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Chapter 9

Chapter 9 Interpersonal Attraction.pdf

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Psychology 2070A/B

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Chapter 9: Interpersonal Attraction April-09-14 6:19 PM Major Antecedents of Attraction The Person Next Door: The Propinquity Effect - One of the simplest determinants of interpersonal attraction is proximity PROPINQUITY EFFECT: The finding that the more we see and interact with people, the more likely they are to become our friends - Rely not only on actual physical distance, but also on the more psychological, functional distance → Functional distance is defined as certain aspects of architectural design that make it likely that some people will come into contact with each other more often than with others - The propinquity effect works because of the mere exposure effect MERE EXPOSURE EFFECT: The finding that the more exposure we have to a stimulus, the more apt we are to like it  STUDY:  The effect that mere exposure in the classroom has on attraction  The more often students saw a female confederate in their classroom, the more positively they rated her personality, even though they had never interacted with her - If you feel negatively toward the person in question, then, not surprisingly, the more exposure you have to him or her, the g reater your dislike Forming Relationships Online - Laboratory experiments have shown that people report being more comfortable revealing their "true" self to a partner over the Internet compared with a face-to- face interaction - Participants also tended to report more liking for an Internet partner than a partner they met in person - Online relationships may form more quickly and become intimate sooner than offline relationships → However, these relationships can fizzle just as quickly as they started up Similarity - The concept of similarity SIMILARITY: Attraction to people who are like us - The concept of complementarity COMPLEMENTARITY: Attraction to people who are opposite to us - Research evidence proves that it is similarity, not complementarity, that draws people together - Similarity effects seem to strongest in individualistic cultures - Similarity is so important in interaction because: 1) We tend to think that people who are similar to us will be inclined to like us — given this reasonable assumption, we take the first steps and initiate a relationship 2) People who are similar provide us with important social validation for our characteristics and beliefs — that is, they provide us with the feeling that we are right in our views and our thinking 3) The rewards-of-interaction explanation: if a person feels the same way we do on an important issue, we assume it would be enjoyable to spend time with him or her - There is also evidence that attraction can lead to perceptions of similarity — the more attracted we are to someone, the more similar we assume that person is to us - "Perceived" similarity predicted liking and attraction better than "actual" similarity did Reciprocal Liking RECIPROCAL LIKING: When you like someone and that person also likes you → One of the prime determinants of interpersonal attraction - Liking is so powerful it can even make up for the absence of similarity - Reciprocal liking can come about because of a self-fulfilling prophecy - Reciprocal liking effects can occur only if you like yourself in the first place The Effects of Physical Attractiveness on Liking - Physical appearance plays the most powerful role - Findings suggest that we are aware of the value we place on looks, but as long as we can get away with it, we won't admit it What is Attractive? - Bombarded as we are with media depictions of attractiveness, it is not surprising to learn that we share a set of criteria fo r defining beauty - Both sexes admire large eyes in the opposite sex; these are considered to be a "baby face" feature - Both sexes admire prominent cheekbones in the opposite sex, an adult feature that is found only in the faces of those who are sexually mature → The female that is considered beautiful is more associated with childlike qualities - A big smile was considered attractive in both male and female faces Cultural Standards of Beauty - Even though racial and ethnic groups do vary in specific facial features, people from a wide range of cultures agree on what is attractive in the human face Assumptions about Attractive People - We are attracted to that which is beautiful, and that can lead to unfair treatment - Assumptions that we make about attractive individuals, namely that they possess a host of desirable traits - "What is beautiful is good" stereotype - There is a kernel of truth here: → Beautiful people, from a young age, receive a great deal of social attention that helps them develop good social skills, which, in turn, may lead to other positive outcomes, such as interpersonal and occupational success — a self-fulfilling prophecy - Physicalattractiveness stereotyping occurs cross-culturally, although more so in individualistic societies, which place greater weight on qualities of the individual, including his or her appearance Attraction and the Misattribution of Arousal MISATTRIBUTION OF AROUSAL: The process whereby people make mistaken inferences about what is causing them to feel the way they do - In summary, there are four major determinants of attraction: 1) Propinquity 2) Similarity 3) Reciprocal liking 4) Physical attractiveness Final Notes Page 1 4) Physical attractiveness Forming Close Relationships Defining Love - Most of the research in social psychology has focused on passionate love and companionate love, which will be the focus in th is chapter Companionate versus Passionate Love COMPANIONATE LOVE: The feelings of intimacy and affection we feel toward someone with whom our lives are deeply intertwined PASSIONATE LOVE: The feelings of intense longing, accompanied by physiological arousal, we feel for another person; when out love is recipro cated, we feel great fulfillment and ecstasy; but, when it is not, we feel sadness and despair - When people say that falling in love is "like a drug" or "like winning the lottery," they're right → All these experiences activate the same areas of the brain: dopamine-rich centres of pleasure, reward, and motivation "Ordinary" People's Definition of Love - Love is seen as including both companionate and passionate aspects, although the companionate aspect is considered to be the essence of love Gender and Love - Both sexes give companionate love the highest rating (indicating that this kind of love best fit their conceptions of what lo ve is) → Women's and men's views of love are actually more similar than has been thought Culture and Love - In individualistic societies, romantic love is a heady, highly personal experience → The decision as to whom to become involved with or marry is for the most part a personal one - In collectivist cultures, the individual in love must take into account the wishes of family and other group members - Marrying for love was most important in Western and Westernized countries, and of least importance to participants in less -developed Eastern countries - People from collectivistic cultures value companionate love more than people from individualistic cultures do → Companionate love is a "style of love that would not disrupt a complex network of existing family relationships" Why Do We Love? Evolutionary Explanations of Love - For women, reproduction is costly in terms of time, energy, and effort, and this means that they must consider carefully when and with whom to reproduce - Reproduction has few costs for males — male animals would do best to pursue frequent pairings with many females EVOLUTIONARY APPROACH: An approach derived from evolutionary biology that states that men and women are attractedto different characteristics in each other — men are attracted by women's appearance; women are attractedby men's resources — because this maximizes their reproductive success - It has been found, that when women are at the most fertile point of their cycle, they are more likely to engage in male -attracting behaviors such as wearing more sexy, revealing clothing, than they do at other times of their cycle - When discussing human mate preference, it is difficult to disentangle nature (inborn preferences) from nurture (cultural norm s and gender roles) Does Your Face
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