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How do people choose their partners? Mate Selection Theories.

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Presentation on theme: "How do people choose their partners? Mate Selection Theories."— Presentation transcript:

1 How do people choose their partners? Mate Selection Theories

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

11 Sternbergs 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 Short-term decision to love Long-term decision to maintain that love Grows and develops Non-existent when a relationship fizzles out

15 The AREA and SHAPE of the triangle indicates the amount and form of love

16 Friendship Companionate Empty Fatuous Romantic Infatuated Consummate Non-Love

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

18 Refers to the feelings experienced in true friendships Friendship

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

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

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

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

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

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

25 Another perspective on Love

26 Styles of Loving Companionate Romantic Altruistic Egotistic Manic Pragmatic

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 partners 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 Dos and Donts 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 isnt 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 wont 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 /1Your gender and gender you are seeking /5Qualities/personality traits you possess /5Qualities you seek in a partner /5Creativity and presentation /1Type of relationship you seek /20Analysis – Theory of Mate Selection /5Spelling/grammar conventions /10Analysis – Form of Love (Sternberg) /10 Analysis – Style of Loving (Lee)


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