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Chapter 45

PSYC 101 Chapter 45: Module 45

Course Code
PSYC 101

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Module 45
Prosocial behavior behavior that intends to help or benefit someone
The Psychology of Attraction
45.1 Why do we befriend or fall in love with some people but not others?
Three ingredients for liking one another: Proximity, attractiveness, and similarity
o Proximity = geographic nearness
o Mating starts with meeting
o Mere exposure effect the phenomenon that repeated exposure to novel
stimuli increases liking of them
o We’re even somewhat more likely to marry someone if their first or last name
resembles our own
o Within certain limits, familiarity feeds fondness
o The more familiar a face is, the more attractive it is (usually)
o We like people when their faces incorporate some morphed features of our own
o Survival value for our ancestors what was familiar was generally safe and
o Therefore, gut-level prejudice against those who are culturally different could be
a primitive, automatic emotional response
Modern Matchmaking (online dating/speed dating)
o Compared with relationships formed in person, Internet formed friendships and
romantic relationships are, on average, slightly more likely to last and be
o Internet friendships often feel and important to people as in-person
o Speed dating for most participants, 4 minutes is enough time to form a feeling
about a conversational partner and to register whether the partner likes them
o From speed dating, we learn:
Men are more transparent (easier to tell whether they are interested or
People’s choices become more superficial when given more options
Women tend to be more choosy (men tend to want to contact more of
their speed dates) however, this changes when roles are reversed and
women are the ones moving
Physical Attractiveness
o Physical appearance is one of the first things we notice
o In a study, it showed that both men and women liked good-looking dates best
(blind date situation)

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o Attractiveness influences first impressions for both sexes
o Research participants perceive attractive people as healthier, happier, more
sensitive, more successful, and more socially skilled
o Attractive, well-dressed people have been more likely to make a favorable
impression on potential employers, and they have tended to be more successful
in their jobs
o Even babies and some blind people have preferred attractive over unattractive
o On the other hand:
People’s attractiveness is surprisingly unrelated to their self-esteem and
Strikingly attractive people are sometimes suspicious that praise for their
work may simply be a reaction to their looks
o Beauty is also in the eye of the culture
o Cultural ideals change over time
o Men in many cultures judge women as more attractive if they have a youthful,
fertile appearance
o Face tends to be better predictor (over body) of physical attractiveness
o People with symmetrical faces and bodies are considered more sexually
o Our feelings also influence our attractiveness judgements (like if one person is
nice and the other is mean, the nice one is probably more attractive)
o As we see our loved ones again and again, their physical imperfections grow less
noticeable and their attractiveness grows more apparent
o In real life, opposites retract
o Friends and couples are more likely to share common attitudes, beliefs, and
o The more alike people are, the more their liking endures
o We also like those who like us
o Reward theory of attraction: we will like those whose behavior is rewarding to
us, including those are are both able and willing to help us achieve our goals
o When people work or live in close proximity to us, it requires less time and effort
to develop the friendship and enjoy its benefits. When people are attractive,
they are aesthetically pleasing, and associating with them can be rewarding.
When people share our views, they reward us by validating our beliefs
Romantic Love
45.2 How does romantic love typically change as time passes?
If love endures, temporary passionate love will mellow into a lingering compassionate
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