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Social Psychology Interpersonal Attraction Better dating through Science! PSY 1001 Spring 2010 1 I knew we had a lot in common, Im crazy too!

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Presentation on theme: "Social Psychology Interpersonal Attraction Better dating through Science! PSY 1001 Spring 2010 1 I knew we had a lot in common, Im crazy too!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Psychology Interpersonal Attraction Better dating through Science! PSY 1001 Spring I knew we had a lot in common, Im crazy too!

2 Attraction and Relationships Relatively new to social psychology Psychologists generally only focus on individuals Romance and attraction isnt a scholarly thing to study Relationships have a number of important health benefits.

3 Men vs Women 3

4 Ideal Qualities in a Romantic Partner 123 Less than meAbout the same as meMore than me 4 1Extraversion 2Conscientiousness 3Agreeableness 4Openness 5Neuroticism 6Age 7Height 8Education 9Intelligence 10Good Looks 11Social Status 12Spirituality 13Dominance

5 Overview What leads to attraction? Proximity Mere exposure Physical attractiveness Similarity Matching Mimicry 5

6 Attraction-Proximity Proximity: We tend to like people who are closer to us Festinger et al. (1950s): friendship patterns in dormitories Closer friends with people who lived near

7 Proximity Why do you think proximity increases attraction? 1) More opportunities to meet, interact 2) People are likely to live near people of similar economic, social backgrounds 3) Mere exposure 7

8 Attraction Mere exposure Moreland & Beach (1992): women coming into class; the more they came to class, the more other students liked her

9 Which version do you prefer? 9 AB

10 Preferred Qualities in Partners (Buss et al., 1986) WomenMen 1) Kind/understanding Kind/understanding 2) Exciting Personality Exciting Personality 3) IntelligentIntelligent 4) HealthyPhysically Attractive 5) Easy GoingHealthy 6) Physically AttractiveEasy Going 10

11 Who do you think is friendlier? Who do you think is more outgoing? To whom would you be friendlier?

12 Physical Attraction What Is Beautiful Is Good stereotype People tend to attribute desirable characteristics such as sociable, friendly, poised, warm, competent, and well adjusted to those who are good looking Attractive children and adults are judged and treated more favorably Implications for career & salary 12

13 Walster et al. Computer Dating Study Freshman Welcome Week dance I.V.s Attractiveness rated Personality tests (social skills; introversion-extroversion; masculinity-femininity; MMPI) IQ Subjects matched for date (randomly) D.V.s Rated date at intermission Contacted several months later about further dates

14 Computer Dating Study Physical attractiveness the most important factor Intelligence and personality were not related to future dating

15 Card activity Dont look at your card. Match with the person with the highest card who will also agree to match with you. 15

16 Attractiveness Physical attractiveness: Hatfield, Berscheid, et al. (1966): Randomly matched 752 incoming students as blind dates for an orientation dance MOST IMPORTANT: physical attractiveness But… matching effect 16

17 Scent of Symmetry 17

18 Attraction-Similarity What traits did you want to match your partner on? 18

19 Similarity Couples tend to be similar in age, race, religion, social class, personality, education, intelligence, physical attractiveness, and attitudes Personality similarity related to marital happiness. Perceived similarity more strongly associated with marital satisfaction than actual similarity 19

20 What personality traits are important to match on? Malouff, et al. (2010) meta-analysis Connection between personality traits and relationship satisfaction. Low neuroticism, Higher agreeableness, conscientiousness and extraversion. Matching on Individual Big 5 traits does not predict satisfaction but matching on overall profile does. 20

21 Similarily Together SAT.31* Phy Attr.32* Attitudes.50* Breakup SAT.17 Phy Attr.16 Attitudes.41*

22 Similarity Why do we like people like us? Why does similarity increase relationship satisfaction? 22

23 Mimicry-Similarity in Behavior When we want to belong to a group or want others to like us, we mimic their behavior. We like people who mimic our behavior. But dont be too obvious!!! 23

24 Mimicry: Similarity in Behavior Behavioral Mimicry 24

25 People get more similar over time Zajonc et al. (1987) Dissimilar looking couples at marriage look more similar 25 years later. Happier couple look more similar Decades of shared emotions? 25

26 Similarity to Pets 26

27 When all else fails… Misattribution of arousal 27

28 Conclusions-Summary Many factors contribute to attraction Proximity Physical attractiveness (matching) Similarity Importance of personality similarities Mimicry increased liking We become more similar to our partners over time 28


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