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Chapter 12

Psychology 2075 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Robert Sternberg, Eharmony, Nonverbal Communication


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH 2075
Professor
Prof
Chapter
12

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1
Attraction, Love And Communication
Human Sexuality Chapter 12
Attraction
Gender is an important component of attraction- some are only attracted to men, some only to
women, and some to both
Most research on attraction has been limited to male-female relationships
The girl next door
We are more likely to be attracted to someone who we have had multiple interactions with
This is the mere-exposure effect: the tendency to like a person more if we have been exposed to
him or her repeatedly
Hence, the girl next door
Birds of a feather
We tend to like people who are similar to us
For example homophily: the tendency to have contact with people who are equal in social status
The greatest homophily is by race and ethnicity
Only 3.9 percent of couple are from mixed unions (different ethnicity’s)
54 percent of Canadian couples have the same level of education
46 percent of couples prefer a spouse who shares their religious views, and 34 percent prefer if
their spouse shares the same ethnic background
Study:
o Donn Byrne 1971
o Gave people questionnaires after they had filled one out
o The person thought it was random, but the questionnaire was given and was either a lot
like them or not at all
o If the questionnaire was a lot like theirs, they rated them as more likeable
Research in Manitoba suggests that the more satisfied individuals were with their relationships,
the more they assume the other person is similar to them
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
Folk tale birds of a feather flock together has some truth
There is also some truth to opposites attract
Study:
o Dominant (D) and submissive (S) were paired
o Higher satisfaction when it was D + S
o Lowe satisfaction with D + D and S + S
KEY- similarity in attitudes is important but similarity in personalities is not
Study:
o Real married heterosexual couples showed that there values were similar (age, race and
education)
o But it showed that there personalities were no more similar than those who were
randomly paired together
o The average participant was 28 years old
o Similarity on attachment styles was associated with indicators of martial satisfaction but
similarity in attitudes was not
o Revised folk tale “birds of a feather (attitudinal similar) may flock, but not stick
together”

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Physical attractiveness
People prefer partners who are physically attractive
Study:
o Snapshots of university students were taken and then rated on their physical
attractiveness
o Women that were rater more physically attractive were also more popular (had more
dates in the last year)
o This was also shown with men but not as prominent
With a study involving African Americans they rated women more beautiful if they had a lighter
skin tone
Physical attractiveness is rated one of the most important things (body size, and facial features)
Physical attractiveness is more important to males than females (…pigs.)
Perception of attractiveness is also influenced by their intelligence and liking and respect
Most people rate themselves a 6.7 out of ten (on average) but rate their partners on average an
8 out of ten
Study:
o Asked women if they would prefer and extraordinary face with and ordinary body or
and ordinary face with and extraordinary body
o 57 percent of women said they prefer an ordinary body with and extraordinary face
The interpersonal Marketplace
We tend to pair off with who we think we can “buy” the most with
Women’s worth is based off their beauty, and men’s worth is based of their success
Study:
o Girls rated more attractive in high school were more likely to have husbands who had
higher incomes
Study:
o Women asked to rate men
o The more attractive women though that middle class jobs for men were unacceptable,
were as uglier women thought it was moderately acceptable
From the laboratory to real life
Study:
o To see if these results stated above would happen in real life
o Administered an attitude and personality questionnaire to 420 university students
o Then they formed 44 couples, for half of the couples, both people had made very similar
responses, for the other half the two people made very different responses
o The two people were then introduced and sent on a date
o When returned the experimenter looked at how close they stood to one another when
they got back
o The participants also evaluated the dates
o Results showed that if they had more in common on the questionnaire and were paired
they were more attracted to the person
o When the semester ended, those who were similar to them and physically attractive,
they were more likely to remember there name
Agreeableness is shown to be important when first meeting someone

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Attraction online
Four sources that lead to the increase in online dating
o 1. Growing proportion of the population is single so more people are looking
o 2. Career and time pressures lead to people to seek more efficient ways to look
o 3. Single people are highly mobile, increasing the difficulty of meeting someone
o 4. Workplace romance is less acceptable due to concerns about sexual harassment
There is no longer as stigma associated with online dating
Also makes it easier to meet someone if you are lesbian, gay or bisexual
Also allows discretion and the reduced feelings of rejection
Allows people who prefer things like bondage to find more people also interested in those things
Users say and advantage to this is that it makes people focus on their interests
It is found that people who meet online don’t have as much intimacy as those who have met face
to face
Risks are that the person may not be honest on their profile
One quarter of Canadians using online dating admit to have misrepresent themselves
Now there are websites where they match you “scientifically” eHarmony
Each site has there own matching strategy
o eHarmony uses 436 questions to asses a broad range of attitudes
o Chemistry.com uses 146 item survey questions to match hormones associated with
calmness, popularity rationality and sympathy
o Perfectmatch.com uses the duet system- based on 48 questions assessing 8 domains
Stats on how successful peoples relationships are, are on page 338
Explaining our preferences
Why do people prefer partners who are similar to them and who are more attractive
Reinforcement theory: Byrne’s Law of attraction
o We tend to like people who give us reinforcements or rewards and to dislike people
who give us punishments
o Our attraction to another person is proportionate to the number of reinforcement that
person gives us relative to the total number of reinforcements plus punishments the
person gives us
o So people date people like them to avoid hostility that could be caused by different
interests
o We prefer people that are attractive because they are better accepted by Canadian
society
o We like people who are high in society because we like the material things that people
find rewarding and these things cost money
Sociobiology: sexual strategies theory
o People choose mates so they can have the most successful offspring (reproduction)
o Men need to identify reproductively valuable women
o Also men want to be sure about the paternity of the child so they want to make sure
that they are faithful
o People who are more attractive are seen as more fertile hence why people seek
attractive mates
o Women want men that are reproductively valuable because they have a lot to invest in
a child, they are pregnant for nine months and then must care for the baby
o This is also why they want men with good income so that they can invest in their kids
o This is not as true now a days because more and more women are becoming self
sufficient (hells yes)
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