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Chapter 10

Chapter 10 Notes

Course Code
Jason Plaks

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Chapter 10
Humans have a need to belong
Being ostracized – excluded or ignored – activates physical pain areas in the
brain, i.e. “ostracism is a real pain”
4 Factors that Lead to Friendship and Attraction
1. Proximity
It is not geographical distance that matters, but “functional distance” - how often
people's paths cross.
Proximity explains why identical twins very rarely fall for each other's partners
(b/c they simply don't interact with them often enough).
Anticipation of Interaction
Also boosts liking
Study: When women were given ambiguous info about two other women, one of
whom they expected to talk with intimately, the women preferred her.
Anticipatory liking – increases the chance of a rewarding relationship
Mere Exposure
The tendency for novel stimuli to be liked more or rated more positively after the
rater has been repeatedly exposed to them
E.g. Liking the letters appearing in your name, the Eiffel tower which was
considered grotesque when it was first built (but then people got used to it and
started liking it), the Mona Lisa (Is it really so special, or do we like it simply
because it is so familiar?)
Mere exposure has an even stronger effect when people perceive it without
awareness (as when listening to a music tune while reading)
Read “Focus On” on page 378 - it's short and fascinating!

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The mere exposure effect has an enormous adaptive significance – helps
categorize things and people into familiar and safe, or unfamiliar and possibly
Negative of mere exposure- unconscious, automatic prejudice against those who
are different
2.Physical Attractiveness
Attractiveness and dating
Men report that they are more interested in the attractiveness of their partner than
However in an actual speed dating experiment both women and men were equally
influenced by their partner's attractiveness. i.e. Attractiveness was the only factor
that predicted whether they would like to see their speed dating partner again and
it was equally powerful for both sexes.
The Matching phenomenon
The tendency for men and women to choose as partners those who are a “good
match” in attractiveness and other traits
Good match = equal to them
However, it doesn't have to be an exact match, and sometimes people can
compensate for a lack of a certain quality (e.g. beauty can be substituted with
income). This is called the
Asset-matching process – e.g. when an attractive young woman marries an older
man of higher status
The physical-attractiveness stereotype
Attractiveness does not spring entirely from sexual attractiveness – even infants
prefer to look at attractive faces
Physical attractiveness stereotype: what is beautiful is good.
First impressions

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Interviewers are affected by candidate's attractiveness
First impressions exert a strong influence and this helps explain why
attractive people earn more than unattractive people
Is the “beautiful is good” stereotype accurate?
Attractive people tend to be more socially polished, outgoing, relaxed, popular
and gender-typed i.e. more traditionally masculine if male and more trad feminine
if female.
This is prob due to self-fulfilling prophecy which makes attractive people feel
valued and favoured and thus confident
Who is attractive?
For cultures with limited resources plumpness seems attractive; for cultures with
abundant resources – slimness.
Nevertheless, there is a strong agreement among cultures about who is attractive
To be really attractive is to be perfectly average – computer averaged faces are
seen as the most attractive
Evolution and attraction
Evolutionary psychs assume that beauty signals important reproductive info:
health, youth, fertility
Men like women whose waists are 30% narrower than their hips
Evolutionary theory explains why women like high status men and men like
attractive young females and marry accordingly
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