S8 - Interpersonal Attraction and Close Relationships
Discuss at least…
S8 - Interpersonal Attraction and Close Relationships
Discuss at least 2 different factors that can contribute to attraction.
Which factors are responsible for relationship maintenance (e.g. marriage or samboer)?
the reasons why one person will like another. (PS: initial attraction - will not necessarily determine attraction in an intimate relationship)
Why are people attracted to those near them?
- the propinquity effect: people are more likely to meet and develop relationships if they are in physical proximity
- sociometric test: each person in a sample identifies their closest friends.
- mere exposure effect: familiarity with a novel stimulus usually leads to greater attraction.
- Effects of architecture and design of buildings on human interactions
The power of physical attractiveness
- We make judgements of attractiveness almost instantaneously
- Pairs of friends and romantic partners tend to be roughly similar in physical attractiveness
- when someone is highly attractive, others desire to interact with them, but may fear rejection
Beauty, attraction and evolution
What do women value in a man? Greater investment in children -> size, strength, financial resources
- reproductive success: perpetuating our genes into the next generation
- to do so, we are attracted to a partner 'fit' to reproduce
What do men value in women? Youth and attractiveness = reproductive success
What is beautiful is good
- In fairy tales and movies: the hero is handsome, the heroine beautiful and the villains ugly
Similarity and attraction
Similarity-attraction principle: We like people who are similar to ourselves in attitudes, values and interests.
- Byrne's law: attraction to a stranger is a function of the proportion of similar attitudes
Limits to the association between similarity and attraction
While similarities influence attraction, high and low self-monitors appear to consider different kinds of info in assessing similarity.
In certain circumstances: similarity may not be rewarding (ex: people increasingly dislike a stigmatized person the more they are similar to themselves, as they do not want to see themselves as similar to them).
- People high in self-monitoring: tend to be guided primarily by cues in the situation, particularly the reactions of others
- tend to choose romantic partners on the basis of physical attractiveness and friends on the basis of similar recreational preferences.
- People low in self-monitoring: tend to be guided primarily by their own feelings and beliefs
- tend to be guided more by similarities in personality traits and attitudes
Reasons for the similarity-attraction relationship
- It is rewarding to have someone agree with your opinions, for it bolsters your confidence in your own ideas. Similar values and interests provide opportunities for doing things together.
- The consistency principle. According to the interpersonal balance model , liking someone while disagreeing with that person about something important is psychologically uncomfortable. Need to restore balance. between orientations towards persons and attitudes
- Since our everyday experience is to like people who agree with us, we expect that the people we like are like us (challenges the proposition that we are attracted to someone as a consequence of perceived similarity).
The repulsion hypothesis
similarity itself has little effect on attraction, but people are repelled by those who are dissimilar.
Both similarity and dissimilarity attitudes influence attraction, but evidence shows that we tend to dislike people who are dissimilar to ourselves more than we like people who are similar to ourselves.
- An example of the negativity effect
For some reason, younger children respond more to dissimilarity-rejection and adolescents to similarity attraction.
Reinforcement, reciprocity and attraction
- The reinforcement affect model - predicts that people will be attracted to someone whom they associate with good feelings even if the person is not the cause
- The principle of reciprocity in attraction: we like people who like us
- the reciprocity in liking effect can become a self-fulfilling prophecy (ex: if you believe someone dislikes you, you behave in a colder manner)
Limits to the reinforcement-attraction effect
- There is evidence that because individuals who have everything going for the remind us of our own inadequacies, they may not be liked as much as someone who appears to have at least some human failings. (RESEARCH)
- The gain/loss effect: when we perceive that someone has come to like us more over time, this is a more potent source of reward than is constant praise. (RESEARCH - the confederate was liked more in the gain condition than in the constant positive condition and disliked more in the loss condition than in the constant negative condition).
- the gain effect tends to be stronger than the loss effect
- The principle of equity (fairness) in our social relations: while we want rewarding relationships, we also want to feel that we are neither exploiting someone else, nor being exploited ourselves.
Why do people remain in unsatisfying relationships?
- 'Empty shell marriage': where the marriage itself is unsatisfactory but formidable barriers to leaving remain.
- investment model
- Attributional model of loneliness: the experience of loneliness depends on how we explain the time or circumstance in which we find ourselves alone or relatively isolated, and whether the person blames himself or herself.
- based on the model of achievement attributions: we explain our successes and failures in terms of internal or external causes and stable or unstable causes.
- Social loneliness: a lack of a network of friends, acquaintances and colleagues
- emotional loneliness: a lack of intimate relationships.
- solitude: being alone
- not the same as loneliness.