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Chapter 10

Chapter 10-Interpersonal attraction.docx

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Queen's University
PSYC 241
Tara Mac Donald

CH 10: INTERPERSONAL ATTRACTION Nov 16/11 1. Factors influencing initial attraction Proximity/Propinquity effect - Propinquity effect: the more we see and interact with people, the more likely Festinger they are to become our friends - Housing complex for married students - Tracked friendship formation among the couples in the various apartment buildings - Residents had been assigned to their apartments at random - When residents were asked to name their 3 closest friends in the entire housing project, 65% of the friends mentioned lived in the same building, even though the other buildings weren’t far away - 41% of next-door neighbors indicated they were close friends, 22% of those who lived 2 doors apart said so and only 10% of those who lived on opposite ends of the hall indicated they were close friends - Found that attraction and proximity rely actual physical distance but also on functional distance (certain aspects of architectural design that make it more likely that some people will come into contact with each other more than others. Classroom visits - Mere exposure effect: the more exposure we have to a stimulus, the more apt Moreland & Beach we are to like it. - Confederates attended class 0, 5, 10, 15 times and they sat in the first row where everyone could see them but they didn’t interact with anybody - Found that attractiveness of visitor’s personality increased with the number of times they saw the confeds - Long distance propinquity - Ps randomly assigned to meet another research Ps either face to face or on the internet - Strangers who met on the internet were more attracted to each other than those who met face to face - Internet meters is determined by level and quality of their conversation while face to face meetings depended on other variables (i.e. physical attractiveness) - In another study, internet users rated 2 of their friendships – one is an online friend and the other is an offline friend - Quality of offline friendships were higher than online but when relationships existed longer than a year, online and offline relationships were very similar - Thus, it takes more time to develop an online friendship Similarity - Closed-field situations: people are forced to interact with each other - Open- field situations: people are free to interact or not as they choose - These situations allow for relationships to begin but we also need similarity - People are more attracted to others who are similar to them in physical attractiveness. - Similarity is so important in attraction because: 1. We think people who are similar to us will also like us 2. People who validate our own characteristics and beliefs provide us with the feeling that we are right 3. We make negative inferences about someone who disagrees with us on important issues so we suspect that the individual’s opinion is indicative of the kind of person whom we have found to be unpleasant. (disagreement = repulsion) Roommate study Newcomb - Similarity predicted friendship formation - Men became friends with those who are demographically similar and similar in attitudes/ values (engineering majors or liberal political views) Gay men study - Those who scored high on stereotypical male traits desired a partner who was most of all logical – a stereotypical male trait. - Gay men who scored high on a test of stereotypical female traits desired a partner who was most of all expressive – stereotypical female trait. Impersonal style – - High skill people saw social interactions as complicated and complex, focusing communication skills on the psychological aspects of the interaction and valued communication with others that included the psychological component - Low communication skill people saw social interactions in a more straightforward way, focusing on the instrumental aspects of the interaction and were less interested in the personalities or motivation of the Ps. - Pairs of friends were similar in communication skill level - The level of commitment that research participants felt toward their romantic partner, if committed = similar partner, if low commitment = different (like an experiment) Reciprocal Liking - The extent to which we like a person depends on whether the person likes us. - This can happen because of a self-fulfilling prophecy - When college students were paired up and one member was randomly given special information to make them like or dislike the other student - These previously unknown students met and were allowed to meet and talk again and it was found that those who thought they were liked behaved in more likable ways with their partner and disclosed more about themselves, disagreed Q: Why do people with low self- less and behaved in a warmer manner. esteem prefer to be with those who - Self esteem is also important – these people prefer to meet with someone who criticised them earlier? has criticised them earlier and friendly behaviour to them seems unwarranted. Physical Attractiveness & Liking Hatfield - Randomly matched 752 incoming students for a blind date during a dance at freshman orientation - Evaluated the date and indicated strength of their desire to date that person again, overriding determinant was physical attractiveness - Men value attractiveness somewhat more - This gender difference was greater when men’s and women’s attitudes were being measured than when their actual behaviour was being measured - However, more recent research found men and women rank physical attractiveness as equally important - We are bombarded with media depictions of attractiveness, thus we end up sharing a set of criteria for defining beauty Cultural standards of beauty - Humans have found certain dimensions of faces attractive during the course of our evolution, several infants prefer attractive face photographs to unattractive ones - Langlois took photographs of many college students and merged 2 photographs into one - Added new photographs until a single photo composite based on 16 different faces and another based on 32 faces. - Ps rated the physical attractiveness of the composite and the individual photos - The composite was preferred because the individual variation in facial features melted away and left a good-looking human being whose face had a familiar aspect. - Also found similar perceptions of facial attractiveness exist cross-culturally - We also preferred faces that most resembled our own What is beautiful is good stereotype - College men were given a packet of info about another research participant including her photo - The photo was rigged, it was either of an attractive or unattractive woman - The men had a telephone conversation with this woman - The men responded to the woman in a warmer manner if they thought she was attractive - Women also looked at a attractive/unattractive man’s photo and spoke with him on the phone and the men were unaware of the women’s belief about him - Women acted on their prophecy and the unknowing men responded accordingly 2. Social Exchange Theory Thibaut & Kelley - People’s feelings about a relationship depends on their perception of the rewards and costs of the relationship and the kind of relationship they deserve and their chances of having a better relationship with someone else. - You want to maximize benefits and minimize costs (compromise, conflict, sacrifice) - How satisfied they are with their relationship depends on: 1. Comparison level - People’s expectations about the level of rewards and punishments they are likely to receive in a particular relationship - Over time, you amassed a long history of relationships with others and this led you to have certain expectations as to what your current and future relationships should be like - Standards we use to measure our relationships 2. Comparison level for alternatives - People’s expectations about the level of rewards and punishments they would receive from current alternatives to the relationship - Could a relationship with a different person give you a better outcome? - People with low comparison levels stay in a costly relationship because it is better than their expectation of what they could find elsewhere. 3. Investment/Equity - Resources put into a relationship that can’t be retrieved if that relationship ends o Ex. Finances, emotional welfare of children, - Equitable relationships result in both partners’ investments being equal - The more you invest, the higher you commit. 3. Relationship types Exchange relationships - People keep track of who is contributing what and feel taken advantage of when they are putting more into the relationship than they are getting out of it. Communal Relationships - People give in response to the others’ needs regardless of whether they are paid back - Found in interactions between close friends, family members and romantic partners - Clark allowed Ps to interact with an interesting person and was told the person was new to the area and wanted to make new friends – thereby making it a communal relationship - Or said the other person was married and visiting the area for a brief time, making them more inclined to favour an exchange relationship. - Found that people in the communal condition thinking there was a chance for a long-term relationship were relatively unconcerned with a tit-for-tat accounting of who was contributing what. - The higher the communal strength, the more satisfied spouses are with their
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