Origin of attraction Biological level of analysis
Biological level of analysis • Animals and humans share a lot of similar behaviour when attracted to each other • Evolutionary theories argue that the purpose is to procreate – pass on ones genes! • In the animal kingdom it is common that the males fight over the females
The Nature of Human relationships (our emotion of being in love) • The result of a biomedical cocktail • according to Fischer (2004) who argues that the symptoms exhibited in human romantic passion indicate that dopamine, adrenaline, and serotonin all play an important role. • Fischer argues that love is not an emotion, but a motivation system – designed to enable us to mate (much like other animals)
The love cocktail • Adrenaline: makes your heart race, your palms become sweaty… (stress hormone) high energy, less need of sleep and food and more focused attention on the potential mate • Serotonin: a neurotransmitter that may be involved in love – not possible to document the exact role in romantic love though • Fischer et al 2003 – used fMRI to investigate the blood flow in 20 men and women to compare brain activity and it was more active in the brain’s reward system when watching their beloved ones
The role of hormones in bonding • Modern research has discovered that two hormones help to increase the bond between lovers • Adult attachment – hormones oxytocin and vasopressin • Oxytocin – released in men and women during touching and sex • Also during childbirth – could explain the “strong” bond between mother and child, or at least secure it – experiments done on rats which confirmed these findings
vasopressin • Another important hormone for long-term commitment • Also released during sex • Animals that have more sex than necessary (humans) prairie voles for example, test to suppress the effect of vasopressin What happened?
Evolutionary explanations • Jealousy, David Buss - may be biologically based – to optimize the potential for reproduction • Low (1990) – correlation between parasites and the degree of polygyny –higher the higher Another Buss study analysed facial characteristics such as high cheekbones, masculine chin (symmetrical facial features or not) • Read the dirty shirt study by Wedekind 1995 and summarize it with one paragraph
Origins of attraction: the cognitive level of analysis • Relates to perception and social cognition • If we perceive another person as similar to oneself –could be the explanation behind the attraction • Opposites attract – false! Couples tend to be similar in age, religion, social class, cultural background, personality, education, intelligence, physical attractiveness, attitudes…
Activity • Write down: • Describe the psychological characteristics, values, and attitudes of your ideal romantic partner, without thinking of anyone in particular
Activity • No, write down: • Describe yourself
Shared interests and also the other person’s support for one’s own views and attitudes (rewarding) • Markey et al (2000) investigated to which similarity is a factor in the way people choose partners. • A large sample of young people • Asked to describe their ideal partner • Then to describe themselves • Results?
Results showed similar results – • A follow up study with couples showed the same • Though only on Americans • Higher the match – influence how the relationship progress • Do Research in psychology and answer the questions 1-4 on p. 277 for tomorrow
Origins of attraction Sociocultural level of analysis
Similarity also has do with same social and cultural norms • How contact and interaction take place makes a difference/ or influence • Frequency of interacting is a good prediction of liking and also if one lived close (dormitories, elderly homes, campuses, work, school…right Anna?) • Interaction provide us with connectedness and attachment and this is a human need, • Zajonc – the mere exposure effect
THE ROLE OF CULTURE IN THE FORMATION AND MAINTENANCE OF RELATIONSHIPS • Love – a different meaning in different cultures • Marriage – comes after love or before? Depends on the culture • Buss (1994) largest cross-cultural studies on relationships – 10 000 from 37 cultures Some aspects were similar – such as sex, but a lot were different such as where they ranked “love”