Attraction Attraction: A force that draws people together. Attraction is broader than simple sexual attraction. Attraction also encompasses the feeling of liking towards friends, and having positive thoughts towards others. Two forms of interpersonal attraction are friendship and love.
Physical Attractiveness Physical attraction is the key factor determining romantic attraction. Physical attraction includes such attributes as facial structure, tallness, figure, breasts, etc.
Beauty Some aspects of beauty appear to be cross-cultural. Both British and Japanese men consider women with large eyes, high cheekbones, and narrow jaws to be most attractive.
United States In our society, tallness is an asset for men, although college women prefer dates who are medium in height. Tall women tend to be viewed less positively. Tallness is associated with social dominance and many men are uncomfortable when they must look up to a woman. College women prefer their dates to be about 6 inches taller than they are, whereas college men, on average, prefer women to be 4.5 inches shorter. Shortness is perceived to be a liability for both men and women.
Breasts There is a stereotype in our society that men prefer larger breasts. In essence, the bigger the better. While there is some support for this, one study found that people seem to have an exaggerated idea of the sizes the other gender actually prefers.
What about weight? This tends to be a cultural phenomena. While some cultures value plumpness, there is great pressure in our society to be slender. In todays society, most college aged men believe that their build is close to what women are seeking, while women feel that they (women) are heavier than what men find attractive. In studies…men actually prefer women to be heavier than women expect, and women expect men to be somewhat thinner than men assume.
Notice the gap between the current and ideal for both men and women. Can we conclude anything from this?
Gender Differences in Attraction. Women place greater emphasis than men on traits like vocational status, earning potential, expressiveness, kindness, consideration, dependability and fondness for children. Men give more consideration to youth, physical attractiveness, cooking ability and frugality. Cross-cultural studies have discovered similar attitudes.
Stereotypes of Attractive People Attractive people tend to be treated more positively by their peers. We judge attractive people as popular, intelligent, mentally healthy and fulfilled. We expect attractive people to be persuasive and hold prestigious jobs. We even expect them to be good parents and have stable marriages.
The Matching Hypothesis Matching Hypothesis: The view that people generally seek to develop relationships with people who are similar to themselves in attractiveness and other attributes, such as attitudes. Researchers have found that people who are dating steadily, engaged or married tend to be matched in physical attractiveness. Young married couples even tend to be matched in weight.
Attraction and Similarity Similarity in attitudes and tastes is a key contributor to initial attraction, friendships, and love relationships. However, women appear to place a greater emphasis than men do on attitude similarity as a determinant of attraction. Men seem to value attitude similarity in terms of sexuality rather than religious attitudes whereas women find religious attitudinal similarity to be more important.
Proximity and Reciprocity We tend to develop relationships with individuals in close proximity to us. This makes sense as we are more likely to interact with individuals in closer proximity. People who live closer together also tend to have similar attitudes. Reciprocity: The tendency to return feelings and attitudes that are expressed about us.
Sexual Orientation Sexual Orientation: The directionality of ones romantic or erotic intereststhat is, whether one is sexually attracted to, and interested in forming romantic relationships with, people of the other or the same gender. Heterosexual: Referring to people who are sexually aroused by, and interested in forming romantic relationships with, people of the other gender. Homosexual: Referring to people who are sexually aroused by, and interested in forming romantic relationships with, people of the same gender. Bisexual: A person who is sexually aroused by, and interested in forming romantic relationships with, people of either gender.
Origins of Sexual Orientation Psychodynamic: Unresolved oedipal or electra complexes lead to identification with the opposite gender parent. Learning theory: Early reinforcement of sexual behavior can influence ones sexual orientation. Genetic factors: Researchers have found evidence for possible genetic factors. Sex Hormones: Sex hormones may play a role in sexual orientation via both activating and organizing effects. Ultimately, sexual orientation may be explained by a combination of factors (genetic, hormonal and environmental).
Attitudes, Coming Out and Adjustment Although most people in the United States believe that gay people should have equal access to jobs, some would bar them from certain professions. Due to the social environment in our society, gay males and lesbians often struggle to come to terms with their sexual orientation. The first challenge is to come out. This can be a difficult process given expectations that family and friends may react negatively. Gay males and lesbians are more likely to experience feelings of anxiety and depression, and that they are more prone to suicide.
Friends Clique: A small group of close friends who share confidences. Crowd: A large number of loosely knit friends who share activities. Friends play a major role throughout our lives. In late adulthood, for example, the quality of friendliness is associated with psychological well-being.
What Qualities are Important? Psychology Today magazine survey of 40,000 readers found the following characteristics to be the 6 most important for friends: Ability to keep confidences, loyalty, warmth and affection, supportiveness, honesty and frankness, humor.
Fraternities and Sororities Advantages: Social support Prestige Lifelong network Tradition Social activities Mentoring Disadvantages: Negative behavioral norms Dating pressures Exclusivity Poor living arrangements Time pressures Hazing
Styles of Love Eros: Romantic love. Love at first site. We are perfect for each other. I am turned on by you! Storge: Friendship-love. Storge is loving attachment, deep friendship, or nonsexual affection. Pragma: Pragmatic, or logical love. I consider a lovers potential in life before committing myself. Mania: Possessive, excited love. I get so excited about my love that I cannot sleep. Agape: Selfless love. I would do anything I can to help my lover.
Romantic Love in Todays Society When we speak of falling in love, we are referring to romantic love (not the type of love a parent has a child). Romantic Love: a passionate form of love involving strong erotic attraction to another combined with desires for intimacy.
Sternberg (1986): Intimacy: Based on the sharing of intimate (deeply personal) information and feelings of mutual acceptance (this is the emotional aspect of love). Passion: Involves sexual attraction and the desire for sexual intimacy (this is the motivational force of love). Commitment: The cognitive, or decisional component of love.
Romantic Versus Companionate Love Does Romantic love provide a sound basis for marriage? Hill (1976) followed 200 couples in college over a two year period during which over half broke up. (next slide shows reasons). People are more likely to maintain relationships if they have developed companionate love.
Loneliness People who are lonely, as compared to those who are not, tend to show the following behavior patterns: They spend more time by themselves They are more likely to eat dinner alone They are more likely to spend weekends alone They engage in fewer social activities They are unlikely to be dating Loneliness tends to peak during adolescence and older adulthood.
Causes of Loneliness Lack of social skills Lack of interest in other people Lack of empathy High self-criticism Failure to disclose information about themselves Cynicism about human nature Demanding too much too soon General pessimism An external locus of control Lack of sense of community
What To Do? Make frequent social contacts Combat shyness Be assertive Become a good listener Let people get to know you Fight fair Tell yourself that youre worthy of friends Find an on-campus job Make use of college counseling center services
To the Instructor: The preceding slides are intended to provide you a base upon which to build your presentation for Chapter 11 of Nevids Psychology and the Challenges of Life. For further student and instructor resources including images from the textbook, quizzes, flashcard activities and e-Grade plus, please visit our website: www.wiley.com/college/nevid www.wiley.com/college/nevid
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