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
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