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Chapter 12

Human Sexuality Chapter 12

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Western University
Psychology 2075
William Fisher

Chapter 12- Attraction, Love and Communication Attraction We tend to be more attracted to people with whom we have had contact several times then we are to people with whom we have had little contact  Mere-exposure: repeated exposure to any stimulus, including a person, leads to greater liking for that stimulus We tend to like people who are similar to us  Homophily: the tendency to have contact with people whoa are equal in social  Matching phenomenon: the tendency for men and women to choose as partners people who match them, that is, who are similar in attitudes, intelligence and attractiveness Despite the saying that “opposites attract”… dissimilar attitudes tend to cause disliking. We may be attracted to people whose interpersonal styles are dissimilar to our own.  Dominant people paired with submissive people reported greater satisfaction  Similarity in attitudes is important but similarity in personality is not Physical Attractiveness Study: Given the choice everyone prefers the person who is more attractive. Snapshots taken of men and women at uni, also the dating history was taken  Fairly strong relationship between attractiveness and popularity o The women judges attractive had had more dates in the last year then the less attractive  There was some relationship between appearance and popularity for men Physical attractiveness is more important to males evaluating females then females evaluating males On average, Canadians give themselves a 6.7/10 and give their partner 8/10 Twice as many women as men choose their partner to have an extraordinary face and ordinary body then vice versa Females rated most attractive in high school were significantly more likely to have husbands who had high incomes and were highly educated Attraction Online Online web dating is growing  Growing proportion of the population is single  Career and time pressures lead people to seek more efficient ways to look  Single people are highly mobile, increasing the difficulty of meeting people  Work place romance is less acceptable due to concerns about sexual harassment Reinforcement Theory: Byrne’s Law of Attraction We tend to like people who give us reinforcements or rewards and to dislike people who give us punishments. Law of Attraction: Our attraction to another person is proportionate to the number of reinforcements that person gives us relative to the total number of reinforcements plus punishments  We like people who are frequently nice to us and seldom nasty Implicit egotism perspective (Jones et al. 2004): we are attracted to persons who are similar because they activate our positive views of ourselves Sociobiology: Sexual Strategies Theory Sociobiologists view sexual behaviour within an evolutionary perspective and thus focus on heterosexual relationships  Men need to identify reproductively valuable women  Men way to be certain about the paternity of offspring  they want a woman who will be sexually faithful Women must make a much greater personal investment than men to reproduce  They will be pregnant for 9 months and after the birth they have to take care of the baby and child for many years  Look for mates wiling to invest resources in them and their children  Prefer men with higher incomes and status Intimacy Defining features of intimacy: openness, honesty, mutual self disclosure, caring, warmth, protecting, helping, being devoted etc. Intimate experience: the meaning a person gives to their interactions with another person Intimate relationships: result of many intimate experiences with an individual and are typically characterized  Love, affection, trust, sharing and reciprocity Self-Disclosure: telling your partner personal things about yourself  Self disclosure by one member of the couple can essentially get the ball rolling  Can make us like, trust that person more  Simple modeling and imitation may occur  After one partner has self disclosed, the other person may follow suit to maintain a sense of balance or equity in the relationship  Couples that practice this are more satisfied Measuring Intimacy Personal Assessment of Intimacy in Relationships (PAIR)  Schaefer + Olsen  Measures emotional intimacy in relationships 1. My partner listens to me when I need someone to talk to 2. My partner really understands my hurts and joys  Another scale measuring intimacy (Miller + Lefcourt) 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 him/her in your life? Love The Triangle Theory of Love – Robert Sternberg Love has 3 fundamental components:  Intimacy  Passion  Commitment Depicts it graphically in the shape of a triangle, top point is intimacy, left point is passion and right point is commitment Passion: motivational component of love  Physical attraction  Drive for sexual expression  The component that differentiates romantic love from other kids of love  love for friends, family  Aspect that is fast to arouse but in long term relationships can fade quickly Intimacy: Intimacy and Passion are tightly intertwined  In some cases passion comes first when a couple is new, experiencing an intense physical attraction towards each other, emotional intimacy may follow.  In others people may know each other casually but as emotional intimacy develops, passion follows Commitment: has two aspects  Short term  decision: that one loves the other person  Long term  commitment: to maintain that relationship People who have high levels of all three components experience consummate love Each of the components of love must be translated into action  Intimacy  communicating personal feelings  Passion  kissing, touching etc  Commitment  I love you Sternberg Triangle Love Scale (STLS)  Used to measure the three components in his theory  Scale provides good measures of the components, especially of passion and commitment Love as a Story  Love stories shape our beliefs about love and relationships and our beliefs in turn influence our behaviour The Garden Story: love is a garden that needs ongoing cultivation The Business Story: roles of employer and employee (low satisfaction) The Horro
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