositeness
Similarity is a common and significant cause of attraction. Sometimes people utilize
this, and they try to get people to like them by claiming that they are similar to us.
People who are high in self-monitoring seek to maximize each social situation,
whereas those low in that trait pay more attention to permanent connections and
feelings rather than fluctuating ones.
o Eg: high self-monitor would like to play tennis with the best person matched
to their skill, while those with a low self-monitor will want to play with their
Marital partners are often similar in terms of IQ, physical attractiveness, education,
SES, etc. The similarity contributes first to attraction and then to the formation of
Matching Hypothesis: people tend to pair up with others who are equally
attractive. This is true among lovers as well as among friends.
o This can be explained through a tendency to form bonds that promote
culture. There is some evidence that matching occurs more from rejecting dissimilar others
than by liking similar ones.
o Once you start to know more about a person, you start to like them less. This
is because you start to notice the dissimilarities.
The attraction to similar others is probably social rather than cultural. This means
that it is not formed from human beings living in culture, but rather something that
originated among animals that formed into groups to help each other live better.
o If anything, culture benefits more from diversity.
Social Rewards: You Make Me Feel Good
Reinforcement theory: dominated psychological theory for several decades.
People and animals will perform behaviours that have been rewarded more than
Two themes of ingratiation research confirm the importance of interpersonal
o First broad strategy of getting someone to like you is to do favours for the
o The second broad strategy involved praise.
Tit for Tat: Reciprocity and Liking
If someone likes you, it is powerful at a deep level; you cannot help liking them too.
Trustworthiness is the single most important trait for social appeal. This means that
you trust that whatever nice thing you do will be reciprocated.
Another form of reciprocity is mimicking. A study showed that participants who
wanted a confederate to like them engaged in activities that the confederate was
doing (like touching their face, etc). This is often successful as a means to increase
Claiming love for someone also increases their liking.
o However, if you know that someone likes you romantically but you do not
feel the same way, although initially it makes you feel warmly towards them
(you are flattered), eventually you will feel uncomfortable around them.
Culture promotes liking people who like you; this is the best and safest way to live.
You Again: Mere Exposure
Sometimes we grow to like people that we see on a regular basis. This is a
propinquity effect. People tend to make friends (and enemies) among people who
live close to them.
You also tend to like people who have shared experiences (went to the same college,
from the same town, etc). This is true even if the shared experience was bad.
o Eg: military reunions are better attended among groups that were in combat
together. This liking of the familiar promotes social bonds and promotes liking your home.
This also keeps families together.
Also, a partner’s annoying habits seem to grow more annoying on repeated
exposure. This is the social allergy effect.
Basically, all of this involves a shift in the odds rather than an absolute difference.
We are more likely to like people we are exposed to more.
When all else is equal, people generally prefer attractive people. When all else is not
equal, attractiveness counts for more.
Stereotype: what is beautiful is good.
Some people see beauty as body shape, wealth, etc.
o Cultures vary when it comes to ideal body shape. This seems to depend
whether or not food is scarce.
o Another experiment: hungry men preferred plumper women than when
they were full.
1. Based on attraction research, which of these proverbs is most accurate?
a. “The early bird gets the worm”
b. “Birds of a feather flock together”
c. “Opposites attract”
d. “Out of sight, out of mind”
2. If you live next to someone, what outcome is most likely?
a. You will become friends with that person
b. You will become enemies with that person
c. Both a and b
d. Neither a nor b
3. If people are seated according to their last names using a seating chart, those with
last names that start with the same letter often end up becoming good friends. This
finding can be explained by _____.
c. Need for belonging
4. According to the what is beautiful is good effect, attractive people have a number o