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Chapter 3

Chapter 3.docx

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PSYC 2120

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1. A major determinant of who we end up being attracted to is propinquity, or sheer closeness of contact with potential targets of attraction. To a remarkable extent, the people one knows, and likes, and even loves, are those with whom one comes in contact most frequently in neighborhoods, on the job, and in recreational settings. 2. Three reasons for the power of propinquity are: (a) sheer availability: one has to come into contact with others to have a chance to know and like them, (b) anticipation of interaction: people tend to put their best foot forward for those they know they will see again, and (c) the mere exposure effect: simply encountering a person or object, even under negative circumstances, makes us like the target more. 3. A second major source of attraction is similarity. Engaged couples are more similar to one another than are randomly paired men and women. Studies using the bogus stranger paradigm invariably find that people like individuals who resemble them more than individuals who do not. There is scant evidence that "opposites attract." 4. Four reasons for the effect of similarity on attraction are: (a) similar others validate our beliefs and values, (b) similarity facilitates smooth interactions, (c) we expect similar others to like us (which is rewarding), and (d) similar others have qualities we like. 5. Physical attractiveness is another major source of attraction. Physically attractive people are much more popular with the opposite sex. Attractive peo- ple are given higher grades for their work. People who are physically attractive earn more money in the workplace, and they even receive lower sentences for crimes. In short, they benefit from a halo effect, in that they are believed to have many positive qualities that go beyond their physical appearance. 6. Attractiveness has an impact even in infancy and childhood: attractive infants receive more attention from their mothers, and attractive children are believed to be more intelligent by their teachers. People think a transgression by a child is less serious if the child is attractive. Moreover, even threemonth- olds will look longer at an attractive face than at an unattractive one. 7. Gender is an important variable when it comes to attractiveness, with physical appearance affecting the lives of women more than men. Women deemed unattractive at work suffer worse outcomes than men who are considered unattractive. 8. Physical attractiveness has such impact because: (a) it has immediacy—you
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