Psychology 2075 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Dopaminergic Pathways, Vasopressin, Reinforcement

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Chapter 12: Attraction, Love and Communication
The Girl Next Door
Chance of falling for girl next door greater than someone who lives far
Mere-Exposure Effect – like someone if exposed to them repeatedly
Birds of a Feather
We like people who are similar to us
Homophily – tendency to have contact with others equal in social status e.g., race (most
likely), age, education, religion (least likely)
oHomogamy – when a person marries someone who them share important
characteristics with (with whom they are homophilous)
o4% of couples in mixed unions (different races)
oShort term relationships are as homophilous as homophilous as marriages
oThe more satisfied with relationship, the more they assume the other person is
similar to them
Dissimilar attitudes tend to cause disliking
Study: dominant people paired with submissive people reporter greater satisfaction
Couples not similar in personality
Similarity on attachment styles was associated with marital satisfaction, but similarity in
attitudes was not
Physical Attractiveness
Physical appearance is usually rated most important
In African Americans, light skin was rated as more attractive – i.e., may use white skin as
the standard
People rate themselves on average as less attractive than their partner
People seek relationships in which there is equity and both partners receive the same
balance of rewards and costs
Matching Phenomenon – people choose partners who match them
oAttitudes, intelligence, attractiveness
From Laboratory to Real Life
In the real world, researchers can’t manipulate the degree of similarity, so they measure
the existing (dis)similarity among couples
Perceived Similarity – extent to which individuals believe their partner is similar on
important characteristics
Byrne’s Date Study
oMatched students into couples based on alike or not alike questionnaires and
measured distance apart after blind date
oCouples matched for similar attitudes and who were good looking were more
attracted to each other
oSame sex couples said agreeableness was most important and status was least
No gender differences in ratings
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oNear ovulation, women are likely to show a preference for masculine, dominant
men, especially if they are interest in short-term relationships, and to dress in
ways that enhance femininity and sex appeal
Attraction Online
4 social forces:
1. Growing proportion of people are single
2. Career and time pressures lead people wanting more efficient ways to look
3. Single people are highly mobile
4. Workplace romance is less acceptable because of concerns about sexual
74% of singles tried the internet – older more than younger
Gays more likely to meet and form a relationship with someone they met online
Advantages and Disadvantages
oUsers say that technology forces you to focus on the other person’s interests and
oRelationships started online report lower relational intimacy than couples who
started face-to-face
o¼ Canadian online daters have misrepresented themselves online
“Science” of Online Dating
oFisher: testosterone, dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin are the basis of
Genes associated with these hormones are associated with calmness,
popularity, rationality, and sympathy
oStudy: Only 2/3 of online daters have ever met someone face to face
27% formed relationship
3% of those got married
Explaining Our Preferences
Reinforcement Theory: Byrne’s Law of Attraction
oWe like people who give us reinforcements/rewards and dislike people who give
us punishments
oAttraction to another person is proportionate to the number of rewards relative to
total rewards + punishments the person gives us
Most people prefer to hang out with people who are similar to them
because interaction with them is rewarding
People who are similar in age, ethnic background, and education are
likely to have similar outlooks on life, prefer similar activities, and like the
same kinds of people
oImplications: give reinforcement in a new relationship
oImplicit Egotism Perspective – we are attracted to people similar to us because
they activate our positive views of ourselves
E.g., more likely to marry people whose name resembles yours
Sociobiology: Sexual Strategies Theory
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oMen choose young women for fertility, also want faithfulness (want to be certain
about the paternity of offspring)
oArgue that physically attractive people are healthier and more fertile
oStudy: attractiveness was more important in societies that had a greater
prevalence of pathogens
oCritical feature of an attractive face is symmetry
oFluctuating Asymmetry – asymmetry of bilateral features that are on average
symmetrical in the population are said to reflect developmental instability
oWomen rate income and earning potential as more important than good looks
oStudy: wealthier women prefer older men and want attractiveness over financial
oSexual strategies theory is not a good model for same sex attraction
Defining Intimacy
Intimate experiences – the meaning a person gives to their interactions with another
person – usually positive
Intimate behaviors are more concrete than intimate experiences
oBehaviors may be nonverbal and include eye contact, smiling, physical closeness,
or sexual activity
oMost common type is verbal non-disclosure
Intimate Relationships – result of many intimate interactions, characterized by love,
affection, trust, sharing and reciprocity
Intimacy – level of commitment and positive affective, cognitive and physical closeness
one experiences with a partner in reciprocal relationship
Asian Canadians have less intimacy – more likely to end
Intimacy and Self-Disclosure
Self-disclosure: telling personal things about yourself
oLeads to reciprocity because of norms of equity (keep it equal)
If one person discloses the other person will too
oMore self-disclosure leads us to like and trust the person more – more satisfied
with relationship
oPatterns of self-disclosure can predict whether a couple stays together or breaks
oSelf-disclosure of emotion was more related to intimacy than self-disclosure of
oIn some relationships an increase in intimacy is followed by a plateau or even a
pulling back
Measuring Intimacy
Personal Assessment of Intimacy in Relationships (PAIR)
Theories of Love
Triangular Theory of Love
Three components:
oIntimacy – emotional component of love
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