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Chapter 12

CHAPTER 12- Attraction, Love, and Communication

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Psychology 2075
Kelly Olson

CHAPTER 12- Attraction, Love, and Communication ATTRACTION THE GIRL NEXT DOOR - More likely to meet and be attracted to the boy/girl next door than the one who lives across town Mere-exposure effect- the tendency to like a person more if we have been exposed to him/her repeatedly BIRDS OF A FEATHER Homophily- the tendency to have contact with people who are equal in status - A reason for homophily by ethnicity is that persons from ethnocultural minorities tend to live in socially and economically separate communities Matching phenomenon- the tendency for men and women to choose as partners people who match them, who are similar in attitudes, intelligence, and attractiveness - Research shows that similarity in attitudes is important, but personality similarities is not PHYSICAL ATTRACTIVENESS - Physical attractiveness is more important to males evaluating females than it is to females evaluating males - Our perception of attractiveness is influenced by our evaluation of their intelligence, liking, and respect - Twice as many women as men choose an extraordinary face and ordinary body THE INTERPERSONAL MARKETPLACE - Who we are attracted to depends on how much we think we have to offer and how much we think we can “buy” with it (beautiful women with wealthy men) - Men with more status are more desirable, however how desirable a man is judge depends on the woman’s sense of her own worth (how attractive she is) FROM THE LABORATORY TO REAL LIFE Donn Byrne- did a study to find out whether above results would be obtained in real life… experiment demonstrated the importance of similarity and physical appearance ATTRACTION ONLINE 4 social forces at work that account for the growth of online dating: 1. Growing proportion of the population is single, so more people are looking 2. Career and time pressures lead people to seek more efficient ways to look 3. Single people are highly mobile, increasing the difficulty of meeting people 4. Workplace romance is less acceptable due to concerns about sexual harassment - Older people more likely to use than younger - GLBs are more likely than heterosexuals to meet and form an off-line relationship with someone they met online - People seeking partners online are educated, affluent, 20-40 year-olds who don’t have the time or the taste for “singles bars” - Relationships started online have lower relational intimacy than those formed face-to-face - Risk of people misrepresenting themselves - E-Harmony: Neil Clark Warren- 436 question survey to asses person and couples are matched based on that - Chemistry.com: Helen Fisher- pairing adults who experience a “spark” when they meet (146 item survey to assess) she says that testosterone, dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin are the basis of romance - PerfectMatch.com: “Dr.Pepper” Schwartz- 48 questions assessing 8 domains. Should be the same on romantic impulsivity, personal energy, outlook and predictability and different on flexibility, decision making style, emotionality, and self nurturing style EXPLAINING OUR PREFERENCES Reinforcement Theory: Byrne’s Law of Attraction - We tend to like people who give us reinforcements or rewards and dislike people who give us punishments (duh…) - Most people prefer to interact with people who are similar to them because interaction with them is rewarding - We believe others will have a higher opinion of us if we have a good-looking partner - Prefer someone with high social status or earning potential because all the material things that people find rewarding cost money - Implicit egotism perspective: we are attracted to persons who are similar because they activate our positive views on ourselves Sociobiology: Sexual Strategies Theory - Men want to choose fertile women (young men with young women) - Men want to be certain about the paternity of offspring (choose faithful women) - A physically attractive person is more likely to be healthy and fertile than someone who is not (preference for good-looking partner) - Women want mates who are able and willing to invest resources in them and their children (higher income and status) - Women rate income and earning potential as more important than good looks INTIMACY DEFINING INTIMACY Prager- Intimate interactions include both intimate experiences and intimate behaviours Intimate experiences- the meaning a person gives to their interactions with another person (ie. Meeting your partners family, sharing secrets…) Intimate relationship- a relationship in which intimate interactions occur on a regular predictable basis. A relationship characterized by affection between partners, mutual trust, and partner cohesiveness INTIMACY AND SELF-DISCLOSURE - Self-disclosure is one of the key characteristics of intimacy - It is important to censor some (not all) thoughts and feelings that would be deliberately hurtful to their partner - Self-disclosure leads to reciprocity Why? 1. Disclosure by our partner may make us like and trust that person more 2. As social learning theorists would argue, simple modeling and imitation may occur - Relates closely to satisfaction with the relationship - Greater self-disclosure= longer relationship - Self-disclosure and intimacy mutually build on each other MEASURING INTIMACY The Personal Assessment of Intimacy in Relationships (PAIR) Inventory: 1. My partner listens to me when I need someone to talk to 2. My partner really understands my hurts and joys Another scale of measuring intimacy includes items such as: 1. How often do you confide very personal information to him/her? 2. How often are you able to understand his/her feelings? 3. How often do you feel close to him/her? 4. How important is your relationship with him/her in your life? In Summary Intimate relationships are characterized by: - Commitment - Feelings of closeness - Understanding - Self-disclosure LOVE THEORIES OF LOVE The Triangular Theory of Love Robert Sternberg Love has 3 fundamental components: 1. Intimacy 2. Passion 3. Commitment Intimacy: - Feelings of closeness - Sense of mutual understanding, of sharing oneself - Intimate communication - Giving and receiving emotional support - Not defined as a euphemism for sex Passion: - Physical attraction and the drive for sexual expression - Physiological arousal - Differentiates romantic love from other kinds of love - Component of love that is quick to come, but fades most quickly Commitment: - Cognitive component - Short term aspect is the decision that one loves the other person - Long term aspect is the commitment to remain in the relationship - Commitment is what makes the relationship last Love in Action - Intimacy in action is expressed through communication - Passion through sexual activities - Commitment through saying “I love you” and such Evidence for Sternberg’s Triangle - Questionnaire, the Sternberg Triangle Love Scale (STLS) to measure the 3 components The Attachment Theory of Love Kim Bartholomew Adults are characterized by 1 of 4 attachment styles in rom
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