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Chapter 11

PSYC14 - Chapter 11 Notes

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC14H3
Professor
Sisi Tran

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lbalaquiao
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PSYC14
CHAPTER 11
INTERPERSONAL ATTRACTION,
CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS AND GROUPS
- Do people share the same standards of physical attractiveness around the world?
- How universal are our standards of interpersonal attraction?
- Does the nature of friendships and romantic relationships vary across cultures?
- Do people perform better when they’re evaluated as individuals or as members of groups?
INTERPERSONAL ATTRACTION
Focal Question: are there universal standards of attractiveness around the world?
- Looking at the way people from different cultures decorate themselves or adorn their bodies
gives us a window into what they find attractive
- Support for Darwin’s friend’s observation:
o Despite the various different ways that humans from different cultures use to make
their bodies more physically appealing, there are certain universals in what humans
perceive as attractive.
- Universal characteristics of attractive faces:
o Clean complexion
Clearer skin seen as more attractive than skin that is not clear
Evolutionary reasoning: healthier individuals have clearer skin. Blotches, rashes
and sores could be useful indicators about the presence of health issues,
parasites and disease --> this indicator was probably useful to our ancestors in
the ancestral environment
Preference for clear skin became common in our gene pool
OUTLINE
Interpersonal Attraction
- Other Bases of Interpersonal Attraction
- Similarity-Attraction Effect
Close Relationships
- Friends and Enemies
- Love
Groups
- Relations With Ingroups and outgroups
- Bases of Group Identification
- The Four Elementary Forms of Relationships
- Working With Others
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o Bilateral symmetry
we are most attracted to people who have a symmetrical body --> left sides of
their faces and bodies look identical to their right sides
bilateral symmetry an indicator of developmental stability
o Average
Facial features that are close to the average in size and in configuration are
perceived as most attractive
Average-size features = indicator for genetic health; less likely to have genetic
abnormalities than people with deviant features
Average features = quick procession (resembles a prototype) --> quick
processing associated with good feelings
NOTE: the attractiveness of average features cannot be generalized to
attractiveness of bodies
Body features that deviate from average tend to seem as most
attractive
- Characteristics that vary across cultures:
o Weight
Western cultures --> thin female bodies = attractive
According to Ford and Beach (Patterns of Sexual Behavior) --> heavier women
are universally viewed as the most attractive (1951)
The norms for attractive body weights have changed significantly over time
There is now A LOT of variation in the kind of bodies that are viewed as most
attractive
Other Bases of Interpersonal Attraction
o PROPINQUITY EFFECT --> people are more likely to become friends with people with
whom they frequently interact
Surprisingly powerful effect
Friendships are usually chosen by the situation forces that bring us together, not
so much by us
Mere Exposure Effect --> the more we are expose to a stimulus the more we are
attracted to it
Due to the pleasant associations that we develop through classical
conditioning when we learn that a stimulus is not threatening to us
CULTURAL UNIVERSAL
Similarity-Attraction Effect
o SIMILARITY-ATTRACTION EFFECT --> the tendency for people to be attracted to those
who are most like themselves
o Research has shown: people are more likely to view someone as attractive if both are
similar in their attitudes, economic background, personality, religion, social background,
and activities
o Is this effect a universal across cultures?
Seems to be a stronger effect in Western cultures than other cultures
o HIGHLY related to self-esteem
When the cultural difference in self-esteem is controlled for, the similarity-
attraction effect seems to become more of a universal
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Similarity-attraction effect may be a functional universal (the relation between
self-esteem and liking similar partners is the same across cultures); BUT the
cultural variation in the magnitude of the effect demonstrates that it is not an
accessible universal
CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS
- Humans are by nature social beings --> forming close relationships is natural
- Our relationships with others are concerns that dominate our lives --> many of our intense
emotions are directly related to others
- Social foundation of humans = UNIVERSAL --> there is no culture in which people live on their
own, individually from others
- HOWEVER, there is variation in the way that people go about relating to others*
Friends and Enemies
o Research findings: friendships are the key to success (Carnegie, 1936); the quality of
one’s friendships is one of the best predictors of happiness (e.g., Csikszentmihalyi &
Hunter, 2003); having close friends increases the length of one’s life (House, Landis, &
Umberson, 1988)
o Adams et al., 2004:
People who are independent and interdependent perceive relationships in
different ways
Independent view of self--> fundamentally disconnected from others
Individuals form relationships because they choose to do so
Relationships formed if they are to the advantage of the ones involved
Enemies are not so much a problem because those kinds of
relationships are avoided
Interdependent view of self --> relationships are not so much chosen among
individuals as they are perceived to exist by default
Family and network of relatives are what they are born into and those
relationships are non-negotiable
These enduring relationships come with a set of obligations
Relationships are by default --> it is not their choice, relationships are
naturally there
Relationships are not always positive; negative relationships can’t be
avoided --> you might not like your in-laws, but you still have to
maintain relationships with them
Unavoidable negative relationships = enemyships
o Friendships:
Friendships = UNIVERSAL RELATIONSHIPS--> BUT, the nature of these
relationships vary across cultures
Some cultures view friendships as relationships filled with sharing good times or
ones that are more concerned with meeting obligations of being a friend (E.g.,
Ghanians vs American’s view of Friendships)
Love
o What is the function of love?
Evolutionary benefits --> feeling love towards a child proves beneficial for the
survival and development of the child

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lbalaquiao PSYC14 CHAPTER 11 INTERPERSONAL ATTRACTIONCLOSE RELATIONSHIPS AND GROUPS OUTLINEInterpersonal Attraction Other Bases of Interpersonal AttractionSimilarityAttraction Effect Close RelationshipsFriends and EnemiesLove Groups Relations With Ingroups and outgroupsBases of Group IdentificationThe Four Elementary Forms of RelationshipsWorking With OthersDo people share the same standards of physical attractiveness around the worldHow universal are our standards of interpersonal attraction Does the nature of friendships and romantic relationships vary across culturesDo people perform better when theyre evaluated as individuals or as members of groups INTERPERSONAL ATTRACTION Focal Question are there universal standards of attractiveness around the worldLooking at the way people from different cultures decorate themselves or adorn their bodies gives us a window into what they find attractiveSupport for Darwins friends observation o Despite the various different ways that humans from different cultures use to make their bodies more physically appealing there are certain universals in what humans perceive as attractive Universal characteristics of attractive faces o Clean complexionClearer skin seen as more attractive than skin that is not clear Evolutionary reasoning healthier individuals have clearer skin Blotches rashes and sores could be useful indicators about the presence of health issues parasites and disease this indicator was probably useful to our ancestors in the ancestral environment Preference for clear skin became common in our gene pool 1
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