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The Effect of Arousal on Attraction: Physical Characteristics and Non- Physical Characteristics By: Paige Coulter-Kern Scott Samale.

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Presentation on theme: "The Effect of Arousal on Attraction: Physical Characteristics and Non- Physical Characteristics By: Paige Coulter-Kern Scott Samale."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Effect of Arousal on Attraction: Physical Characteristics and Non- Physical Characteristics By: Paige Coulter-Kern Scott Samale

2 Introduction The Misattribution Theory Dutton and Aron (1974) Bridge-attraction study Participants on a high bridge were more likely to ask a confederate on a date. Confound: Not random assignment White, Fishbein, & Rutsein (1981). Exercise-attraction study Used random assignment, removed confound Polarization effect

3 Hypothesis Arousal: – Amplification of the dominant response? Based on previous research – When aroused: yes – When not aroused: no – Neglect of mitigating information about a romantic partner? Our hypothesis: – When aroused: yes – When not aroused: no

4 Introduction Example: Passionate vs. Companionate love Passionate love: Arousal amplification of attractiveness Companionate love: Intimacy, friendship Sprecher (2001) Honeymoon stage Are people blinded by arousal in the beginning? Amplification of arousal causes people to neglect mitigating information?

5 Methods Stimuli: – Attractive and unattractive faces Two databases + friends edited photos (with consent) All Caucasian Pre-tested for attractiveness in an online survey – Traits Buss, Shackelford, Kirkpatrick, & Larsen (2001) – Mate preferences) 8 Positive traits for each gender 8 negative (reversed) traits for each gender Two traits per face, both positive or negative

6 Methods Attractive face Positive traits Attractive face Negative traits Unattractive face Positive traits Unattractive face Negative traits Stimuli/trait combinations: Two of each combination (8 total) Different for each gender

7 This person has a strong character and is very dependable. This person is very healthy, and rarely gets ill.

8 This person is emotionally unstable and is often described as being immature for her age. This person is unhealthy, and gets sick often.

9 This person has control over his emotions and is often described as being very mature for his age. This person is ambitious, he has goals and he achieves them.

10 This person has a displeasing disposition and tends to rub people the wrong way. This person is unhealthy, and gets sick often.

11 Methods 54 participants – College age – Ethnicity: 92% Caucasian 2% African American 4% Asian 2% Pacific Islander – Gender: 50% male, 50% female

12 Procedure Condition Pre-ratings 8 Faces Distraction Section 16 Faces Treatment Post-ratings 8 Faces ControlNone Exercise Shock Procedure/Design

13 You just found out you are going on a blind date with this person. How happy are you? 1=not very much at all; 6=very much, Please Circle Your Answer Person 1: Person 2: Person 3: …………………………….. Person 23: Person 24: Person 25:

14 Results and Discussion Mixed ANOVA with repeated measures on the last 3 factors: 3 x 2 x 2 x 2 – Condition (3) – Desirability of traits (2) – Attractiveness of face (2) – Time (2)

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17 Results and Discussion

18 Discussion: Limitations Stimuli: – We had a limited number of photographs that got rated as very attractive – Ratings of attractive and unattractive faces was similar to avoid a floor effect Heart rate: ineffective way to measure arousal – Not standardized

19 Discussion: Future Directions Further research on other types of arousal – Shock is an aversive type of arousal, and produces anxiety and fear, exercise was not – What effects might other types of arousal have? Anger? Excitement?


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