Interpersonal Attraction Essay

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Interpersonal Attraction

Factors affecting attraction 1. Need for Affiliation 1. Evolution 1. Proximity 1. Emotion 1. Attractiveness 1. Similarity 1. Theories of Attraction

Evolution 1. It is adaptive – perpetuation of species 1. E.g. Men attractive due to wealth, power, social status – providers 1. Women attractive due to looks - fertility

Need for Affiliation

What is? • The motive to seek and maintain social relationships • Neurobiology Rowe (1996) – We’re born with it
Personality affects the need • Schizoid persons • Dismissive avoidant styles • Dependent persons
Situational Factors • Crisis situations increase the need for affiliation
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o Lying? • Online attraction determined by level and quality of conversation • Face to face interaction affected by attractiveness

Similarity and Attraction

Similarity-Dissimilarity Effect • Research suggests that people are attracted to those who are similar to themselves • Similarity needed to develop friendships/relationships

Theories Explaining Similarity

The Proportion of Similarity Byrne & Nelson (1965) • Developed formula to predict attraction • Number of topics on which two people express similar views divided by the total number of topics on which they have communicated • The higher the proportion of similarity the grater the liking

The Repulsion Hypothesis Rosenbaum (1986) • Disagrees with proportion of similarity • Similarity does not affect attraction • People repulsed by dissimilarity • Research disprove this hypo

Balance Theory Heider 1965, Newcombe 1961 • Two people like each other + find they’re similar = A state of balance • Balance feels good • Two people like each other + dissimilar to each other = Imbalance • Imbalance does not feel good • Two people dislike each other = Nonbalance

Evolution (Gould 1996) • Survival & reproduction best achieved by staying close to similar others

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