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Attraction, Love and Relationships


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Aronson (1976)
  • it is better to have at least one glaring fault in order to appear at least human
Averill & Boothroyd (1977)
  • found the more you believe in such a thing as 'love at first sight', the more likely it is to happen
Buss (1989)
  • proposes that men prefer younger women because they are more likely to be fertile
  • women look for older, succesful men who can support them and their children
  • both prefer attractive partners because this indicates health and conseq
Byrne (1964)
  • manipulated seating arrangements in a classroom
  • found that those randomly placed in the centre  became more popular
  • this suggests that proximity is influential
Cameron et al (1977)
  • Personal Advertisment research
  • found that men tended to sell themselves on status characteristics, whereas women tended to use physical appearance
Cash and Derlega (1978)
  • found that matching occurs in same-sex friendships
Characteristics of a Collectivist Culture
  • interdependency
  • group is the basic unit of concern
  • individual happiness is sacrificed for group happiness
Characteristics of Individualistic Cultures
  • individual goals and interests are highly regarded
  • importance is placed upon individual happiness
  • rights and freedoms of the individual are emphasied
  • achievement orientated
Cunningham (1988)
  • found that men who watched a happy film rather than a sad one later interacted more positively with a female confederate afterwards
Dunbar and McGuiness
  • Personal Advertisement research
  • found similar outcomes to Dunbar and Waynforth (1995) when analysing 600 ads in London papers
Dutton and Aron (1974)
  • love on a suspension bridge
  • participants were interviewed about scienic attractions when they visited a park
  • interviewer was an attractive female and she approached the men on either a high or low suspension bridge
Ebbeson et al (1976)
  • found that the most disliked people lived nearby
  • this is because those in close proximity have a greater potential to annoy us (with inconsiderate behaviour - e.g. loud noice etc)
Evaluation of Dutton and Aron (1974)
  • who decided the female interviewer was attractive?
  • individual differences were not accounted for (fear of heights, sexual orientation)
Evaluation of Walster et al (1966)
  • who judged the attractiveness of the participants?
  • lacks ecological validity
  • told that the woman was their ideal partner, so they may believe that they had something in common - therefore the results may not be due to attraction on
Evaluation of Wilson (1975)
  • this has sinister implications for rape
  • prosecution may not be possible if it can be argued that the defendent was genetically driven to rape
Festinger et al (1950)
  • studied married graduate students who had been randomly assigned to flats in 17 different two-storey buildings
  • found that 2/3 of close friends lived in the same bulding and that if this was the case, they were twice as likely to be on the
Filter Model of Attraction
  • Kerckhoff and Davis (1962)
  • states that we rely on social and personal factors to 'filter' potential friends and romantic partners
  • different criteria are used at different times
Filter Model

  • tend to be attracted to people who appear to be intelligent and competent
  • Aronson (1976)
Filter Model

Complementarity of Needs
  • although similarity is initially an important filter, characteristics that complement each other are important
Filter Model

Physical Attractiveness
  • physical attraction gives an increased desire to interact with the attractive person
  • Walster et al (1966)
  • Walster and Walster (1969)
  • Murstein (1972)
  • Wheeler
Filter Model

  • physical proximity makes it easier to get to know people
  • frequently interaction leads to increased non-verbal feedback which reaffirms attraction
  • Ebbeson et al (1976)
  • Byrne (1964)
  • <
Filter Model

  • more likely to come into contact with others of the same background, interests etc.
  • Newcombe (1961)
  • Kerkchoff (1974)
General Evaluation of the Filter Model
  • it is difficult to seperate the effects of proximity and similarity (physical proximity may predict attraction only in as much as similar people gather in the same place)
  • research does not focus on the influence of family and friends
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General Evaluation of the Matching Hypothesis
- supporting research is artifical (Murstein etc)
- too much emphasis on physical attractiveness
- too much emphasis on romantic relationships and little on friendships
- society has changed since the research began - no lo
Hofstede (1980-94)
  • analysed data from employees from 50 different countries
  • arugued that over half of the differences between cultures was accounted for by four dimensions, the most important being individualism/collectivism
Kerkchoff (1974)
Kerkchoff observed that married couples usually come from the same:
  • social
  • economic
  • religious
  • intelligence
  • and educational backgrounds

Kin Selection
  • states that we are innately programmed to form close family relationships as these help pass on our genes
  • the closer the genetic relationship is, the more we will sacrifice in order to protect out family
  • survivial of an individual&
Matching Hypothesis

Mismatched Relationships
  • having an attractive parner may boost self-esteem, but may also lead to jealousy
  • less attractive partners may feel insecure and jealous of the attention given to attractive partners
  • this can place a strain on the relationship and m
May and Hamilton (1980)
  • asked female students to look at photos of male strangers
  • divided into 3 groups
  • Group 1 listened to pleasant music
  • Group 2 listened to unpleasant music
  • Group 3 did not listen to any music
  • It was group 1 that
Murstein (1972)
  • used couples who were engaged or going steady
  • couples asked to rate their own partners attractiveness on a 5-point scale
  • independent judges rated the couples of attractiveness from photographs
  • ratings were compared with tho
Murstein and Christy (1976)
  • studied married couples
  • found that they were more similar than dating couples in terms of physical attractiveness
  • supports the matching hypothesis
  • very strong evidence as the couples studied were those who were commited and
Newcombe (1961)
  • studied first-year male undergraduates who did not know each other
  • measured their attitude to various things
  • found they were more likely to form relationships with students who shared their attitudes
Relationships from Individualistic Cultures Tend to Be...
  • voluntary
  • based on love
  • temporary - many relationships before commitment
Relationships in a Collectivist Culture Tend to Be...
  • involuntary
  • permenant
  • seen as a union between families
Schachter and Singer (1962)
  • found that in certain circumstances emotions are determined by a general arousal state which the individual then interprets by referring to external factors
Segal (1974)
  • assigned trainees alphabetically to seats in classrooms and dormitories on the basis of surname
  • found that the closer together in the alphabet (and thus the closer they were to each other), the more likely they were to be friends
Silverman (1971)
  • conducted a field study in bars and similar public places
  • couples were unmarried and between the ages of 18-22
  • they were observed and rated by an independent party on a 5-point scale for attractiveness
  • couples had similar r
Sociobiological Theory
  • states that we are driven by our genes
  • attempts to explain human relationships purely in genetic terms
  • Wilson (1975)
  • Buss (1989)
  • Cameron et al (1977)
Sternberg (2000)
  • challenges the view that love can be analysed purely in terms of different constituent factors
  • suggests love between two people follows a story and these stories need to match
  • contrasts Hatfield and Walster's s
Studies for the Matching Hypothesis
  • Walster et al (1966)
  • Walster and Walster (1969)
  • Silverman (1971)
  • Murstein (1972)
  • Murstein and Christy (1976)
  • Cash and Derlega
Tesser and Paulhus (1976)
  • found that the more you think about love the more likely you are to fall in love
The Matching Hypothesis
The Matching Hypothesis states that people are attracted to others who have similar levels of attractiveness to themselves
The Three Factors for Romantic Love
  • Physiological Arousal
  • Appropriate Love Object
  • Cultural Exposure
Three Factor Theory of Love
  • Hatfield and Walster (1981)
  • love is a physiological state of arousal that is labelled as love when an appropriate love object is present and cultural cues tell you it is love
  • related to the cognitive labelling theo
Walster and Walster (1969)
  • supports matching hypothesis
  • second computer dance study
  • the participants could meet first and state how attractive they wanted their partner to be
  • they tended to choose someone of comparable attractiveness to themselves
Walster et al (1966)
  • does not support matching hypothesis
  • computer dance study
  • 752 American Fresher students
  • paired randomly but believed they were with their ideal partner (based upon a previous questionnaire)
  • unknown to them, they had
Wheeler and Kim (1997)
  • found that Korean, American and Canadian students rated physically attractive people as being more sociable, friendly, extroverted, happy and mature
  • this is called the Halo Effect
Why We Enter Into a Relationship

(Reinforcement-Affect Model)
  • the presence of some individuals is associated with positive feelings which makes them more attractive
  • if we meet someone when we are feeling happy we are more inclined to like them (neutral stimuli + positive event = positive value)
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Wilson (1975)
  • argued that human sexual behaviour can be explained through an understanding of survival efficency
  • states that it is in the interests of males to impregnante as many women as possible. This ensures the passing on of the genes
  • Women
Yela and Sangrador (2001)
  • found that despite the matching effect, people tend to have a biased perception of their partner as being slightly more attractive than themselves