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Information about Attraction

Published on June 15, 2007

Author: Me_I


Attraction:  Attraction Liking, Loving, and sometimes No Longer Loving Others Where does attraction begin?:  Where does attraction begin? Why do people become attracted to each other? Four main areas have been investigated: Proximity Physical attractiveness Similarity Being liked Proximity:  Proximity Proximity is better thought of as functional distance. Functional distance strongly predicts liking. Anticipation of interaction Just expecting to interact with someone leads us to like them more. In essence, we are setting the environment for behavioral confirmation. If we expect to like someone, the interaction should go more smoothly. Mere Exposure:  Mere Exposure Very simply, the more we see something the more we like it (as long as exposure isn’t incessant). Examples abound Zajonc’s research on nonsense syllables (further he demonstrated that we don’t need to be consciously aware of exposure – in fact, effects are stronger!). Photograph vs. mirror image preferences. Black bag man at Oregon St. Physical Attractiveness:  Physical Attractiveness As much as we deny it, we are swayed by how people look. Hatfield and Berscheid have both done research that indicates that the more attractive a female is, the more likely she is to date. The effect is slightly less strong for males. Matching phenomenon Couples (even friends) tend to be relatively equal in attractiveness. When not true, less attractive partner usually compensates on some other factor (e.g., very wealthy older men marrying beautiful young women). The Physical Attractiveness Stereotype:  The Physical Attractiveness Stereotype 'That which is beautiful, is good.' People within a culture, assume that attractive people have the traits that are valued by that culture. Adults and children are biased toward attractive people. Heck - even infants stare at attractive people longer than unattractive people! Lessons begin early – how many ugly heroes are there in children’s tales vs. the number of ugly villians? Impact of Beauty Stereotype:  Impact of Beauty Stereotype Attractive people have better jobs and make more money. Irene Hanson Frieze found that for each incremental improvement in attractiveness a person earns on average $2300 more each year. Attractive people are perceived to be more popular and outgoing. This is probably reality, as they gain confidence from positive attention. What is Beauty?:  What is Beauty? Isn’t it in the eye of the beholder? Symmetrical and 'average' faces are seen as most attractive. Become more attractive when average features are exaggerated (e.g., fuller lips and larger eyes in a women). Sociobiological explanations What is beautiful in women generally indicates fertility. In men, attractive traits tend to indicate the ability to provide and protect. Males are more upset by sexuality infidelity, females by emotional infidelity. Is it all relative?:  Is it all relative? Classic study indicated that men found women to be less attractive if they had just finished watching Charlie’s Angels. Men find their spouses less attractive after viewing centerfolds or pornographic films. True for self also, people find themselves less attractive after viewing other 'more attractive' people. Good News About Beauty:  Good News About Beauty Beauty is a two-way street. Although we like attractive people more, we also tend to find people we like to be attractive! The more in love we are with someone, the more attractive we view them, and the less attractive we view others of opposite sex. Opposites Do Not Attract!:  Opposites Do Not Attract! The greater number of shared attitudes, the more likable you find the person, particularly if you like yourself! Fritz Heider and Balance Theory. Opposite is also true – we tend to dislike those who hold different opinions than us. James Jones proposes that one reason for racism is the actual cultural differences between blacks and whites. We dislike that which is different. Being Liked is Cool!:  Being Liked is Cool! Liking is mutual. We like those who say eight positive things about us better than those who say seven positive and one negative. 'If 60,000 people tell me they loved a show, then one walks past and says it sucked, that’s the comment I’ll hear.' – Dave Matthews Negative information is unusual and thus grabs our attention. Compliments backfire however if attributed to a self-serving strategy. Reward Theory:  Reward Theory We will maintain those relationships that we associate with rewards. Summarizes other variables rather nicely: Proximity is easier (long distance relationship?) Attractive people are assumed to have other positive, hence rewarding, characteristics. People who hold similar opinions as us, validate our opinions, and make us feel smart. It feels good to be liked. Love:  Love What is it? Sternberg proposes the Triangle Theory of Love. Three cornerstones are passion (infatuation), intimacy (liking), and commitment (empty love). 4 variants of love produced: Romantic Love: intimacy + passion Fatuous Love: passion + commitment Companionate Love: intimacy + commitment Consummate Love: All three ingredients Styles of Love:  Styles of Love Hendrick and Hendrick: Love has different meaning to different people Six styles of loving Eros: Passionate Love Ludus: Game Playing Love Storge: Friendship Love Pragma: Logical Love Mania: Dependent Love Agape: Selfless Love Is Passion Just Misnamed Emotion?:  Is Passion Just Misnamed Emotion? Schacter and Singer’s Two Factor Model of Emotion states that arousal X label = emotion. Experimental evidence suggests that physical arousal from any source intensifies feelings of passion. Dutton and Aron (1974): wobbly bridge and returned phone calls. Couples who do exciting things together report the best relationships. Maintaining Relationships:  Maintaining Relationships Equity: feeling of being treated fairly Those involved in long term equitable relationships don’t worry about short term equity. Perceived inequity leads to greater levels of distress and depression. Interestingly, married couples frequently assume that they are both doing more than their share of the housework! Self-Disclosure:  Self-Disclosure Deep relationships are intimate. To be intimate you must be willing to listen to others and to open up. Sharing of yourself is known as self-disclosure. Often the key is disclosure reciprocity A matching of openness. Tends to progress slowly. Too much disclosure at once makes one appear unstable. Predictors of a Successful Marriage:  Predictors of a Successful Marriage Divorce is unlikely if: Married after age 20 Both grew up in stable, two-parent homes Dated for a long time before marrying Are well and similarly educated Enjoy a stable income from a good job Live in a small town or on a farm Did not cohabitate or get pregnant before marriage Are religiously committed Are of similar age and faith Positive interactions outnumber negative by at least 5 to 1 Dealing with Unhappiness:  Dealing with Unhappiness Rusboldt and Zimbrodt identified 4 general responses Exit: ending or actively abusing the relationship Voice: actively attempting to improve conditions Loyalty: passively waiting for things to improve Neglect: passively allowing the relationship to deteriorate Two dimensions: constructive/destructive and active/passive

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