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Mate Selection Theories

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Presentation on theme: "Mate Selection Theories"— Presentation transcript:

1 Mate Selection Theories
How do people choose their partners?

2 Mate Selection Theories
Social Homogamy Ideal Mate Theory Developmental Perspective Evolutionary Psychology Social Exchange Theory Filter Theory

3 Social Homogamy People are attracted to those from similar backgrounds. Areas of similarity: Age, race, ethnic background, socioeconomic status, political views, religion, similar appearance status, proximity (live nearby). Similarities ensure that couples will manage their shared resources more efficiently and with less conflict. Best explains arranged marriages Parents seek out a partner who is similar to their son/daughter

4 Ideal Mate Theory Attraction is based on an individual’s unconscious image of the ideal partner. This is based on their perceptions of the meaning of certain physical characteristics and social status. People assess their resources (attractiveness, wealth, personality, and social status) and look for a mate who will be attracted to these resources and/or traits.

5 …Ideal Mate (continued)
Most will find a mate in society because individuals are attracted to different people. We don’t all find the same things attractive. Supports the idea of “love at first sight,” since everyone has an unconscious ideal with which they compare a person to find him/her attractive. This helps them make the immediate comparison or judgement of a person as loveable or unloveable.

6 Developmental Perspective
Individuals are unable to relate to someone else without first understanding who they are and what their roles in life are. They must understand what they have to offer another person and what they want or need in return. If they don’t have a sense of who they are (their identity) prior to forming romantic relationships, the relationship defines their identity.

7 Evolutionary Psychology
In prehistoric times, mate selection was based on reproduction and the ability to procreate future generations. Women preferred men who would be good fathers and providers for their children. Sought out men who were healthy, intelligent, well- educated, hard-working, and ambitious. Men preferred women who could bear healthy babies, feed their kids, and were intelligent and well-tempered to raise them. Sought out women who were attractive, young, healthy, had wider hips than their waist (a sign of fertility).

8 Social Exchange Theory
Individuals will analyze their assets and deficits (flaws). They will look for a partner who balances their assets and deficits. They will seek to get ahead or to move up through successful mate selection. Best explains marriages of older, wealthier men/women with young, attractive men/women.

9 Murstein’s Filter Theory
Explained the relationship among dating, social homogamy, and social exchange as a multi- step process. He uses the analogy of ‘sifting’ to suggest that individuals pass their dates through a series of ‘filters’ to screen out unacceptable marriage partners.

10 Field of Eligibles Propinquity Attraction Homogamy Compatibility Trial
Who is available? Propinquity Who is realistically attainable? Who do I know? Attraction Looks at appearance and personality preferences. Homogamy Look for similarities in values, age, race, religion, etc. Compatibility Do their attitudes, values, needs, temperament, roles, and habits mesh well with mine? Trial Cohabiting? Engagement? Decision Have I made a good choice? Marriage

11 Sternberg’s Love Triangle
Intimacy Passion Commitment Sternberg’s Love Triangle

12 Intimacy Emotional side of a relationship
Closeness Sharing Support Communication Increases steadily throughout a relationship – eventually levels out

13 Passion Motivational part of a relationship
Leads to physiological arousal An intense desire Develops quickly

14 Commitment Cognitive side of a relationship Grows and develops
Short-term decision to love Long-term decision to maintain that love Grows and develops Non-existent when a relationship fizzles out

15 Sternberg’s Love Triangle
The AREA and SHAPE of the triangle indicates the amount and form of love Intimacy Passion Commitment

16 Friendship Companionate Romantic Consummate Empty Fatuous Infatuated

17 Non-Love Absence of all three components
Describes the majority of our personal relationships

18 Friendship I Refers to the feelings experienced in true friendships

19 Infatuated Love The “love at first sight” feeling
P The “love at first sight” feeling High degree of physiological arousal

20 Empty Love When a relationship has become dull
Typical of arranged marriages – at the start

21 Romantic Love Physical attraction paired with an intimate relationship
Typical of affairs since there’s no commitment

22 Fatuous Love Hollywood Love Relationship progresses quickly
Very little long-term success

23 Companionate Love I C Describes a long-term friendship/ union that lacks any physical attraction Seen in lengthy marriages

24 Consummate Love The goal of many couples
I P C The goal of many couples Difficult, but not impossible, to attain Challenging to maintain it

25 Another perspective on Love
Lee’s Styles of Loving Another perspective on Love

26 Styles of Loving Companionate Romantic Altruistic Egotistic Manic

27 Companionate Rooted in long-term friendship and loyalty
Evolves gradually towards love Stable, non-demanding, committed, and trusting Opposite of manic love

28 Romantic An intense desire to care for their partner
Strong, physical connection Desire to be inseparable

29 Egotistic Self-serving love More interested in the “game” of love
May engage in several relationships simultaneously Goal is to get partner hooked without investing your own emotions into the relationship

30 Altruistic Places partner’s needs above their own
May pass up better relationships rather than abandon a bad one Opposite of egotistic love

31 Manic An irrational, crazy passion Possessive and clingy
Intense to the point of being all consuming

32 Pragmatic A rational, practical, logical choice in partner
Lacks emotional intensity Involves a careful evaluation of their qualities with your own

33 Do’s and Don’ts of the Assignment
Do not title your assignment, “Want Ad Assignment.” Be creative with a catchy title or question to peak the interest of your readers. There should be more than one paragraph for each of your advertisement and your analysis. One huge paragraph is difficult to read. Consider what you are including in each paragraph. Do not list your qualities with commas. Elaborate on each of your qualities with an example or a “for instance.” Be creative with your font. Times new roman isn’t very interesting. You may use more than one theory, but be specific in your analysis with how each theory applies. Also, you must discuss two theories if two are evident in your advertisement. Do NOT put your name or any identifying information on the front of your ad. Do NOT use your real cell number or address. Put your name on the back only.

34 Analysis Layout Introduction – include theory of mate selection, form of love, and style of loving Theory of Mate Selection – include a brief description of the theory (in your own words), and several quotations from your advertisement to support your theory Form of Love (Sternberg) – brief description of the form (in your own words), and support from your advertisement Style of Loving (Lee) – brief description of the style of love (in your own words), and support from your advertisement

35 Supporting Your Analysis
Example: In my relationship advertisement, I indicate that, “I am honest to the point where sometimes I come across blunt and rude. This trait needs to be appreciated by someone who won’t be overly sensitive and who might retort with similar bluntness.” This specifically relates to Social Homogamy, a theory of mate selection, in which people look for others who display similar personality traits. Furthermore, I go on to say that…

36 SUCCESS CRITERIA PLEASE ATTACH THIS ASSIGNMENT SHEET TO YOUR FINISHED PRODUCT WHEN SUBMITTING FOR MARKING /1 Your gender and gender you are seeking /5 Qualities/personality traits you possess /5 Qualities you seek in a partner /5 Creativity and presentation /1 Type of relationship you seek /20 Analysis – Theory of Mate Selection /5 Spelling/grammar conventions /10 Analysis – Form of Love (Sternberg) /10 Analysis – Style of Loving (Lee)

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