Published on June 17, 2007
Chapter 7: Chapter 7 Attraction and Love Attraction and Love: Overview: Attraction and Love: Overview In this chapter we will discuss: Attraction: Physical attractiveness, the 'matching hypothesis', similarity of attitudes, reciprocity Love: the Greek heritage, romantic love in contemporary Western culture, and some contemporary models of love Summary Attraction: Attraction physical attractiveness, the matching hypothesis, similarity of attitudes, and reciprocity Physical Attractiveness: Physical Attractiveness Research shows physical attractiveness is a major determinant of interpersonal and sexual attraction (Hensley, 1992) What determines physical attractiveness? Taller men, leaner men… The hour-glass figure in females? A waist-to-hip ratio of .7 to .8 is most preferred Slide5: Physical Attractiveness: Physical Attractiveness Women’s beliefs that men prefer large breasts may be somewhat exaggerated; men prefer large breasts but not as large as some women believe Both genders find obese persons not attractive Men prefer women who are athletically built but not as slim as some women think Slide7: Physical Attractiveness: Physical Attractiveness Men in this culture will examine a woman’s face and her overall body shape, then her breasts, and then her legs… Women in this culture will examine a man’s face, his eyes, his overall body shape, then his butt, and musculature… Both genders demand good hygiene in their prospective mates obviously Slide9: Physical Attractiveness: Physical Attractiveness Perception has a lot to do with physical attractiveness and various traits and words associated with those traits will direct a person’s perceptions either positively or negatively Highly feminine women are more attracted to 'macho' men than less feminine women Even your own name can affect perception Physical Attractiveness: Physical Attractiveness Female names such as Kathy, Jennifer, or Christine are more attractive than Gertrude, Harriet, or Maude Male names such as Robert, Mark, Tom, or Dick are more attractive than Maynard, Rubin, or Claude Outgoing, confident, assertive people are more attractive than shy, unsure, quiet ones Physical Attractiveness: Physical Attractiveness Psychological characteristics such as warmth, fidelity, honesty, and sensitivity are often rated higher than physical attractiveness for a long-term meaningful relationship Men place a greater emphasis on physical characteristics than women; men are visual Honesty is the most highly desired quality Physical Attractiveness: Physical Attractiveness Women place greater emphasis on traits like vocational status, earning potential, expressiveness, kindness, consideration, dependability, and fondness for children Men, in a German study, placed highest emphasis on physical attractiveness and affection Physical Attractiveness: Physical Attractiveness Are attractiveness preferences inherited? Sociobiologists argue that gender differences in mate preferences may be passed down through the generations by genetics Women need a good provider; men are interested in sowing oats as widely as possible Slide15: The Matching Hypothesis: The Matching Hypothesis People tend to develop romantic relationships with people who are similar to themselves in physical attractiveness rather than to Barbie and Ken types Fear of rejection drives the search for a similarly attractive person Similarity in race, ethnicity, age, level of education, values, and religion is important The Matching Hypothesis: The Matching Hypothesis Similarity in attitudes and tastes is a key contributor to attraction, friendships, and love relationships Compatibility is even a stronger determinant of maintaining an enduring intimate relationship than physical attractiveness Opposites do NOT attract in the long run The Matching Hypothesis: The Matching Hypothesis Reciprocity is important: when we feel admired and complimented, we tend to return these feelings and behaviors Reciprocity is a powerful determinant of attraction Attraction can lead to feelings of love... Love: Love The Greek heritage, Western culture, and Contemporary Models of Love The Greek Heritage: The Greek Heritage The concept of love can be traced back as far as the classical age of the Greeks. The Greeks distinguished 4 concepts related to the modern meanings of love Storge Agape Philia Eros The Greek Heritage: The Greek Heritage Storge: loving attachment, deep friendship, or nonsexual affection Agape: similar to generosity and charity, love with nothing expected in return Philia: closest in meaning to friendship based on liking; brotherly love, Philadelphia Eros: passionate, sexual love; head-over-heels in love; powerful physical attraction Romantic Love: Contemporary Western Culture: Romantic Love: Contemporary Western Culture Western culture has a long tradition of idealizing the concept of romantic love, e.g., romantic fairy tales of Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Snow White Lust vs love: our culture teaches us to define lust as love and females to give the reason of love for having intercourse Double Standard for men/women in West Romantic Love: Contemporary Western Culture: Romantic Love: Contemporary Western Culture Men may be more romantic during the courtship stage of relatinships than the marriage stage Single men think they are more romantic than do single women think they are romantic When reciprocated romantic love is a source of deep fulfillment and ecstasy Romantic Love: Contemporary Western Culture: Romantic Love: Contemporary Western Culture Romantic love can lift us up as high or plunge us as low emotionally as just about anything humans can experience Infatuation vs 'true love' Infatuation is a state of intense absorption in another person accompanied by intense sexual desire, elation, and general physiological arousal; extremely passionate Romantic Love: Contemporary Western Culture: Romantic Love: Contemporary Western Culture Infatuation and 'true love' are indistinguishable for the first few months but infatuation usually will last about the length of a baseball season or less and then fizzle out (different values, beliefs, goals) Reality is the enemy of infatuation Infatuation is not required for a lasting mutual love; fireworks are nice but… Contemporary Models of Love: Contemporary Models of Love Some psychologists, e.g., Ellen Berscheid and Elaine Hatfield, define romantic love in terms of a state of intense physiological arousal and the appraisal of that arousal as being 'love' intense arousal paired with a person may make them love you or you to 'love' them do arousing things on dates… Contemporary Models of Love: Contemporary Models of Love Other psychologists (Hendrick) suggest there are 6 different styles of love, at least among college students: Romantic love (eros), Game-playing love (ludus), Friendship love (stroge, philia), Logical love (pragma), Possessive love (mania), and Selfless love (agape) Contemporary Models of Love: Contemporary Models of Love Yet another psychologist, Robert Sternberg, proposes a 'triangle theory' of love There are three different dimensions to love: intimacy, passion, and commitment These can be arranged in a triangular way and you can then begin to talk of 8 different possible kinds of love Contemporary Models of Love: Contemporary Models of Love Sternberg Intimacy Passion Commitment Contemporary Models of Love: Contemporary Models of Love According to Sternberg the 8 types of love that can be defined by his model are: Nonlove, Liking, Infatuation Empty Love, Romantic Love, Companionate Love Fatuous Love, and Consummate Love Contemporary Models of Love: Contemporary Models of Love Companionate love: a kind of love that exists when the passion has died down between 2 people and is a type of committed friendship; committment and intimacy with no passion Fatuous love: associated with whirlwind romances and quicky marriages; passion and committment with no intimacy Contemporary Models of Love: Contemporary Models of Love Consummate love: the full or complete measure of love involving the combination in equally extreme amounts of passion, committment and intimacy Consummate love is the goal to shoot for in a lasting relationship… it is the ideal marriage… the 80 year olds that are still madly in love with each other. Summary: Summary Are there any questions over Chapter 7: Attraction and Love?
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