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Interpersonal Attraction

Interpersonal Attraction

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Interpersonal Attraction

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  1. Interpersonal Attraction

  2. Interpersonal Attraction • 75% of waking hours spent with others (Larson et al., 1983) • replicated cross-culturally (Larson & Verma, 1999) • Would we find the same result in America today?

  3. Infant Attachment • Infant Attachment • bonds formed with the infant’s primary caregiver • sense of security • provides information about the environment • attachment styles can differ depending on: • individual differences • the relationship • evolutionary explanation

  4. Infant Attachment • Ainsworth (1978) Infant Attachment Styles • Secure • general responsiveness • Avoidant • general unresponsiveness or rejection • Anxious/Ambivalent • general anxiety and inconsistency

  5. Adult Attachment • Adult Romantic Attachment • Hazan & Shaver (1987) • similar to infant attachment • securely attached 59% • avoidant 25% • anxious/Ambivalent 11% • However, adult relationships differ • reciprocal • between peers • involve sexual attraction

  6. Adult Attachment • Adult Attachment Styles • Secure Adults • easy to get close, happy relationships, don’t worry about abandonment, etc. • Avoidant Adult • uncomfortable getting close, highs and lows, etc. • Anxious/Ambivalent • seek intimacy but worry about reciprocity, obsessive, clingy, etc.

  7. Adult Attachment • Early attachment experiences can influence later relationships, but • we’re not tied to our previous experiences, • new experiences can change the way we form relationships • we often have different orientations for different relationships

  8. Why We Form Relationships • Rewards of Social Relations (Weiss, 1974) • attachment • social integration • reassurance of worth • sense of reliable alliance • guidance • opportunity for nurturance

  9. Why We Form Relationships • Social support strongly correlated with • physical health • mental health • But, no single relationship will satisfy all social needs • the wider our social network, the better off we are

  10. Why We Form Relationships • Loneliness • psychological discomfort felt with a lack of adequate social relations • can be lonely without being alone • can be happy alone • Alone does not necessarily meanlonely, though the two often occur together

  11. Why We Form Relationships • 25% of the population has felt lonely within the last two weeks. • Individual differences • can differ from day to day • responses to lonely situations vary

  12. Why We Form Relationships • Emotional Loneliness • lack of an intimate attachment figure • Social Loneliness • feeling detached from one’s social network • Can have either, both, or neither.

  13. Why We Form Relationships • Loneliness Risk Factors • background/childhood factors • personality factors • marital status • socioeconomic status • age

  14. Why We Form Relationships • Social Exchange Theories • Assumption: • we stay in relationships because the benefits outweigh the costs • if costs begin to exceed the benefits, we’ll leave the relationship

  15. Why We Form Relationships • Factors Involved in Interpersonal Attraction • proximity • familiarity • similarity • desirable personal attributes • physical attractiveness

  16. Factors Involved in Interpersonal Attraction • Proximity • the physical closeness of two people is the single best predictor of the development of a social relationship • more likely to know our neighbors than people 10 blocks away. • what about recent technological advancements?

  17. Factors Involved in Interpersonal Attraction • Why Proximity? • distance • Cognitive Dissonance Theory • being in constant contact with people we dislike causes dissonance • we usually reduce dissonance by … • knowing about an upcoming interaction increases liking for the interaction partner

  18. Factors Involved in Interpersonal Attraction • Familiarity • Mere Exposure Effect (Zajonc, 1968) • participants shown pictures of people • Some shown more than others • participantss then rated each face for likeability • Results • ratings and the number of times a picture was presented were positively correlated • replicated with actual people as well • Mita, Dermer, & Knight (1977) • we prefer the way we look in the mirror (reverse image) • our friends prefer the way we look in person (positive image)

  19. Factors Involved in Interpersonal Attraction • Why mere exposure? • Evolutionary Reasons • innate fear of the unknown? • Repeated exposure → Recognition → Predictability • Assumption that familiar = similar

  20. Factors Involved in Interpersonal Attraction • Limits to mere exposure • Only effective when: • the person is initially perceived as positive or neutral • that person’s interests are not in conflict with those of the perceiver’s • too much exposure  boredom

  21. Factors Involved in Interpersonal Attraction • Similarity • Byrne’s (1971) Phantom-Other Technique • Participants fill out a questionnaire • then shown a “another’s” finished questionnaire • similar, moderately similar, or dissimilar to the P • P’s then asked to rate other participant • Results • High similarity  liked the “other” more • Low similarity  like the “other” less • Matching Principle • we tend to date and marry similar others • on many dimensions • similarity and length of relationship positively correlated

  22. Factors Involved in Interpersonal Attraction • Reasons for Similarity Effect • similarity is rewarding • Cognitive Consistency • liking someone we disagree with dissonance • Expectancy-Value Theory • we value certain things (e.g., traits in others), but take into account the probability of getting them • Floyd (an average looking guy) • wants to date supermodels • but dates people with similar attractiveness • may fear rejection from a more attractive partner

  23. Factors Involved in Interpersonal Attraction • Proposed Mechanisms of the Similarity Effect • Selective Attraction • only attracted to similar others • Social Influence • over time, mates become more similar • Environmental Factors • situational factors expose similar others

  24. Factors Involved in Interpersonal Attraction • Similarity Effect: limitations • Can be threatening • bad things happening to similar others can cause us to avoid them. • Complimentarity • differences appreciated once accepted • sharing of pooled knowledge

  25. Factors Involved in Interpersonal Attraction • Desirable Personal Attributes • individual differences • cultural differences • Universal traits • Warmth • we perceive people with positive attitudes as warm • Competence • depends on the situation • but, we don’t like perfect people either (Aronson, Willerman, & Floyd, 1966)

  26. Factors Involved in Interpersonal Attraction Which face is more attractive?

  27. Factors Involved in Interpersonal Attraction Composite of the 22 Miss Germany pageant finalists Miss Germany 2002

  28. Factors Involved in Interpersonal Attraction • Physical Attractiveness • Determining Attractiveness • symmetric faces • baby faces • “averaged” faces rated more attractive than “distinct” faces • cultural and historic influences

  29. Factors Involved in Interpersonal Attraction • Why Physical Attractiveness? • Halo Effect • Radiating Effect of Beauty • people like to be seen with attractive others • enhances their own image • Evolutionary Reasons • rough indicator of good health • mate with good health makes successful offspring more likely

  30. Women successful leadership good job skills earning potential sense of humor intellectual attractive commonsensical athletic logical Men attractive good in bed affectionate good social skills good homemaker stylish sensitive tasteful moral artistic Mate SelectionTop 10 Qualities in a Romantic Partner(Gilmour, 1988)

  31. Mate Selection • Why the differences? • Sociocultural Perspective • social roles of genders • Evolutionary Perspective • genders maximize their chances of reproductive success differently • women “invest” a lot of time and effort for one child • men can have many children throughout their lifetime • Ample evidence for both perspectives

  32. Love • Definition??!?! (Merriam-Webster) • strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties • attraction based on sexual desire • affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests • an assurance of love • warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion • the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration • a beloved person • British -- used as an informal term of address • unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another • a god or personification of love • an amorous episode • the sexual embrace • a score of zero (as in tennis) • Social psychologists have many too …

  33. Love • Feelings of Love • physical symptoms distinguish romantic vs. friendship types of love • “in love” thoughts (Rubin, 1973) • Attachment • need partner to achieve goals • Caring • responding to partner’s needs • Trust/Self-Disclosure • telling a partner intimate details without fear of vulnerability

  34. Love • Love Behavior • what is said vs. what is done • e.g., a significant other that claims love for you but consistently cancels engagements, forgets your birthday, and patronizes you… • love?

  35. Types of Love • Passionate Love • emotionally charged • characteristic of earlier stages • preoccupation with mate • described as uncontrollable • sells lots of movie tickets

  36. Love • Companionate Love • practical, realistic, moderate • trust, caring, and tolerance of flaws • develops slowly • not too good at selling movie tickets

  37. Love • Sternberg’s (1986) Triangular Theory • Three components • Intimacy • feelings of closeness • can be present in all loving relationships • Passion • drives that lead to intense emotions • differs depending on type of relationship • Commitment • decision to love someone • short vs. long term

  38. Love

  39. Love • Seven types of love • Liking • intimacy without passion or commitment • Infatuation • passion without intimacy or commitment • Empty • commitment without passion and intimacy • Romantic • passion and intimacy without commitment • Companionate • intimacy and commitment without passion • Fatuous • passion and commitment without intimacy • Consummate • passion, commitment, and intimacy

  40. Jealousy • Jealousy • reaction to a perceived threat to a relationship • those highly dependent upon the relationship are the most affected by feelings of jealousy