Interpersonal Attraction

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Interpersonal Attraction. Why do people form relationships with others?. People are social animals who have a basic “need to belong” Newborns are responsive to human faces Infants engage in social smiling
Interpersonal AttractionWhy do people form relationships with others?
  • People are social animals who have a basic “need to belong”
  • Newborns are responsive to human faces
  • Infants engage in social smiling
  • Having close social ties is associated with being happier & more satisfied, and not having them with loneliness, depression, worse physical health, and earlier death.
  • Why are people initially attracted to each other?
  • Exercise:
  • Proximity/Propinquity
  • PROXIMITY/propinquity (or geographical closeness) is one of the most powerful predictors of whether two people will become friends.
  • Proximity
  • Segal (1974)
  • Police trainees: Proximity was a better predictor of friendship formation than was similarity.
  • Proximity
  • Festinger, Schachter, & Back, 1950
  • Proximity and friendship in married student housing. Person most often named as a friend lived next door.
  • Why would physical proximity increase the chances that we will like someone?
  • More interaction:
  • Familiarity: General principle (humans, other animals)
  • Mere exposure effect (Zajonc)
  • Mere exposure: The tendency for novel stimuli to be liked more or rated more positively after one has been repeatedly exposed to them.
  • Novel stimuli (e.g., Turkish words, Chinese characters, men’s faces)
  • Studies by Zajonc & colleagues (late 70s and early 80s)
  • Women wore headphones and, in one ear, heard a prose passage and repeated the words outloud, checking for errors. In the second ear, they “heard” novel melodies played so softly they were not aware that they had heard them.
  • IV: Melodies “heard” below awareness (i.e., subliminally) versus melodies never heard.
  • DVs: Recognition of melodies (Have you ever heard this melody before? Yes or No?)
  • Liking for melodies (Do you like this melody? Yes or No?)
  • Results: Recognition:
  • Liking:
  • Moreland & Beach, 1992
  • IV: Four female research assistants attended class 0, 5, 10, or 15 times
  • DV: How much liked RA
  • Results: The more times a stranger attended the class, the more she was liked.
  • What Causes Attraction?
  • The Person Next Door: The Propinquity Effect
  • Physical attractiveness
  • Bias to like others who are attractive
  • Dion (1972)
  • IV: mild vs. severe misbehavior
  • IV: attractive or unattractive photo of child
  • DV: Rate typicality of behavior
  • Results: Severe misbehavior rated __________________when performed by an __________child than an __________ child.
  • Physical attractiveness is associated with liking.
  • Hatfield et al. (1966)
  • Couples randomly paired at “computer dance”
  • Assessed personality, aptitude, physical attractiveness
  • Results:
  • What is attractive or beautiful?
  • Is it an objective measureable quality, or is it more in the “eye of the beholder”?
  • Is attractiveness objective?
  • Arguments for Objective Standard
  • High consensus across countries, race/ethnicities
  • Particular features are associated with attractiveness (average, symmetric)
  • Babies’ preferences
  • Is attractiveness subjective?
  • Arguments for Subjective Standard
  • Cross-cultural differences in ways to look beautiful
  • Standards of beauty within a culture change over time
  • When we like people, we see them as more attractive.
  • Attractiveness Standards
  • Probably both universal and variable components of attractiveness
  • Physical attractiveness predicts more positive evaluations (true in childhood and later in life)
  • Why are physically attractive people liked more?
  • Aesthetic appeal. People and objects may be more rewarding when their appearance is pleasing.
  • Why are physically attractive people liked more?
  • What is Beautiful is Good stereotype: The belief that physically attractive individuals possess other desirable characteristics.
  • Fairy tales
  • Media
  • Physical attractiveness and self-fulfilling prophecy
  • Self-fulfilling prophecy: If we expect that a person has positive qualities, then we may act more favorably toward that person and, as a consequence, bring out positive qualities.
  • Self-fulfilling prophecy
  • (Snyder, Tanke & Berscheid, 1977)
  • Men received “background” information about a woman they were about to talk with on a phone, info included a photo. Women received same info, but no photo.
  • IV: Photo of woman either attractive or unattractive
  • DVs: 1) Men’s expectations about the woman 2) Observers’ ratings of the woman’s behavior
  • Results: When men expected that the woman was attractive, she was judged as warmer, more confident, and more animated than when men believed they were talking with an unattractive woman. (self-fulfilling prophecy)
  • Why?
  • Attractive people develop better social skills.
  • Gender
  • Physically attractive men > socially skilled (confident, assertive).
  • Physically attractive women < socially skilled.
  • Beauty may make it harder to avoid sex role stereotype.
  • Why?
  • Social profit: People may be attracted to those perceived as physically attractive because they believe that some of the glory may rub off on them.
  • Social profit
  • Assimilation effects occur when:
  • Both men & women are paired w/an attractive same-sex partner and appear at the same time.
  • Men are paired with an attractive female partner and appear at the same time.
  • No social profit
  • Contrast effects occur when the attractive person appears before the less attractive person.
  • When is attractiveness important?
  • Attractiveness is probably very important in first impressions.
  • Attractiveness and grooming predict first impressions in job interviews (Cash & Janda, 1984;Mack & Rainey, 1990; Marvelle & Green, 1980).
  • May become less important as we become more acquainted with the other person.
  • Consequences for physically attractive people…may not always trust praise
  • Major et al. (1984): Ps wrote an essay that they believed would be judged by another subject of the opposite sex.
  • Quasi-IV: men and women who perceived themselves as either very attractive (physically) or unattractive.
  • IV 2: Told evaluator would watch thru one-way mirror while s/he wrote essay or that evaluator could not see them.
  • All were given an identical highly positive evaluation of their work
  • Results: Unattractive Ps felt ________about the quality of their work when thought evaluator could ________them; attractive subjects felt _____when thought evaluator could __________ them.
  • What does attractiveness predict?
  • Physical attractiveness of college students does not predict adjustment or well-being in middle age.
  • More attractive, more likely to marry, but not more satisfied w/marriage and not happier w/life in general.
  • Summary
  • Proximity increases the chances that we’ll meet someone.
  • Familiarity helps us feel at ease.
  • Beauty may increase the chances of a first encounter and provide aesthetic rewards.
  • What determines whether people actually develop a longer relationship?
  • Do birds of a feather flock together, or do opposites attract?
  • Similarity is the rule.
  • Newcomb (1961): Unacquainted male transfer students. After 13 wks of living together in a boardinghouse, those whose agreement in backgrounds was initially highest were most likely to have formed close friendships.
  • Similarity
  • Griffitt & Veitch (1974) confined 13 unacquainted volunteers (men) in a fallout shelter. By knowing the men’s opinions on different issues, the researchers were able to predict significantly better than chance which people each man would most like and most dislike.
  • Similarity
  • Sprecher & Duck (1994) paired 83 student couples on blind get-acquainted dates. The 16% who saw each other for a second date were more similar to each other than those who did not see each other a second time.
  • Two kinds of romantic love:
  • Passionate love (state of high arousal, being in love is ectasy)
  • Companionate love, which is a more stable longer-term love, based on feelings of intimacy and affection.
  • Passionate love
  • What leads to passionate love?
  • Culture must believe in idea of “romantic love.”
  • Passionate love
  • Must come into contact with someone who is an appropriate love object.
  • Role of chance
  • Passionate love
  • Given a chance encounter, what increases the probability that you will fall in love?
  • Role of arousal
  • Passionate love
  • Two factor theory of passionate love (Hatfield & Berscheid)
  • First, person must experience a general state of arousal
  • Second, person must attribute this arousal to the potential partner
  • Passionate love
  • Excitation transfer: the process whereby arousal caused by one stimulus (e.g., an anxiety provoking situation) is added to the arousal from a second stimulus (e.g., an attractive potential partner) and the combined arousal is attributed to the second stimulus (e.g., the potential partner)
  • Excitation transfer?Dutton & Aron (1974)
  • Quasi-IV: Walked across a scary suspension bridge (high arousal) or a more standard bridge (low arousal)
  • DV: Later calls or does not call the attractive female E
  • Results:
  • Limitation?
  • Related Search
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