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Lecture 21 - Attraction and Relationships

by: Leslie Ogu

Lecture 21 - Attraction and Relationships PSYC 2012

Marketplace > George Washington University > Psychlogy > PSYC 2012 > Lecture 21 Attraction and Relationships
Leslie Ogu
GPA 3.01

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About this Document

We now begin to talk about how we become attracted to certain people, what characteristics stick out, why we desire people, how relationships are started, and how relationships last through the dif...
Social Psychology
Stock, M
Class Notes
social, Psychology, challenges, Relationships, attraction, desire, Physical, characteristics, pretty, handsome, liking, similarity, differences, opposites, love, facial, features, matching, mere, exposure, effect, halo
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Leslie Ogu on Tuesday April 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 2012 at George Washington University taught by Stock, M in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychlogy at George Washington University.


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Date Created: 04/19/16
Leslie Ogu PSYC 2012  04/18/2016 ­ Attraction & Relationships    Attraction & Relationships  ➢ Who do we find attractive?  ○ Proximity, mere exposure, similarity  ○ Features  ○ Matching people  ➢ What makes a satisfying relationship?  ○ Social exchange theory  ○ Equity theory  ○ Love types  ○ Evolutionary theory    Attraction  ➢ People have a strong need to belong and to affiliate with others  ➢ What determines attraction?  ○ Proximity (propinquity):​  the more we see and interact with people, the  more likely we are to develop relationships with them  ■ Geographical distance​  ­ literal distance  ■ Functional distance​  ­ likelihood to come into contact  ■ Housing complex study  ● Neighbors began as strangers  ○ Mere Exposure Effect:​  the more exposure we have to a stimulus (e.g.,  foreign words, faces, music, etc.), the more apt we are to like it  ■ Ex: The more times people saw a foreign word, the more likely they  were to guess that it meant something good  ■ Ex: Students liked the woman (a confederate) they had seen in  class most often, even though they have never interacted with her  ○ Similarity:​  we like those people who match our interests, personality,  backgrounds, attitudes, etc  ■ Ex: Roommates who were more similar became better friends over  time than dissimilar roommates  ■ Ex: People are more likely to marry someone who is similar, rather  than dissimilar, to them  ■ Opposites do not attract  ■ Why does similarity matter?  ● We tend to think that people who are similar to us will also  like us; so, we are more likely to initiate relationships  ● People who are similar validate our own characteristics and  beliefs  ● We make negative inferences about people who disagree  with us  ■ What about differences?  ● Differences are rewarding  ● Core values more important than superficial similarity  ○ Reciprocal Liking: ​ we tend to like people who like us  ■ Ex: People told that others like them reported reciprocal affection  ■ Ex: Men liked a woman who showed interest in them even when  they knew she was dissimilar to them on important issues  ○ Physical Attractiveness:​  we like people who are physically attractive  (esp. If they are of the “non­competition” sex (people we don’t have to  compete against for mates))  ■ Blind Date Study  ■ Attractiveness matters for both men and women  ● Differences exist but more in what people ​say​ than what they  do  ■ Halo Effect:​ what is attractive / beautiful is “good” stereotype  ● Automatically assigning attractive people with favorable traits  (e.g., talent, kindness, honesty, intelligence)  ■ Babies gaze longer at attractive faces  ■ Teachers evaluate “cute” children as smarter and more popular  ■ Attractive defendants receive more lenient sentences  ■ Cross­cultural agreement; however different cultures “improve”  beauty in different ways  ■ No​  empirical relationship between attractiveness and intellect,  happiness, self­esteem, or mental health  ■ What is attractive? **  ● “​ Baby­face” features: large eyes, small nose and chin, big  smile  ○ Men find this attractive in women  ● Sexual maturity features: prominent cheekbones, large chin  (on men only), facial / eyebrow hair (on men only)  ○ Both men and women (but ​ especially women​ ) find this  attractive  ● Expressive features: wide smile, high eyebrows  ○ Both men and women (but especially men) find this  attractive   ● Perfectly average faces are most attractive ***  ○ Why?  ■ Familiarity  ■ Symmetry  ● Symmetrical features  ● “Average” features    Matching Principle  ➢ Def:​  tendency for people to choose partners that match their own level of  attractiveness (and other traits)  ○ Married couples “match” better than dating couples  ➢ When people don’t match on attractiveness, the less attractive partner usually  has compensating qualities (like wealth, knowledge, etc)  ➢ What do mates match on?  ○ Ethnic backgrounds  ○ Religion and values  ○ Social class  ○ Personality (e.g., sensation seeking)  ○ Physical attractiveness    Relationships  ➢ Social Exchange Theory  ○ Economic view of relationships  ■ Maximize rewards and benefits  ● (positive qualities: companionship, partner’s good traits,  material resources)  ■ Minimize costs   ● (negative qualities: conflict, partner’s negative traits,  sacrifices)  ○ Comparison of rewards and costs determines relationship satisfaction  ○ Comparison Level:​  expected rewards and costs of the relationship  ■ Low = easily satisfied  ■ High = not easily satisfied  ○ Comparison Level for Alternatives:​  expected rewards and costs for an  alternative relationship  ■ Low = high commitment to current relationship  ■ High = low commitment to current relationship  ○ Equity Theory:​  people are most satisfied in relationships in which the  ratio of rewards to costs is the same for both people  ■ Not the same as equity ***  ● One partner may get more benefits, but if he/she also makes  more contributions, then the relationship can still be  equitable  Your benefits Partner′s benefits ■ Your contributionsPartne′s contributions ■ Inequity makes both people less satisfied  ● Underbenefited = angry and resentful  ● Overbenefited = guilty  ■ However, feeling underbenefited is worse **   


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