Sexual Attraction In Social Psychology

Superior Essays
Attraction has been the focus of many social psychology studies. It is a difficult to study and standardize because of the subjective nature of the phenomenon and the vast amount of factors which can affect it. Jessica Tracy and Alec Beall attempt to narrow down attraction in terms of gender-specific priorities of emotional expressions in the peer-reviewed article, Happy Guys Finish Last: The Impact of Emotion Expressions on Sexual Attraction, published in 2011 in the psychology journal, Emotion. In 2008, Popular press magazine Psychology Today focused on more general gender-specific trends in sexual attraction in their article, Fast Forces of Attraction. In their study, Jessica Tracy and Alec Beall aimed to determine how varying degrees …show more content…
Study 1 tested 184 heterosexual Canadian Asian and Caucasian undergraduates, 50% male and 50% female, with a median age of 21. Each individual was asked to view and judge one image of a male or female on a linear scale. The same male and female were present in each photo, displaying an expression of pride, happiness, shame, or neutrality. In this results of this study, “female happy displays were judged more attractive than female pride displays” (Tracy & Beall, 2011), with the reverse effect on males. Happiness was the most attractive female expression, followed by pride, and then shame. Pride was more attractive in men than in women, relative to the other expressions. Study 2 aimed to resolve any bias due to physical attractiveness of the two individuals by introducing multiple different individuals for the photos. It also introduced greater age differences among the experiments. The range of participants was the same as sample 1, with a new sample with a median age of 39. Again, female happy displays were most attractive in all three samples. Male pride was the most attractive male expression in all samples. Female shame was more attractive than pride. For older adult males, shame and happy did not differ. Overall, women were judged more attractive than men. In conclusion, both studies confirmed the initial hypothesis that “distinct emotion expressions have divergent effects on sexual attractiveness, which vary be …show more content…
For example, one of the factors included is class. The article claims that men and women are attracted to others from their own social class. It backs up this claim with a quote from Dalton Conley, a sociologist at NYU. Quoting a professional was a common method of providing evidence for this article. In another trait, confidence, the article quotes John Neffinger, a political consultant who specializes in nonverbal behavior, “Those who look relaxed yet assured are attractive because they put us at ease.” (“FAST FORCES OF ATTRACTION,”

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