Psychology 2035A/B Chapter Notes -Social Exchange Theory, Physical Attractiveness, Sexual Orientation

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Published on 12 Apr 2013
Department
Chapter 9 - Friendship and Love
The Ingredients of Close Relationships
Close relationships are those that are important, interdependent, and long lasting
Paradox of close relationships- close relationships are related to some of the best
aspects of life (well-being, happiness, health), but they do have a dark side (abuse,
deception, break-ups)
Initial Attraction and Relationship Development
Attraction is the initial desire to form a relationship
Homosexuals face unique dating challenges:
o They have a smaller pool of potential partners
o They are often under pressure to conceal their sexual orientation
o They have limited ways to meet prospective partners
o Fear of hostility may cause them to guard their self-disclosures to acquaintances
and friends
INITIAL ENCOUNTERS
Proximity refers to geographic, residential, and other forms of special closeness
People who are near each other are more likely to get acquainted and find out their
similarities
Individuals who live or work close by may be seen as more convenient and less costly (in
terms of time and energy) than those farther away
People might develop attraction just because someone in close proximity becomes
familiar to them
Mere exposure effect- an increase in positive feelings toward a novel stimulus (person)
based on frequent exposure to it
Positive feelings arise just on the basis of seeing someone frequently- not because of
social interaction
If your initial reaction to someone is negative, increased exposure will only intensify
your dislike
For a marriage partner, both male and female college students ranked the traits of
honesty and trustworthiness most highly
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For a sexual partner, both men and women ranked “attractive appearance” as the
highest
Especially males prefer attractiveness in their same- and other-gender friends
Gender rather than sexual orientation to be the more important factor in partner
preferences (men request physically attractive partners more than women)
Heterosexuals value religion, fondness for children, and parenting abilities more than
homosexuals do
Personal qualities, such as kindness and intelligence, were ranked higher by both
genders than physical attractiveness was (cross-cultural study)
An unattractive body is seen as a greater liability than an unattractive face
Males, whether gay or straight, place more emphasis on body build and physical
attractiveness than females do
Women who have neonate qualities such as large eyes, small nose, and full lips get high
attractiveness ratings
o Combined with mature features such as prominent cheekbones, wide smile
Men who have mature features such as a strong jaw and a broad forehead get high
ratings on attractiveness
Males who are tall and have broad shoulders, slim waists and legs, and small buttocks
receive high attractiveness ratings as well
Women of average weight with an “hourglass” figure and medium-sized breasts are
rated high in attractiveness
African American men and women prefer a larger body type
Expressive traits, such as a large smile and a high set of eyebrows are also related to
perceptions of attractiveness
Grooming qualities are characteristics people use to enhance their other physical
qualities, such as cosmetics, hairstyle, clothing, and accessories
Currently in the US, thinness receives heightened emphasis, especially for girls and
women
o Women who associate positive attributes with being underweight have a higher
incidence of eating disorders
o Eating disorders are less common among African American females
Gay males feel more body shame, more body dissatisfaction, and eat less when given
the opportunity than straight males do
Gay men show greater dissatisfaction with their overall body, studies indicate that they
are most dissatisfied with their body hair or muscularity
Both gay and heterosexual men desire to be thinner and more muscular, and this
dissatisfaction increases with age
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Appearance may become more central to men’s self-concept, leading to greater body
dissatisfaction and more eating disorders in this group
The matching hypothesis proposes that people of similar levels of physically
attractiveness gravitate toward each other
Theorists believe that individuals mostly pursue highly attractive partners and that their
matching is the result of social forces beyond their control
Another theory maintains that physical attractiveness is a resource that partners bring
to the relationship and, in general, partners want to maintain equitable balance
In heterosexual dating, males “trade” occupational status for youth and physical
attractiveness in females, and vice versa
Women rate “good financial support” and “ambitious and industrious” as more
important characteristics than men do
Parental investment theory maintains that a species’ mating patterns depends on
what each sex has to invest- in the way of time, energy, and survival risk- to produce
and nurture offspring
o Male should prefer young and attractive females because these qualities are
assumed to signal fertility
o Females have little or no incentive for mating with many males. Instead, females
can optimize their reproductive potential by selectively mating with reliable
partners who have greater material resources
It is women in countries with limited educational and career opportunities for females
who show the strongest preferences for men with high incomes
When women’s economic power increases, so does their preference for a physically
attractive mate
GETTING AQUAINTED
Reciprocal liking refers to liking those who show that they like you
Participants who believed that they were liked were rates as disclosing more about
themselves, behaving more warmly, disagreeing less, and having a more positive tone of
voice and general attitude than those who believed that they were disliked
“Playing hard to get” : non-reciprocity
Similarity continues to play a key role in attraction
The similarity principle operates in both friendships and romantic relationships
regardless of sexual orientations
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Document Summary

Close relationships are those that are important, interdependent, and long lasting. Paradox of close relationships- close relationships are related to some of the best aspects of life (well-being, happiness, health), but they do have a dark side (abuse, deception, break-ups) Attraction is the initial desire to form a relationship. Proximity refers to geographic, residential, and other forms of special closeness. People who are near each other are more likely to get acquainted and find out their similarities. Individuals who live or work close by may be seen as more convenient and less costly (in terms of time and energy) than those farther away. People might develop attraction just because someone in close proximity becomes familiar to them. Mere exposure effect- an increase in positive feelings toward a novel stimulus (person) based on frequent exposure to it. Positive feelings arise just on the basis of seeing someone frequently- not because of social interaction.

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