PSYC14H3 Chapter Notes -Interpersonal Attraction, Symmetry In Biology, Collectivism

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15 Nov 2013
ch 9: interpersonal attraction, close relationships and groups
interpersonal attraction
- presence of culture variations in what is viewed as attractive
- what kind of faces are attractive?
o Complexion: preferences for healthy looking ppl (free of pimples and blemishes) bc according to
evolutionary reasoning, ppl want healthy mates to produce offspring that would survive
o Bilateral symmetry: left sides of the face being identical to the right side; indicator of
development stability && it all relates back to whether the person is healthy or not (ppl with
asymmetrical faces are considered to have encountered genetic mutations, pathogens and
o Faces are attractive when they tend to be avg: we perceive attractive faces as those that are close
to the avg in size and in configuration
- But there is much variation in the kinds of bodies that are viewed as most attractive. Eg: African-
americans have heavier ideal body weights and European-americans prefer thinness
Other bases of interpersonal attraction
- propinquity effect: ppl becoming best friends with each other bc of frequent interaction
o our friendships are chosen by the situational factors that bring us tgt
o mere exposure effect: the more we are exposed to a stimulus, the more we are attracted to it
Similarity-attraction effect
- ppl tend to be attracted to those who are most like themselves
- similarity in terms of attitudes, economic bg, personality, religion, social bg, activities
- similarity-attraction effect is not as fundamental as mere exposure effect
- Canadians liked a stranger they considered very similar to themselves, Japanese attitudes toward
strangers were unaffected by perceived similarity
close relationships
Friends and enemies
- quality of one’s friendships is one of the best predictors of happiness
- 71% of Ghanaians claimed that they were targets of enemies coming from members in their ingroup
(such as neighbors, friends or relatives) whereas americans who feel that they have enemies were more
likely to view those enemies as coming from outside their grp such as those who help ethnic prejudices
against their group
- high relational mobility (common among independent selves): if ppl find one relationship not
rewarding enough, the move on to form new relationships with others that prove to be more rewarding
their relational ties are flexible and opportunities for new relationships are available enough, that the
can find new relationships and not feel overly bound by their old relationships. Eg: a college student
moving away from home, and to live among many others & forming new relations with other groups
through shared classes, dorms, student clubs
- low relational mobility (common among interdependent self-concepts): few opportunities to form new
relationships bc they are born into an already existing network of relatives and family members; their
commitments and obligations to them continue to guide them; ppl can sometimes not get along with
each other hence developing ve attitudes (eg: you may not like your in-laws but you continue to
maintain relations with them)
- ppl form relations for diff reasons
- “halo effect”: attractive ppl are assumed to possess other positive features that is beneficial to them
- ppl also have diverse consequences depending on whether their lifestyle is considered as stable (grew
up in one place) or have moved multiple times in their lives (p. 357-358)
- cultural differences in friendships can be understood in terms of ways that ppl present themselves to
others being friendly, hospitable, etc (simpatico in latin-america)
- from an evolutionary perspective, parents must have enough love for their infants to take care of them
otherwise it will be difficult for the infants to rcv enormous amts of care they need to survive
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