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Chapter 13

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Psychology 2720A/B
Clive Seligman

CHAPTER 13: LIKING, LOVING AND CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS Attraction • Interpersonal Attraction: the study of attraction or liking between two or more people • Propinquity • Propinquity: nearness or proximity in physical space, which creates the opportunity to meet another person • The Likelihood of Meeting • Spatial EcologyL the physical layout of buildings and the distance separating different buildings, rooms, and other spaces • Functional Distance: compared to physical distance, the closeness between two places in terms of the opportunities for interaction • Meeting Does Not Guarantee Liking • Living within close proximity of another is not a guarantee that you will become best friends • One reason is that your neighbors could do things that bother you • Propinquity does not always lead to liking • Similarity • One reason that propinquity matters is that it provides the opportunity and setting for the exchange of personal information • Compatible Attitudes • Attitude-Similarity Effect: the idea that people find others more attractive and likable the more similar they are in their attitudes, beliefs, and preferences • Our attraction toward similar others need not be based on deep similarities, such as attitudes and values • Just as similarity leads to liking, the reverse is also true: liking leads to perceived similarity • Rosenbaum suggested that it is not so much that we are attracted to similar others, but rather that we are repulsed by dissimilar others • Repulsion Hypothesis: the idea that people find others less attractive and less likable if they differ substantially in their attitudes, beliefs, and preferences • Self-Disclosure • Self-Disclosure: the process of people revealing to one another increasingly personal and intimate details about themselves • People who are willing to disclose intimate details about themselves are generally better liked than those who are less inclined to self-disclose • We also tend to reveal personal things about ourselves to others who we initially lie, and we tend to like others as a result of having disclosed personal information to them • People differ in how much they self-disclose to others, but they also differ in ow much they elicit disclosure form others • Facial Beauty • Most of us respond more favorably to, and show more interest in, attractive than unattractive people • Shared Perceptions of Beauty • A common assumption is that standards of beauty are culture-specific, and that children within a particular culture gradually learn what is and is not considered attractive CHAPTER 13: LIKING, LOVING AND CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS •Evidence, however, does not support this assumptions •The consistency even cuts across cultural boundaries •People of all ages and cultural backgrounds seem to share a common view of what is and what is not an attractive face • The Components of Facial Features •Facialmetrics involves the measurement of a large number of facial features •WOmen rate male faces as more attractive when those faces feature prominent cheekbones, a large chin, and a wide smile •Men indicate preferences for female targets wit large eyes, a small nose and chin, prominent cheekbones, high eyebrows, large pupils, and a large smile •Smaller eyes lead perceivers to attribute more masculinity, less nurturance, and less empathy than larger eyes • Average Faces Are Attractive Faces •First, evolutionary pressures and natural selection generally favor average rather than extreme population features •Second, starting early in infancy, people routinely form prototypes or cognitive schemas that capture the central or average features of the many instances and exemplars of a particular category • Bodily Features • The human body offers more than just the face as a basis for judging attractiveness • Body Types •One aspect of body type that has shown consistent relationship to rated attractiveness is the waist-to-hip ratio •Men prefer women whose waist is narrower than their hips whereas women prefer men who have a relatively tapered look with hips and waist approximately the same in circumference •Higher hip-to-waist ratio men are associated with higher levels of testosterone • Weight •Attitudes about weight are communicated through a culture’s customs and media •I the culture equates thinness with beauty, then members of the culture will learn to prefer thin bodies • Height •Preference for males of medium height • Body Odor •People who have a pleasant body odor are judges as more attractive than those who smell bad • The Evolutionary Significance of Good Looks • An evolutionary view would emphasize that body weight serves as an outwardly visible signal of reproductive potential • Research shows that facial attractiveness is strongly related to the perceived heath of the model’s skin and we seem to prefer faces that display symmetry • The Social Benefits of Good Looks • What is Beautiful is Good CHAPTER 13: LIKING, LOVING AND CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS •What is Beautiful is Good: the inference that attractive people possess other desirable traits and abilities in addition to their good looks • The Real Benefits of Beauty •It is true that physically attractive people are more popular, more socially skilled, and more sexually experienced than unattractive people •These difference occur because attractive people are sought after by others, so they become confident in social situations, develop good social skills, and have more opportunities for relationships that might lead to sexual behaviour •But attractive people are far from perfect •Attractive and unattractive people do not differ in their intelligence or mental health Friendships • Friendships Among Children • Friendships: dyadic relationships involving mutual liking • Sociometric Rating Procedure: within a group of acquaintances, each person is asked to name everyone whom he or she considers a friend. Two peers within that social network are then considered to be friends if each nominates the other as a friend • The strongest determinant is similarity: children are more likely to become friends when they are alike in age, sex, ethnicity, race, and interests • In adolescence it is similarity in attitudes, life goals, and intelligence that helps establish a friendship • Popularity •Popular Children: children who are named frequently by others in a sociometric rating procedure •Popular children can be aggressive in the sense of being assertive, popular children also tend to be more physically attractive • Unpopularity •Rejected-Aggressive Children: children who are unpopular because they commonly engage in disruptive aggressive behaviours •Rejected-Withdrawn Children: children who are spurned by their peers because of their social awkwardness and immaturity • How Peers Exert Their Influence •It is a common observation that children and adolescents are influenced by their peers •Peer conformity is a classic example of normative social influence •Simply thinking about significant others can automatically activate goals and elicit actions related to those individuals • Friendships Among Adults • One thing that predicted the success of a friendship was propinquity • Both women and men agree that intimacy in same-sex friendships is more likely when the friends engage in such behaviours as self-disclosure and providing emotional support • Men, however, are less likely to choose to engage in those behaviours than women CHAPTER 13: LIKING, LOVING AND CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS • Rejection • The brain scans showed that social rejection in the participants brains that is very similar to the experiences of physical pain • Research suggesting that social and physical pain operate through the same pain system Attachment • Attachment Theory • Attachment Theory: Bowlby’s theory concerning the development and the effects of the emotional bond between an infant and its caregiver; also used to account for the relationships that develop between close relationships that develop between close friends and lovers throughout the life span • Bowlby emphasized an ethological approach, which focuses on innate behaviour that have been shaped during the course of evaluation • In Bowlby’s view, both the infant and the adult come biologically prepared to develop attachments • Infant Attachment • The Strange Situation • Strange Situation: developed by Mary Ainsworth, a procedure involving several brief episodes during which experiments observe a baby’s responses to strangers, separation from mother, and reunions with mother • Generally, infants fall into one of three categories: • Secure • Secure Attachment: the most common pattern seen in the strange situation procedure, in which the baby actively explores the room when left alone with mother, gets upset when mother leaves the room, is clearly happy when mother returns, and may seek close physical proximity with her in an effort to relieve distress; the baby uses its mother as a safe haven and a secure base from which it feels safe to explore a novel situation • Resistant • Insecure Attachment: a pattern seen in the strange situation, in which the baby does not use its mother as a safe haven and secure base from which to explore a novel situation • Resistant Insecure Attachment: a pattern seen in the strange situation, in which the baby prefers to stay close to mother rather than actively explore the room, becomes very upset when mother leaves the room and appears to be upset or angry when mother returns, truing to remain near the mother but usually resisting any physical contact initiated by her; sometimes called ambivalent or anxious-ambivalent insecure attachment • Avoidant • Avoidant Insecure Attachment: a pattern seen in the strange situation, in which the baby basically ignores the mother, usually shows no strong signs of disturbance when she leaves the room, and avoids the mother during reunion episodes or greets her return rather casually CHAPTER 13: LIKING, LOVING AND CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS • Is It Universal? •Often assumed that attachment behaviours are universal •When comparisons are made between two cultures, large differences are often found in how much distress infants experience in the strange situation •The avoidant pattern occurs with greater frequency in North American and Western European countries, whereas the resistant pattern is more common in Israel, Japan, and other Asian countries • Learning About Relationships •Working Model of a Close Relationship: the feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and expectations learned during the course of an infant’s first close relationships •These infants develop a working model that close relationships sometimes involve acceptance, but at other times rejection; that sometimes the other person is accessible, but at other times inaccessible • Attachment Beyond Infancy •The attachment pattern is most stable over time when there has been little disruption or change in the child’s life •Major disruptions can produce more variability in attachment • Adult Attachment • Bowlby thought of attachment as a lifelong quality of human relationships • Bowlby assumed that the mental representation - the working model - of close relationships formed during childhood persisted throughout adulthood • A Theory of Adult Attachment •Adult Attachment: the concept of attachment used to describe and understand close relationships in adulthood by translating each of the three major patterns of attachment found among infants - secure, anxious/ambivalent, and avoidant - into their adult forms • Adults Are Not Children •Adult attachment relationships are far more reciprocal whereas children and their caregivers bring different needs and contributions to the relationship •Attachment among adults typically involves a romantic relationship between peers in which the prominent elements are companionship, intimacy, and sex •Adults seek to maintain close proximity in an attach
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