Presentation on theme: "Why Do We Form Relationships?"— Presentation transcript:
1 Why Do We Form Relationships? Professor Tamara ArringtonCOM 252University of Kentucky
2 Attraction Social attraction Physical attraction Task attraction Desire to belong to a group, person, or societyPhysical attractionStrongest predictor of initial interactionTask attractionDesire to have something done
3 We Like People Who Are Similar To Us… …UsuallyCommon ground – interests, experiencesAttraction is greatest when we are similar to others in a high % of important areas
4 We Like People Who Are Different From Us… …In Certain WaysComplementarityBalance and adjustment are key
5 We Like People Who Like Us… …Usually!We are attracted to people we believe are attracted to usPeople who approve of us strengthen our self-conceptWe must see their interest as sincere
6 We Are Attracted To People Who Can Help Us We seek out people who can give us rewards – either physical or emotionalHealthy relationships seek out equitable exchanges
7 We Like Competent People… …Especially when they’re “human”We want their competencies to reflect well on usBUT – we don’t want to look bad in comparison
8 We Are Attracted To People Who Disclose Themselves To Us… Appropriately!It suggests respect and trustNeeds to be appropriate in breadth & depthSometimes timing is everything
9 We Feel Strongly About People We Encounter Often Proximity leads to likingChances are we will choose a mate whom we cross paths with oftenOf course, familiarity can also breed contempt!
10 Personal Relationships and Physical Attractiveness
11 Physical Attractiveness Important in mating behaviorAppreciation for beauty may be biological (based on studies of infant and children’s preferences)Though the ideal changes over time and across cultures, there is basic agreement on who is and is not considered physically attractive.
12 Evolutionary Perspective Physical attractiveness in a partner generally more important to males.Cues to female’s health and reproductive potentialFemales prefer partners who show signs of physical ability, intellect, ambition, and status – ability to generate and control resources.Height in males given a high rating by females.
13 Sociocultural Perspective Effect of female’s beauty seems to transfer to some extent to the man she is with. The same does NOT apply to women.Likewise, when with physically unattractive persons, we are perceived as being less physically attractive ourselves.
14 Attributes Assigned to the Physically Attractive WarmerMore sexually responsiveMore sensitiveMore sociableMore nurturingAssumed to have more prestigious occupationsMore masculine (men) or feminine (women)KinderMore interestingStrongerMore poisedMore outgoingMore exciting on datesSeen as happierSeen as better husband/wife potential
15 Benefits of Physical Attractiveness More likely to get offers of assistance in times of needMore cooperation in conflict situationsElicit more self-disclosureMore effective at persuasionMore likely to be hired, and seen as more effective on the jobLess likely to be found guilty by a jury (with a few exceptions)Mental health connection – for both clients and therapists
16 Communicative Implications of Physical Attractiveness More social options & can be more selectiveSelf-fulfilling prophecy in social situationsRated as more social, sexually warmer, more permissive and interesting.
17 Relational Implications DatingThe Matching HypothesisFriendshipsMarriageMore stable when matchedWe “aim high, but are tempered by a bit of realism”.
19 The Downside As a group, seen as egotistical, snobbish, and vain Not viewed as high in integrity or having concern for othersLess physically attractive are seen as more honest and moralMen and women later in life – better to have been an attractive young male than a femaleThose less attractive more likely to “make up for it” in other ways
20 Discussion QuestionsResearch suggests that we often underestimate the influence of physical attractiveness in our personal relationships. Why do you think this is so?What are the major relational advantages and disadvantages of being physically attractive?How do you account for gender differences in the emphasis on physical attractiveness? Do you favor an evolutionary or a sociocultural approach?