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Chapter 14

PSYC 2310 Chapter 14 Notes.docx

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2310
Jeffrey Yen

Chapter 14: Interpersonal Attraction and Close Relationships  People in close relationships are happier and live longer  Wegner: special allure of “secret relationships”; increase relationship excitement because people have to exert time and energy suppressing their desire to talk about the relationship to others; secrets with one’s partner leads to increased attraction  General preference for objects that they find attractive  People from diverse backgrounds and cultures generally agree on what is physically attractive which is associated with many benefits The benefits of physical attractiveness  Greater likelihood of being hired for a job, higher starting salaries, and bigger raises, better job security Why does physical attractiveness lead to attraction? Biological explanations  Preference for physical features that indicate health or reproductive body; symmetrical face and well-proportioned body; likely to be more healthy; genetic superiority in terms of vulnerability to disease and reproductively fit  Area of the brain that is activated in the same area that is associated with other types of rewards  What people find beautiful is quite consistent  People prefer faces that are average as opposed to distinct; find composite photos more attractive than the individual faces that make up the composite  Preference for average faces is not unique; people even find average dogs and birds more attractive than unique ones  Average is more familiar and resemble internal face prototypes that we form from experience and are more familiar to us than faces that are more distinct and unique  Tend to like what is familiar to us  More symmetrical more attractive because they average the slight differences between people  Women’s ability to detect facial symmetry increases when they’re menstruating, suggesting that they may be more susceptible to attractive (symmetrical men at this time) Socio-psychological explanations  Lead to social profit  Standing with others who are attractive you do seem more attractive than those who are standing with unattractive people; attractive people get more dates and sexual experiences  Sigall and Landy: both male and female participants rated a man who was with an attractive girlfriend more favourably then when he was with an unattractive woman  Sigall and Landy: others had an enhanced impression of them in terms of confidence, talent, and sociability then when they were associated with an unattractive women  “What is beautiful is good” stereotype: attractive is associate with a variety of other positive traits; attractive people = higher in intelligence and social competence and seen as better adjusted and more extroverted/dominant, have better lives and is more persuasive  Attractive people possess greater social skills, more fun; consistently treated better; more positive interactions; get more help, attention, rewards  When interacting with an attractive person, people elicit nurturing and sociable behaviour; leads to behaviour by the target individual confirming the stereotypes  Frequent and positive interactions=attractive individuals develop greater social skills, more self-disclosure  Attractive people have more desirable characteristics: less lonely, less anxious, more popular, more sexually experienced, even smarter, and feel better about themselves  Men and women have evolved different mate preferences to maximize their reproductive success  Women need to have men with resources and this likelihood of preference may vary depending on their likelihood of getting pregnant  Men’s short-term goals is to have many mates and looks for women displaying sexual cues Critiques of evolutionary perspective  Gender differences are much more pronounced when you ask people for their preferences in short-term and casual dating situations  No real gender difference in long-term and more committed ones and no difference in the desirability of a potential mating partner based on sexual experience  Women valued men more highly who had moderate sexual experience  Men placed the highest value on women with high sexual experience  Both men and women prefer physical attractiveness in a short-term mate and are more selective when selecting a long-term partner than a short-term one  actual interest in real-life partners shows no gender differences on the importance of attractiveness and earning potential How different are men and women in sex-related behaviours?  Differ in the extent to which they prefer attractive partners that are younger than them  Men = more importance on attractiveness  Women = give more weight than men to traits that signify resources, more education, and older; attracted to confident men  Men and women for their desired number of lifetime sexual partners: men more interested in having multiple partners  Women do not generally prefer men with stereotypically masculine traits and high levels of resources; androgynous dating partners as more desirable; feminine characteristics as better than masculine ones  Barclay: desirability of altruism for both genders; does not address the relative importance of altruism vs other traits like attractiveness, dominance, or status  Women don’t just want men with resources, they want men with particular character traits which may in turn lead to the acquisition of resources  Eagly and Wood: preferences reflect long-standing gender differences in societal roles; men have more opportunity than women  As women gain power and resources, they’re less focused on choosing mates who also have power and resources Contrast Effect  Attractiveness depends on the attractiveness of those whom we compare them to  A particular dating partner might look very attractive when comparing to others but seem unattractive compared to others  Consequences for relationship longevity: the commitment of men who are in dating relationships decreases when they see a group of attractive women  Women’s commitment to their current relationship decreases once they see a group of dominant men (who might have resources)  How attractive based not only of the target’s desirability but also the desirability of other people in the environment during comparison Similarity  We like people who are similar to ourselves, share attitudes, values, interests, share demographic characteristics  Matching hypothesis: tend to seek and find partners who are at roughly our own level of physical attractiveness  Believe that similar others will like us, greater in satisfaction  Reduces potential for conflict Complementarity  Little research that shows that people are attracted to those who are fundamentally different from themselves  Qualities in a partner that are different from one’s own are initially arousing but later causes irritation  Our self-concept can be threatened if our friends or partner out performs us if we make comparisons in domains that are important to us  Similarity in attitudes and complimentarity in performance domains increases liking and attraction Reciprocity  Reciprocity: in-kind response to the behaviour of others  People are attracted to people who they think like them  Having someone grow to like you more over time can lead to especially strong feelings of attraction  Believing that people likes you can also lead to greater self-disclosure over time  We disclose more to people who disclose to us  More interested in dating people who are choosy and selective but still obtainable Proximity  More likely to meet and get to know people that you are in close proximity to and interact with a lot  More proximity, less effort to maintain relationship Predictors of attraction in friendship  Similarity is a strong predictor of attraction and satisfaction in friendships  Proximity What is love?  More people in the “love” category than the “in love” catergory  Both men and women reported being “in love” with the same number of people, women reported “loving” more people than men  Fehr and Russell: rate different types of love in terms of how prototypical of the concept of love each type was  maternal love, parental love, friendship, sisterly love, romantic love Triangular Theory  Sternberg: passion, intimacy, commitment  Passion: deep physical attraction and consistent thoughts about it, sexual desire,  Intimacy: great liking and emotional closeness  Commitment: your degree of connection and responsibility to the other person  Romantic love: passion and intimacy  Companionate love: intimacy and commitment  Consummate (complete) love: all three components are the happiest and most long- lasting Changes in love across relationship stages  Intimacy and passion scores were lowest for those who are casually dating  Intimacy and passion are highest for people who are engaged  Intimacy and passion are low again in marriage  Commitment increased at each of these 3 levels of relationship seriousness Love styles theory  Eros (passionate love), ludus (uncommitted love), storge (friendship love), mania (obsessive love), pragma (practical love), agape (selfless love) Impact on relationships  Associated with interaction, satisfaction, longevity  People tend to prefer dating partners who have similar love styles to their own  Influences interaction within ongoing dating relationships  Men: high eros, low ludus = high satisfaction  Women: high eros, low mania = high satisfaction  Longevity found for couples with high eros and low ludus; both passionate and committed love Arousal Attribution Theory  Misattribution of arousal caused by grief or sadness, which then gets misinterpreted as a deep romantic love  Attraction is a physiological arousal, which can lead to excitation transfer  Excitation transfer: the arousal caused by one stimulus is added to the arousal from a second stimulus and the combined arousal is attributed to the second stimulus based on Schachter’s 2-factor theory of emotion  Passionate love: an intense, exciting and all-consuming type of love which includes constant thoughts about the person, powerful physical attraction, and intense communication; an emotional state in which arousal is interpreted as attraction to a romantic stimulus  Passionate feeling should increase when we’re aroused  Dutton and Aron: gender effect as participants would help female because of possibility of further interaction with her  Misattribution of the physiological arousal caused by the situation can make someone look more attractive  White, Fishbein, Rutstein: attraction as a function of arousal and physical attractiveness  theory of aversion: arousal makes attractive people seem more attractive and makes us more aversive toward people we find unattractive Reward Theory  We like people who are present when we experience reward  Classical conditioning  If you consistently feel good when you’re around a person, you will end up liking them  If you are in a normal environment you will like someone more than if you met them in an undesirable environment Why does love matter?  Very important for our physiological and physical health  Higher levels of self-esteem and self-efficacy, better health  Neurologically has the same effect as a drug The brain in love  Fisher: think of loved one, activity in caudate nucleus  reward system; high level of activity in ventral tegmental area that produces dopamine  Romantic love is produces by specific chemicals in the body: high dopamine and norepinephrine. Low serotonin What predicts a happy and healthy relationship?  Amount of time and energy we have put into the relationship  Attachment styles: the expectations that a person has about a relationship partner, based largely on the person’s early experiences with his or her caregivers  Positive illusions: the notion that people tend to see their romantic partners as well as their relationships in highly idealized ways Attachment styles  Secure attachment bonds: parents how are available and responsive, children feel comfortable depending on them and comfortable exploring new situations  Insecure attachment bonds: anxious/ambivalent attachment or avoidant attachment, disorganized ins
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