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Attraction and Mate Selection

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Presentation on theme: "Attraction and Mate Selection"— Presentation transcript:

1 Attraction and Mate Selection

2 Attraction Mere-exposure effect
Repeated exposure to any stimulus, including a person, leads to greater liking for that stimulus. Homophily Tendency to have contact with people who are equal in social status. Matching phenomenon Tendency for men and women to choose as partners people who match them on social and personal characteristics.

3 Attraction

4 Attraction A great deal of evidence shows that individuals will prefer potential partners who are more physically attractive. Young men and women typically rate physical appearance as the most important aspect of sex appeal. Women’s worth may be based on beauty. Men’s worth may be based on success.

5 Attraction According to Research: Online:
Couples who had been matched for similar attitudes were most attracted to each other. Those with dissimilar attitudes were not so attracted to each other. Greater attraction to the better-looking dates was reported. Study demonstrated the importance of similarity and physical appearance. Online: Some Web sites have tens of thousands of personals ads. Surveys suggest that educated, busy, affluent 20- to 40-year- olds seek partners online. Technology forces users to focus on similar interests, rather than physical attractiveness.

6 Mate Selection Explaining our Preferences:
Reinforcement theory: Byrne’s Law of Attraction We tend to like people who give us reinforcements or rewards and to dislike people who give us punishments. Sociobiology: Sexual Strategies Theory We look for partners who will produce healthy offspring. Playing Hard-to-Get: Men appear to be equally attracted to “easy-to get” women. “Selectively hard to get” women appear most attractive, because she is “easy to get” for you, but “hard to get” for other men. Limited past sexual experience seems to be the ideal.

7 Mate Selection Intimacy in a romantic relationship is “the level of commitment and positive affective, cognitive and physical closeness one experiences with a partner in a reciprocal relationship.” Self-disclosure is the key characteristic of intimacy. Personal Assessment of Intimacy in Relationships (PAIR) measures emotional intimacy in a relationship.

8 Mate Selection Triangular Theory of Love (Robert Sternberg, 1986)
Three components of love: Intimacy - emotional component Passion - motivational component Decision or commitment - cognitive component

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10 Mate Selection Attachment Theory of Love: (Hazan and Shaver)
Secure lovers find it easy to get close to others. Avoidant lovers are uncomfortable feeling close to another person. Anxious-ambivalent lovers want desperately to get closer to a partner but often find that the partner does not reciprocate the feeling.

11 Mate Selection Love as a Story:
A love story is a story about what love should be like. Includes characters, a plot, and a theme Two central characters in every love story Falling in love occurs when you meet someone with whom you can create a relationship that fits your love story. Love stories are self-fulfilling.

12 Mate Selection Biology of Love: Passionate love - State of intense physiological arousal and intense longing for union with the other person. Companionate love - Feeling of deep attachment and commitment to a person with whom one has an intimate relationship. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has been used to study brain activity related to love. The rush of love at first sight is caused by body chemistry and neural activity in the brain. Dopamine can produce increased energy, focused attention and reduced need for food and sleep -common experiences of people in early stages of love. Oxytocin - stimulated by touch, including sexual touching and orgasm; may contribute to long-term relationships.

13 Death by Broken Heart Can you die of a broken heart?

14 Mate Selection Measuring Love: Operational definition:
A concept is defined by how it is measured. Scores on the Passionate Love Scale (PLS) were correlated positively with other measures of love and with measures of commitment to and satisfaction with the relationship.

15 Mate Selection Two Component Theory of Love: Berscheid and Walster’s theory that two conditions must exist simultaneously for passionate love to occur: physiological arousal Attaching a cognitive label (“love”) to the feeling of arousal Misattribution of arousal - When one is in a stage of physiological arousal (from exercising or being in a frightening situation) but attributes these feelings to love or attraction to the person present.

16 Mate Selection Worldwide:
Men placed more weight on cues of reproductive capacity, such as physical attractiveness. Women rated cues about resources as more important. Some phenomena similar across cultures, such as valuing: intelligence kindness understanding in a mate Others, such as whether love is a prerequisite for marriage, differ across cultures.

17 Mate Selection

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