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PSY321H1 (29)
Nick Rule (10)
Chapter 11

Textbook Ch. 11: Interpersonal Attraction, Close Relationships, and Groups

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Nick Rule

CHAPTER 11 INTERPERSONAL ATTRACTION, CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS, AND GROUPS Interpersonal Attraction - bodily decoration strategies around the world reveals cultural variation in what is viewed as attractive (e.g. neck elongation in Thailand, stretching of lower lips in Ethiopia) - some characteristics that appear to be universally attractive - complexion: skin free of blemishes, blotches, sores, and rashes - could be a useful heuristic for judging the health of a potential mate; preference for blemish-free skin would lead to healthier mates and more surviving offspring - bilateral symmetry - indicator of developmental stability; the more asymmetrical, the less likely the person is in prime health - average: facial features are close to the average size and configuration - average-size features reflect genetic health and we can quickly process (associated with good feelings and attraction) something that resembles a prototype - some characteristics that vary in perceived attractiveness across cultures - body weight - US in 1951, heavier women were viewed as the most attractive; in many cultures in Africa, the ideal body weight is much heavier as well as for African-Americans Other Bases of Interpersonal Attraction - propinquity effect, people are more likely to become friends with people with whom they frequently interact - (Segal, 1974) at the Maryland Police Academy, last name of recruits influenced where they sat in class and dorm room locations - 45% of all friendships were among those whose last names were adjacent to each other, the majority of the others were within a few letters of each other - mere exposure effect, the more we are exposed to a stimuli, the more we are attracted to it Similarity-Attraction Effect - people tend to be attracted to those who are most like themselves - (Heine, Foster, 7 Spina, 2007) Canadians liked a highly similar stranger more, the Japanese liking of a stranger was unaffected by apparent similarity - however, in some studies, Japanese show a clear similarity-attraction effect - found it was highly related to self-esteem - when cultural differences in self-esteem were control, the cultural difference in similarity- attraction effect became significantly smaller; suggests universality Close Relationships Friends and Enemies - (Adams, 2005) 26% Americans reported that they had any enemies, 71% Ghanaians - Americans were more likely to view those enemies as coming from the out-group - Adams proposes that people who are independent and interdependent perceive relationships in different ways - independent, they are fundamentally disconnected from others and the only reasons to form connections is because they choose to do so - they are entered into and maintained on a mutually voluntary basis and will return to their null state if people decide they are unproductive - interdependent, relationships are perceived to exist by default, whether one likes them or not (e.g. family, neighbours, colleagues) - these relationships come with a set of obligations - (Adams & Plaut, 2003) contrasted Ghanaian and American feelings about friendship - Americans reporting having a larger number of friends - many Ghanaians viewed someone with a large number of friends as foolish; friends are people who provide support (financially, socially) thus involve more obligations Love - parental love causes people to commit sizable amounts of time and resources needed to take care of their children, who have a long period of dependency - romantic love keeps parents together so that they can support their children - a human universal; (Jankowiak & Fischer, 1992) 89% of 166 cultures had clear evidence of romantic love, 11% due to ethnographic oversight - arranged versus love marriage - different types (parents choose, individual can’t object...individual selects, others’ approval unnecessary) - “If a man (woman) had all the other qualities you desired, would you marry this person if you weren’t in love with him (her)” - approx ½ of Indian and Pakistan students said yes (1/4 undecided); the vast majority (over 80%) of Americans, Britons, Australians, and Latin Americans said no - when proposed in American in 1967, 65% men and 24% women said no - whether a culture favours arranged over love marriages appears to be related to the dominant kind of family structure - (Goode, 1959) romantic love would become more important in cultures as the strength of extended family ties became weaker - romantic love can interfere with people’s abilities to respect wishes of family members and keeps couples together in the absence of social pressure from kin - (Lee & Stone, 1980) analysis of data from 117 non-industrialized societies found clear support for Goode’s thesis; love marriages more likely in cultures with nuclear families - individualism appears to be related to the likelihood that one emphasizes romantic love in marriages - one study found that people who idealized their partner the most also loved their partners the most and were more likely still to be together several months later - positively distorted views of one’s partner protects against thoughts of their unloveable characteristics - (Endo et al., 2000) European-Canadians and Japanese showed evidence of idealization but the magnitude was significantly greater among EC, Asian-C fell in between - assumptions Westerners have about love - you will only love someone you have chosen for yourself - love is ultimately an individualistic choice; being a unique person, I can only love someone that I can connect with in a unique and special way - arranged marriages are viewed more as the intersection of two families; they are trusted as the ones who will make the best decision - a marriage without love is bound to be miserable - (Kishwar, 1994) 74% of adults living in various urban centres in India believed that arranged marriages were more likely to succeed - those in arranged marriages are at least as satisfied with their marriages - (Gupta & Singh, 1982) in initial years of marriage, love marriages professed more love but over time, arranged marriages reported having more love - decline of love in love marriages could be due to standards of comparison; “some love” versus “lot of love” Groups Relations with In-g
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