Published on January 17, 2014
Interpersonal Attraction SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
WHAT IS INTERPERSONAL ATTRACTION? It is the desire to approach other people.
WHY DO WE HAVE THIS DESIRE?
TWO REASONS FOR AFFILIATION Social Comparison Social Exchange The theory that The theory that proposes that we evaluate our thoughts and actions by comparing them with those of others. proposes that we seek out and maintain those relationships in which the rewards exceed the cost.
• The information that social comparison provides is used to evaluate the self. • Social comparison is most likely when we are in a state of uncertainty concerning a relevant self-aspect. • We generally prefer to compare ourselves with similar to others. • The more similar people are to us, the more likely we will be to use the information gained through social comparison in better understanding ourselves and future actions. • We use social comparison not only to judge ourselves, but also to judge our emotions and choose our friends. “When people are deciding whether to remain in a relationship, they will not consider the rewards and cost in isolation.” (Thibaut & Kelley, 1959)
MAXIMIZE PLEASURE AND MINIMIZE PAIN
Five Core Social Motives UNDERSTANDING BELONGINGNESS Need for stable and strong relationships UNDERSTAND Need for shared meaning and prediction CONTROLLING BELONGINGNESS CONTROLLING Need for perceived contingency between behavior and outcomes SELF-ENHANCING Need for viewing self as basically worthy or improvable TRUSTING Need for viewing others as basically benign seeing the world as a benevolent place TRUSTING SELF-ENHANCING
WE NEED TO BELONG When this need is unfulfilled due to social exclusion or rejection, we react in a variety of negative ways, including increased stress, anxiety, and self-defeating thinking and behavior, which are often followed by decreased physical health.
What factors affect attraction? • Close proximity fosters liking. • When anxious or fearful, we often seek out others who are also experiencing similar feelings. Anxious people affiliate with others who are similarly anxious in order to compare emotional states. Sometimes when anticipating a fearful event, people prefer not to be those who are also fearful. They prefer someone who has already experienced the fearful event and who can tell them something about it >> People seek cognitive clarity.
PHYSICAL ATTRACTIVENESS STEREOTYPE The belief that physically attractive individuals possess a socially desirable personality traits and lead happier lives than less attractive persons. Good looking people do tend to be less socially anxious, more socially skilled, and less lonesome than those who are unattractive (Feingold, 1992). There is a self-fulfilling prophecy involved in the physical attractiveness stereotype. The apparent reason physically attractive people tend to be socially poised and confident is that those interact with them convey the clear impression that they truly are interesting and sociable individuals.
Matching Hypothesis The proposition that people are attracted to others who are similar to them in particular characteristics. The greater the proportion of similar attitudes held by people the greater their attraction to one another. Birds of a feather, flock together.
DESIRE FOR SOCIAL COMPARISON Meeting others who share our views on important issues makes us feel better because it reassures us that the essential aspects of our self-concept have social validity. When others validate our own self-beliefs through agreements, we should develop a positive attitude towards them. AFFINITY WITH SIMILAR OTHERS IS PART OF EVOLUTIONARY HERITAGE Our ancestors may have used similarity cues to detect those who are genetically similar to themselves. WE LIKE THAT WHICH IS FAMILIAR It may have been evolutionary adaptive to perceive unfamiliar others with caution and distrust because of the dangers inherent in dealing with the unfamiliar. We perceive similar others as attractive because they mimic familiarity.
BALANCE THEORY Matching hypothesis is due to the need for the consistency. Balance Theory states that people desire cognitive consistency or balance in their thoughts and feelings and social relationships.
We are attracted to others who share our attitudes, values, and beliefs, and we may even enter into a committed relationships with these individuals. Once committed to these relationships, people with similar personalities may be better able than those with different personalities to coordinate their daily activities and thereby avoid the friction and conflict that lowers relationship satisfaction. How does this work? LIKING THOSE WHO LIKE US • If we think others like us, we tend to act in ways that increase the likelihood that they will indeed like us. • If we think that they dislike us, our subsequent interaction style may fulfill the negative prophecy even if it is based on false information.
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A favorable attitude toward, or a fondness for, another person. Both personal characteristics and environment play a role in interpersonal attraction.